The building at 551 Trans-Canada Hwy., formerly home to McGuire Lake Congregate Living and Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgary, is available for lease. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)

The building at 551 Trans-Canada Hwy., formerly home to McGuire Lake Congregate Living and Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgary, is available for lease. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)

Former Salmon Arm assisted living facility up for lease

Building at 551 Trans-Canada Hwy. offers 31,000 square feet

The future of the building at 551 Trans-Canada Hwy. is no longer so uncertain.

Formerly the site of McGuire Lake Congregate Living and the Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgary, the structure is currently available for commercial lease. Included in the 31,000-plus square-foot facility are approximately 50 hotel rooms, a reception area, a full commercial kitchen and dining areas, a courtyard and laundry area.

“All contents have been removed and the building has been cleaned,” commented Lorenz Eppinger via email on behalf of the building’s owners.

Eppinger said the building is now for rent and, once a tenant has been secured, “the building will be renovated to suit the tenant’s use…”

The building’s tenants and senior residents of the unlicensed assisted-living facility were evicted in October 2019 following a dispute between the owners and lessee Dan Shields.

Read more: Seniors at Salmon Arm assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Read more: Accommodations found for most evicted residents of Salmon Arm assisted-living facility

Read more: Province investigating eviction at Salmon Arm assisted living facility

Read more: Vehicles may become home for at least two staff evicted from Salmon Arm assisted-living facility

Eppinger told the Observer Shields had been in significant arrears since 2014, and his lease terminated in July 2019. A “courtesy notice” was posted on the building in September 2019 after the building’s owners learned its tenants and residents hadn’t been informed of the situation.

At that time, Eppinger said there were concerns with the building and it wasn’t known if it could be saved.

Shields said he didn’t inform his tenants because he was attempting to work out a deal with the building owners.

“I did not notify anyone due to the fact I thought we were negotiating,” Shields told the Observer.

Residents of McGuire Lake Congregate Living complained of a bedbug infestation and, in October, each room and most of the furniture needed to be fumigated.

Shields said on Oct. 2 that all the residents were out, with assistance from BC Housing, Interior Health, Canadian Mental Health and the City of Salmon Arm.

“Of course, just like everyone, we certainly didn’t know the dire circumstances the people living in the lodge were in or that it would come to such an abrupt end,” commented Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison, noting that outside of zoning and municipal legislation, housing is typically a provincial function.

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