SEATTLE- Horizon House, a 358-unit nonprofit continuing care retirement community here is planning a 19-story, 100-unit addition to its First Hill campus located at 900 University Street, across from Virginia Mason Hospital. The proposed $68-million expansion would be built in three phases, with the first phase scheduled to begin in February 2005. Completion of the overall project is slated for early 2007.The 295,000-sf tower would have five underground levels and a new residential health and wellness center. The project also would include renovation of 28,000 sf of existing space and the relocation of some services, according to Bob Anderson, executive director of Horizon House. The project manager is The Seneca Real Estate Group. The general contractor is Skanska Construction. The architect is NBBJ. The first phase of the project (January-June 2005) would include building a new kitchen and dining room in the area where the Terrace Lounge is situated and setting up temporary locations for all services now provided in the North Wing. Phase two (July 2005-spring 2007) would entail demolition of the Le Roi Apartment building and the North Wing and construction of the new tower. The final phase (spring 2007-fall 2007) would renovate the spaces used to temporarily house North Wing services.Horizon House plans to finance the expansion through tax-exempt bonds. As part of the financing requirements, 70% of apartments in the new tower must be reserved with a deposit equal to 10% of the apartment entrance fee. Pre-marketing information sessions for people on the facility’s wait list plus guests referred by current residents have drawn more than 300 potential tenants to date, according to Anderson.Apartments in the new tower would range from 861-sf units with one bedroom, one bathroom and a den to 1,281-sf corner units with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a den. Entrance fees start at $270,400, with monthly fees for one person starting at $1,460. The fees help cover the lifetime costs of living in the continuing care facility, says Anderson.The project would mark the fourth time Horizon House has grown over three decades. The retirement community – the first in downtown Seattle — got its start in 1961 when the Pacific Northwest Conference United Church of Christ bought what was the Baldwin Apartment building (built in 1954) and converted it to retirement living.

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