Spokane Journal of Business

Rockwood eyes another expansion

Retirement center operator agrees to buy land, envisions 15 homes, eight duplex units

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Spokane United Methodist Homes Inc., a nonprofit corporation that operates Rockwood Retirement Communities here, plans to develop a $6 million-to-$7 million addition to its Rockwood Forest Estates independent-living subdivision on Spokanes South Hill.

Steve Wuitschick, the corporations president and CEO, says it has agreed to buy two homes and nearly seven acres of land across 25th Avenue from its Rockwood South campus. Plans call for the construction of 15 homes and eight duplex units on the undeveloped portion of the site. The two houses that currently are located on the property would be preserved, giving the addition a total of 25 living units upon completion.

Rockwood Retirement Communities has had preliminary meetings with the city of Spokane, Wuitschick says, and plans to apply soon for planned-unit development (PUD) approval. It hopes to gain that approval by May 15, when the pending real estate transaction is scheduled to close, he says.

Work on the new addition to Rockwood Forest Estates could start as early as this fall, Wuitschick says, but is more likely to start in the spring of 2002. All of the homes and units could be built within a year, he says.

We have a lengthy list of persons who want to move into Rockwood Forest Estates, and it made sense to do this, Wuitschick says.

Rockwood Retirement Communities leases its houses and units on a long-term basis to people over 60, and tenants have the option of moving to units or rooms elsewhere in the Rockwood South complex with increased levels of care as they get older.

Rockwood South hasnt added onto the subdivision since 1996, although late last month, it completed a $12.5 million expansion to the campuss health-care center that included construction of 54 assisted-living units, 30 of which are targeted at dementia sufferers.

For the proposed Rockwood Forest Estates addition, Adams & Clark Inc., of Spokane, is providing engineering services, but Rockwood Retirement Communities hasnt selected an architect or a contractor yet for the development.

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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