Pacific Gardens Cohousing Nanaimo

Pacific GardensConstruction is well underway at the Pacific Gardens cohousing project, 347 Seventh Street, Nanaimo. The property was originally purchased in 2000, and in 2007 financing was arranged to allow development to go ahead. The city rezoned the site in May 2006, and excavation began in October 2007. As can be seen from the photo, the basic structure is now in place and the first owners should be able to move in next year.

Cohousing is somewhat different from ordinary strata ownership in that membership in a community is emphasized. Management decisions are made by consensus. The units face a large glass-covered atrium and there are many common facilities intended to promote social interaction, including a large kitchen and dining room, lounge, workshops, play areas, crafts and fitness rooms, laundry, recycling, storage facilities, etc. Architect Jolyon Brown's design has emphasized energy efficiency through the use of heat pumps, in-floor heating, insulation, and many other state-of-the-art green features. Some of Nanaimo's best known environmentalists are involved in this unique project.

The location in Harewood is sort of between Vancouver Island University and downtown Nanaimo, though a bit to the south. This $8 million project fits in well with the City of Nanaimo's efforts to enhance the quality of life in south Nanaimo.

Pacific Gardens is now only growing fast, it's going fast, and only 10 of the 25 units are still available. Most of the smaller units are already taken and it's the larger two- and three-bedroom apartments which are still for sale. Information meetings and site tours are offered on Thursdays. These begin at 2:30 pm in the Pacific Gardens business office in the Port Place Shopping Mall, 650 South Terminal Avenue, Nanaimo, and are followed by a site tour around 3:15 pm. Call 250-754-3060 for more information.

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