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SEATTLE, WA-For the most part, new development in Puget Sound’s commercial real estate market is sparse and sporadic. Most office, industrial and hotel developers are on the sidelines until the economy shows signs of another growth spurt. Still bucking this trend is the senior living market, which itself has several subcategories that are more and more often being combined into senior living communities. Even municipalities are getting into the act.

This past February, the Seattle Housing Authority, partnered with Providence Health System and the Retirement Housing Foundation, broke ground on a 318-unit complex in Seattle’s 110-acre New Holly redevelopment. Dubbed “The Elder Village,” the project at 7004 S. 38th is split into three sectors. The 80-unit apartment, Peter Claver House, will be a residence for independent seniors. Adjacent, the Esperanza Apartments will provide 84 studio, one- and two-bedroom units for low-income residents over the age of 62. And, the Park Place Assisted Living Facility will provide 154 units of assisted care for elderly unable to care for themselves.

Also in February, the City of Bellevue approved a $1.28 million loan for the purchase and development of the Washington Court Senior Congregate Care complex. Following its rehab, the building at 900 – 124th Ave. NE will provide low-income housing and assisted-living facilities for as many as 86 senior citizens.

A flush of private projects came this spring, two in the vicinity of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. David Haynes applied for a master use permit for the three-story buildings planned to hold 76-units of apartments and assisted living quarters, planned for construction at 903 MLK Jr. Way. And, John Caruso applied for early-design guidance for two, seven-story buildings at 5721 and 5722 35th Ave. S., in which he respectively proposes 100 and 125 assisted-living units.

The city also received an application to build 102 assisted-living units further north at 9001 Lake City Way NE, and an application to fill and move wetlands in conjunction with the construction of 100 assisted living units (project No. 2006763) at 5721 – 35th Ave. S. As well, Seattle issued a conditional declaration of non-significance and design approval to applicant Scott Waytashek for a 46-unit facility at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SE. That project is to include 35,151 sf in living space and 19,084 sf of common areas.

The City of Fife is working through a proposal for a 141-acre development that is to include 150 assisted-living units. The project is planned for a site east of 54th Ave. E and west of 70th Ave. E. And, just recently, The Development Group Inc., a Vancouver, Wash.-based developer, announced it plans to construct a 54-unit complex in Maple Valley. That company has already built ten such projects in small towns throughout Oregon and Washington.

As well as new construction, existing facilities have been expanding. In the city of Monroe, an adult-care facility at 1301 and 1355 W. Main St., is in the process of obtaining permits to add 10,000 sf to its existing 34-room facility, and construct a second three-story building to hold another 76 beds/rooms to care for the elderly. The Vashon Community Care Center broke ground this summer for a new 40,000 sf complex to replace its existing facility, which has been in use for upwards of 70 years. A single-story and two-story wing will contain 40-assisted living quarters and 30 nursing home beds. The center, at 15333 Vashon Hwy. SW, will also provide a day-care program for up to 15 adults.

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