Spokane Journal of Business

Valley retirement center will cost $21.5 million

Upscale, four-story project at Evergreen and Fourth will include 200 living units

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A Spokane Valley development company and a Spokane nursing-home operator plan to build a $21.5 million, 200-unit retirement complex in the Spokane Valley.

The development company, Arger Capital Corp., owned by brothers Prokey and Greg Arger, and the nursing-home operator, Smith Enterprises, owned by Jaclin Smith, hope to start construction on the first part of the project, named Orchard Crest Retirement Community, in June. They expect to open 90 of the retirement centers 140 independent-living units and all of its interior common areas early next year.

The complex is slated to be developed on eight acres of vacant land at the northwest corner of Evergreen Road and Fourth Avenue. It will include a four-story common building with two four-story wings for independent-living units, a two-story assisted-living wing, and six triplexes for independent-living units.

The project comes amid a quickening in the development of retirement facilities here. After a surge of retirement-related building ensued a few years ago, announcements of such projects had slowed, but Orchard Crest and projects now planned by Sisters of Providence and Sarff Enterprises LLC (see stories, page B1) blunt that trend. Also, S.L. Start & Associates has begun work on a project on Spokanes North Side that will include more than 100 units.

At a cost of $21.5 million, Orchard Crest would be the most expensive retirement complex built in the Spokane area in the last couple of years.

Were offering something thats first class, asserts Prokey Arger, president of Arger Capital. The retirement center will be marketed not just to retirees, but also to those in the pre-retirement, 55-and-just over, age group, the Argers say.

Garco Construction, of Spokane, has been hired as the general contractor for the project, and Roy Wyatt & Associates PS, of Spokane, is the architect.

The ground floor of the four-story common building, which will face Evergreen Road, is to include an open foyer, a concierge station, a country store, and a 5,000-square-foot dining room with hardwood floors and space for dancing. The upper floors of the building will house amenities such as a computer room, a beauty salon, and an exercise room.

Plans also call for a 2,500-square-foot movie theater on the top floor that would double as a chapel on Sundays.

Planned outside amenities include security fencing, paths for walking, gardening areas, garages, and recreational-vehicle parking.

Independent-living quarters are to be offered in varied sizes, from studio units with about 500 square feet of living space to three-bedroom penthouse suites with about 1,600 square feet of living space. The Argers say the lease rates for the independent-living units will range from $1,200 to $2,200 per month, utilities included.

The independent-living units will have patios or balconies and will include oversized master bedrooms with walk-in closets, the Argers say. One meal a day per resident and weekly housecleaning services will be provided to the residents of those units, although they will be able to buy more meals if they wish. Limited nursing services also will be available for a fee.

A construction schedule for the two-floor assisted-living wing, which will be west of the independent-living quarters, hasnt been set yet. The Argers say they arent certain when demand will be strong enough for them to build it, but they hope to break ground on it as soon as the four-story independent-living facility is completed.

Plans show that the assisted-living building will have its own dining room and activity center.

The six triplexes are slated to be built at the western edge of the property. The triplex units each will include about 1,600 square feet of space, with the first two buildings to be completed early in the year 2000, and the others following.

When the first part of Orchard Crest opens, its expected to employ about 20 people, the Argers say. They arent sure how many people will work at the retirement community eventually.

Orchard Crest is Arger Capitals first retirement project. The Argers previously have developed mostly office space, with projects such as the five-building Center Pointe Business Park in the Spokane Valley and the 12-acre Sunset Pointe Business Park in West Spokane.

Smith Enterprises has developed several retirement centers in the Pacific Northwest and currently owns and operates Royal Plaza Retirement and Assisted Living Home on Spokanes North Side. Smith also has ownership interests in retirement centers and nursing homes in Lewiston, Idaho; Redmond, Wash.; and Kirkland, Wash.

Norm Lunt, the administrator at Royal Plaza, will oversee operations at Orchard Crest. He has been with Royal Plaza since 1985 and developed the assisted-living program for that facility in 1987.

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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