When Wesley Homes Bradley Park breaks ground on Feb. 28, it will mark the first step in bringing a new vision of senior living to reality.
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the new, age 62-plus senior living community will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. indoors at the Pioneer Park Pavilion due to the possibility of inclement weather, said Jamie Gregory, Puyallup campaign manager.
“We want to make it comfortable and accessible for those attending,” he said.
City government, legislators and civic leaders are among the invited guests. Interested community members can request an invitation by calling 253-466-2720.
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The new Puyallup Bradley Park campus will be built on a 14-acre site located on the north side of 39th Avenue SE at the intersection with 35th Avenue SE. Bordered by Bradley Park and the Lowes home improvement store, it will be the first faith-based, nonprofit, full continuum-of-care (CCRC) senior housing complex in East Pierce County. A CCRC provides a full spectrum of care from independent living to assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing designed to accommodate residents’ changing needs on one campus.
“We are excited to be coming to Puyallup and we’re grateful for the support we’ve received from this community to make it happen,” said Kevin Anderson, Wesley Homes president/CEO. “We look forward to being a strong partner with our neighbors and other agencies in the community that enhance the lives of older adults. Wesley Homes develops communities for the long term. We don’t just build and sell.”
“This is such an exciting time,” said Peggy Qualls, Wesley Homes’ communications director.
Although it might have appeared that nothing was happening after the intent to build was announced in 2013, numerous behind-the-scenes activities were initiated, including fundraising and soliciting community input.
Longtime Puyallup resident Carrie Boulet has been involved with the project since early 2011 when she helped to determine its feasibility.
When people can’t find a retirement community that fits their needs and don’t find it in their home community, they leave, creating a big drain, she believes.
“The number one reason people want to stay in their home area is to maintain their support group,” Boulet said. “I want to stay here with my friends and continue going to my own church.”
Knowing that people become more vulnerable as they age, Boulet and her husband Lee are proponents of planning ahead.
“I think that we should decide where we want to live before we have to make that decision in a time of crisis,” she said.
According to Qualls, Phase I of the project will include 32 brownstone apartments ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet. Depending on their location, some apartments will feature walkout areas or decks. In addition, the building will contain a fitness room and offer underground parking.
The first phase also includes a five-story lodge with 99 independent apartments ranging from 750 to 1,600 square feet with 18 private memory care units. In addition, there will be 47 Catered Living apartments featuring more extensive services including three meals a day with weekly laundry service and weekly housekeeping. Unlike a more traditional assisted living apartment, Catered Living offers inclusive care, such as home health services, on an as needed, á la carte basis. Phase II is anticipated in three to five years, which will include a rehabilitation and care center with additional brownstone apartments.
Although 40 percent of the initial brownstone and lodge apartments are pre-reserved, there are still some apartments available, according to Qualls.
The importance of the project to East Pierce County cannot be over emphasized, stated Gregory.
“The new $85-million project is the second biggest ever in East Pierce County, after the new Dally Tower at Good Samaritan Hospital,” he said.
Local contractor Absher Construction and InSite Architects were selected to complete the 16-to-18-month project. More than 200 construction jobs are expected to result from the development, while the opening of the first phase will create over 45 full-time and 40 part-time jobs as well as many volunteer opportunities. Additional full and part-time jobs will be generated with the opening of the second phase.