New care facility planned for Tacoma’s South Pearl Street

An Oregon-based health-care company plans to build a new extended-care facility on the site of a previous one on South Pearl Street in Tacoma.

Avamere has demolished its Bel Air Rehabilitation facility that had existed at 630 S. Pearl St., next to the Morgan Family YMCA, since the 1960s. That 120-bed facility will be replaced with a 60-bed skilled nursing facility designed more like a hotel, said Avamere’s vice president of growth and development Tim Lehner.

“Most rooms will be private rooms with private bathrooms,” Lehner said Friday. “We’re finishing one in Salem now that has a bistro.”

Avamere, based in Wilsonville, Oregon, is in the process of renovating more than a dozen properties to better reflect customer demand for post-hospital, pre-home care, Lehner said.

The company is seeking approvals for its facility through various local and state agencies, as well as some zoning changes from the City of Tacoma. Once those are completed, construction will begin and last 10 months, Lehner said.

The Pearl Street facility will employ 70-80 people, according to city planning documents.

Lehner said Avamere also is looking for land in Pierce County for an additional facility. It currently operates two in Tacoma and one in Lakewood.