Families First Funeral Home site plan approved, construction to start later this year or 2015

 

Families First Funeral Home is planning its fourth location for this piece of land on Sandwich St. S., at Crown Ridge Blvd. Town council approved the site plan for the new funeral home April 22.

Families First Funeral Home is planning its fourth location for this piece of land on Sandwich St. S., at Crown Ridge Blvd. Town council approved the site plan for the new funeral home April 22.

By Ron Giofu

 

Families First Funeral Home is planning to construct a fourth location and has chosen Amherstburg in which to do it.

The funeral home company, which has two locations in Windsor and a third in LaSalle, has received site plan approval from town council to build a fourth location at 585 Sandwich St. S., near Crown Ridge Blvd. Estimated value of the project is $3 million.

“We’re currently looking at a facility that is just over 10,000 square feet,” said Families First president/managing director Brian Parent.  “We’re certainly adding a significant amount of parking.”

While there was some concern at council about whether the 79 proposed parking spots is enough, Parent said many vehicles could be “stacked” to avoid using spots and that a team of workers could be dispatched to the parking lot to help co-ordinate vehicular access during busy times. Parent added that while many visitations can be busy, many people “come and go” meaning not everyone is there at the same time.

Parent noted there will be a lot of landscaping done on the property in order to make it appealing to people coming into town from the south. Almost 56,200 square feet has been set aside in the site plan for landscaping.

“We’ve even angled the building on the lot to give it more appeal from the street,” he said. “The land is a very nice piece of property on the entrance to the town from the south side.”

There will be three visitation rooms with two being termed “very large.” Parent stated the funeral home would be able to hold large visitations with little problem.

“All of the rooms will open into one large facility,” he said. “It’s the type of facility people have come to expect from Families First.”

There is also a reception area planned for the building.

Calling the town “excellent” and predicting it will grow, Parent believed the time is now to come into this market.

“We’ve certainly served a number of families from Amherstburg over the last five or six years,” said Parent, stating that some use the LaSalle facility while others book funerals at the Dougall Ave. funeral home in Windsor. “It’s a good time for us to come into town.”

With site plan approval out of the way, Parent stated they can look further into the details of building the new site. He said renderings are still being worked on prior to the application for a building permit and said a shovel might not go into the ground until later this summer or sometime in 2015. As for the architecture, he said Families First likes to blend in to the communities they enter and said the new structure could be a combination of the look of their Dougall Ave. facility as well as the landscape of the town. Open air glass will likely be used, he added, as the funeral home chain likes its facilities to let a lot of natural light inside.

Parent said there is also the opportunity of another 6,000 square foot building on the site, should someone wish to develop there. That would also mean more parking at the site.

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