With foundations built and concrete floors being poured, construction is moving ahead on the new four-story, 104-unit Vineyard Park retirement and assisted living complex at 56th Avenue West and 231st Street Southwest in Mountlake Terrace. But as the building is rising, so is the confusion about just what kind of commercial businesses may be included in the complex, if at all.
Vineyard Park at Mountlake Terrace is being built by CarePartners, an assisted living management company with eight properties in Washington and Oregon, including facilities in Everett, Marysville and Bothell. All of their communities provide retirement apartments and assisted living services, with some of their facilities also offering specialized care for dementia patents.
Since CarePartners’ new Mountlake Terrace community is being built in the city’s mixed-use zoned Town Center District, the building is required to include commercial space on its first floor. But as construction has reached that first floor, a CarePartners’ spokesperson was unsure if space would be made available for commercial businesses to be located there.
Kelley Smith, North Region Director of Marketing for CarePartners, spoke enthusiastically about the company’s latest project; “We’re pretty excited about it,” she stated. She described the Mountlake Terrace complex as “a sister-community” to CarePartners’ Vineyard Park at Bothell Landing building, with similar themes and some extra features.
“It’s a well-planned, well-thought out building,” Smith said about the new project. “We want to take all of the things that are fabulous at the Vineyard Park Bothell building and incorporate them into the building at Mountlake Terrace.”
The Mountlake Terrace building will include 104 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, a large dining room, commercial-grade kitchen operation with full-time staff, exercise room, underground parking, and a fourth floor devoted to the care of seniors with dementia and memory loss.
“We will gear up for that population,” Smith said, “and provide them the space that they will feel safe in.” The dementia patients’ floor will be laid out in a circular arrangement, with outside patio areas and specially-trained staff on duty 24-hours a day.
Providing a secure environment for not just the memory care patients but all the future residents of Vineyard Park at Mountlake Terrace is an important goal for CarePartners’ management staff, which is one of the factors that the floor plan of the building’s first floor doesn’t show any space being made available for outside commercial businesses to lease. “We don’t want to have any extra interruptions for the residents there, or to have them get the sense that their space is being invaded,” Smith said.
CarePartners is also concerned that they may not be able to find any commercial takers for leased space in the building, Smith said.
Despite their concerns, CarePartners’ hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of leasing space for commercial use in the complex, and are apparently in discussion with officials at Mountlake Terrace City Hall about their options.
Scott Hugill, City of Mountlake Terrace Interim City Manager, was much more definitive about businesses being located at Vineyard Park at Mountlake Terrace. “The project will have commercial services on the ground floor,” Hugill said this week.
Vineyard Park at Mountlake Terrace is expected to be open for new residents later this year, possibly as early as October 1, Smith said. It will employ 30-50 staff members.
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski