Puyallup: News

Retirement community selects Puyallup-based Absher Construction to build 14-acre campus

Des Moines-based Wesley Homes is teaming up with Puyallup-based Absher Construction to create a full continuum retirement community serving adults age 62 and older in Puyallup.

Both companies have been serving their respective residents and clients for more than 70 years, so officials consider the partnership to be a natural fit. The selection process was competitive and company location was not a major criterion in the decision.

“Success on our projects is determined by many factors: team synergy, safety and quality, as well as budget and schedule performance,” said Dan Absher, president/CEO. “Ultimately, though, our success lies in building the trust of our clients and developing long-term relationships with them.”

The 14-acre site is bordered by Bradley Lake Park to the north and Lowe’s home improvement store to the west.

“We invested in this property because Puyallup does not have a not-for-profit retirement community,” said Kevin Anderson, Wesley Homes president/CEO. “The Wesley Homes model provides all levels of care, from independent housing and assisted living to memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation.”

The Wesley Homes Bradley Lake campus will include approximately 153 residential accommodations, 49 assisted living/housing with services apartments and 18 apartments for those with memory impairment. A skilled nursing and rehabilitation center with 36 private rooms, serving all of East Pierce County, will be part of second phase construction.

Although a timeline has not been finalized, initial plans are to break ground early next year.

According to Susan McConnell, Wesley Homes Foundation’s executive director, phase I of campus construction will comprise a five-story apartment building or lodge, similar to the lodge at Wesley Homes Lea Hill Auburn, three two-story Brownstones featuring one bedroom plus den and two bedrooms plus apartments with an underground garage. Seven two-bedroom cottages are also planned.

“We’ve talked about this project since the land was purchased,” said Brian Garrett, a member of the Puyallup volunteer leadership team. “Now, it’s going to happen. Donations made to date and into the future are going to make this a real project.”

InSite architects was selected to design the new campus. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the small firm specializes in the design of senior housing and affordable housing. Architecturally, the new campus will incorporate design features reflecting the area’s past. Described as contemporary agricultural, structures will reflect colors, eclectic materials and interesting roof shapes that will echo Puyallup’s early hops and bulb growing industries with a daffodil motif worked into the copper-toned siding.

“Our intent is to build high quality housing that is affordable,” said McConnell, noting that the project’s volunteer leadership is engaged in raising $6 million to contribute toward the first phase costs. “Wesley Homes is a not-for-profit and projects such as our new campus at Bradley Park wouldn’t happen without philanthropic support. If we can support seniors with affordable housing so that they can stay in their community, then it’s to the community’s benefit as a whole.”

Garrett believes that Wesley Homes Bradley Park represents an optional housing choice for seniors who have grown up here, or have lived here for a long time to be able to stay close to the community.

“Personally, I am excited because my wife and I plan to be future residents,” he said.

“We will be a great partner and neighbor to this community,” McConnell said. “We are developing collaborative partnerships with such organizations as Pierce College and The Korum Family YMCA. Social accountability is very important to Wesley Homes.”

Wesley Homes Bradley Park will open meeting areas to nonprofit and community groups. As they are on other campuses, Bradley Park residents are expected to be highly engaged in community volunteer work.

Wesley Homes has been granted a hospice Certificate of Need, which will make hospice services available, McConnell said.

Garrett believes this will complete the full continuum of life care offered by Wesley Homes.

Construction of Wesley Homes Bradley Park is expected to generate more than 200 jobs and to create 45 full-time and more than 60 part-time positions.