A four-storey apartment building adjacent to Breslau Mennonite Church is at the construction stage where applications are now being taken for November 1 occupancy.
The building has been named Joseph's Place in honour of Joseph Hagey, an early pioneer in the area with connections to the church, which started the project, selling a portion of its land to Reid Heritage Properties.
The project was brought to council in 2018 with the idea of providing housing for seniors, including members of the church. It met with much opposition from neighbours, but was ultimately approved by the township.
"Originally, it was only open to members of the church, kind of giving them that first opportunity to call it home, and then whatever was left [went to] the rental market," said Adam Kitchener of UNLIMITED Residential Living, which is providing property management services to the site.
He notes Reid's Heritage Properties worked closely with the church and wider community to ensure the project was seen in a positive light.
"We wanted to show the neighborhood what it was all about, that this isn't just any other property. We are building this with longevity in mind, and it's something that town can be proud of. Working with the Mennonites, they can [know] they've partnered with a very strong local developer that has very good attention to detail."
The 78-unit building will offer 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units, with rents starting at $1,650. UNLIMITED touts the building as offering a high-caliber living environment for those looking to be on the outskirts of Kitchener and live in a more rural environment.
A move-in date of November 1 has been set, which could see a large influx into the already growing neighbourhood, Kitchener said.
"You're living in a small town – it's easy living, it's worry-free living, but it's not out in the middle of nowhere, you're still accessible to… Kitchener Waterloo, you're literally around the corner from the airport. So, it's got all of the advantages of living in a large town, but you're getting the benefits of living in a small town. So, it's really the best of both worlds, when you think about it," he enthused.
Breslau Mennonite Church's parking lot is currently filled with construction vehicles, a juxtaposition to the once quiet nature of the area, said pastor Eleanor Epp-Stobbe.
"The church has had a vision to support older adults that want to continue to live in their community. That has been something we've been committed to for a couple of decades. We are hopeful that Joseph's Place will support that vision," she said, noting the positive relationship between the church and the apartment project.