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Tuesday July 14th, 2015

Posted at 4:45pm

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Van Niforos, current owner of the Penalty Box, shows his plans to open a medical centre at 1100 University Avenue.

A plan that’s been 20 years in the making is finally coming to fruition in west Windsor.

Van Niforos, current owner of the Penalty Box which has been open on Walker Road for 20 years, has been toying with the idea of opening a medical centre for a long time.

“There were heart breaks at times,” said Niforos. “I never doubted that we could get the project going … sometimes it was just overwhelming to receive the support and to receive the help of six doctors and more are showing interest now. It was overwhelming for me, especially as somebody from outside of the field who doesn’t understand the medical aspect of things. It’s a great day for us and our families.”

Niforos said the area has 25,000 to 55,000 residents who needed access to a care facility, and because the basic shell of the building is there, he expects to complete construction by spring 2016.

In addition to the residents currently in the area, the location is just 1km from the city’s downtown bus depot.

The building development is planned for 1100 University Avenue, formerly known as the Federal Finance building, which is currently more than 40,000 square feet. With the addition of two floors, the building will become a 60,000 square foot medical facility, housing family medicine, primary care, urgent care, diagnostic services, a pharmacy, physiotherapy, a lab and much more. The idea is to make a medical care facility housing every possible medical need, including pediatrics, psychiatry, internal medicine, audiology, dentistry, optometry and chiropractic care.

Additionally, Niforos plans to build a Penalty Box restaurant adjacent to the side in the historic Butler building. The price tag is uncertain at this time, but Niforos said it is certainly in the millions.

Niforos’ wife Karen said watching him go through this process has been very rewarding for their family.

“He’s just been so busy, he’s always thinking,” said Karen. “Through the years he was just always trying to find the right fit. I think the medical centre, as soon as that came to fruition, he was over the top because he knew it was right. Of course at home, it’s just a wonderful feeling for our family, our son included, so we’re very proud. We have wonderful customers it’s a wonderful community and we hope to bring that to the west side as well.”

According to Niforos, construction will begin soon and the plans not only have the family excited, but the local community as well. Tammy Murray, who works with Life After Fifty, said as a neighborhood renewal organization, she and her workplace are thrilled to have that kind of investment in the west end of Windsor.

“We have a lot of need in the area and it addresses all of the needs in one location, so that’s fantastic for west Windsor residents,” said Murray. “It’s fantastic, especially for the seniors and people with young children who may not have vehicles, that’s really addressing a need that’s been existent for a long time in west Windsor and we also have a large student population who may not have vehicles with them while they’re away at school so it really is a perfect fit for the area.”

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