Milton expands with Alder Ridge Senior Apartments

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Milton is perfect for new residents looking for a place to relax and retire. The small town, friendly vibe is welcoming to any senior citizen searching for a new place to live. The city is looking to capitalize on this by creating new affordable housing for seniors in the area.

Village Concepts opened up the Alder Ridge Senior Apartment in late December.

The apartments, located on 28th and Alder, are senior affordable living apartments for singles or couples 62 years old or over.

“This area really needed a new, fresh take on affordable housing,” said Community Manager Stacy Norton.

Alder Ridge opened on Dec. 31, with an official grand opening ceremony on Jan. 9, and has since welcomed more than 30 residents.

Alder Ridge provides affordable living through the use of tax credits. Village Concepts only allows residents whose gross income is below $37,080, or $42,360 for a couple, and if they continually cap their rent, then the government will give them a tax credit on their property taxes. This allows Village Concepts to offer lower prices while still making a profit.

This the third affordable complex developed by Village Concepts, and Norton thinks that will bode well for Alder Ridge.

“We take what worked best at the last [complex] and we expand on it here, made it a little bit more updated,” Norton said. “That experience translates into some of the highest quality senior communities you can find in the area.”

The complex offers apartments that vary between 546 and 1,010 square feet.

The apartment building contains a variety of spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments with washers, dryers, private patios and balconies in select units. In addition, it offers several amenities, including a media room, library, computer lab, beauty salon and barbershop, fitness room and a large social room with a full kitchen.

The location also provides easy walking access to many important areas in the city, including Milton Plaza.

Since opening, Alder Ridge has filled 27 of its 116 apartments. Norton hopes to have the entire complex filled by June, though at the rate they’re going, its maximum capacity may be reached in just a few months. A lot of that has to do with its location in Milton.

“I’m really impressed with the town of Milton,” Norton said. “It’s got a nice community feeling to it.”

Jerry Bordelon, the very first resident of Alder Ridge, agrees with the sentiment, enjoying the nice, friendly community that Milton provides. After living in Covington and Pacific, Bordelon enjoys the quiet aspect of Milton, as well as the advanced state of Alder Ridge Senior Apartments.

“Everything is more up to date, like the furnishings and stuff. It’s been really impressive,” Bordelon said.

Bordelon and Norton claim that the city of Milton is in a great location, keeping residents out of noisy cities while not being isolated from the rest of the world.

“We’re really close to the hustle and bustle if we want to get to it, but we’re tucked away so we don’t have to see or hear it,” Norton said.

The Alder ridge apartment complex still has vacancies, for more information visit

Pictured: Jerry Bordelon (left) and his wife Rose were the very first residents of Alder Ridge. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Norton)

Inslee honors woman who played baseball in 1945


OLYMPIA, WASH — Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a proclamation in honor of an 86-year-old woman who played one season of professional baseball in the National Girls Baseball League in 1945.

Inslee was joined Tuesday by Dorothy Roth, who played with the Parichy Bloomer Girls in Forest Park, Ill. Roth, who signed a bat and baseball for Inslee, also received a Silver Spotlight award from the Washington Health Care Association. The award honors members of the “Greatest Generation” who live in assisted-living facilities in the state. Roth lives at an assisted living facility in Marysville.

The National Girls Baseball League was a competitor to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was represented in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own.”

The former teacher threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game last summer.

Pictured: Grandview Village resident Dorothy Roth, who played one season of professional baseball in the National Girls Baseball League in 1945, signs a bat for Gov. Jay Inslee, in Olympia, Wash., on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Roth, 86, received a “Silver Spotlight” award from the Washington Health Care Association. RACHEL LA CORTE — AP Photo

Village Concepts celebrates 25 years with executive directors

Village Concepts Retirement Communities is so excited to celebrate the 25th anniversaries of Jill Bellis, Corporate Marketing Director/Executive Director of Channel Point Village and Laura Curnan, Executive Director of High Point Village. Both were presented with a crystal award and a trip to Hawaii by Operations Director Stuart Brown and President Steve Brown. Thank you both for your commitment, dedication and passion for our residents!

Village Concepts wins Seattle Business Magazine Silver Award for Best Large Company

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Village Concepts Retirement Communities and the Brown Family won Seattle Business Magazine’s Silver Award for Best Large Company. President Steve Brown and Director of Operations Stuart Brown accepted the award at a banquet ceremony.

This is the fourth year for Seattle Business magazine’s Family Business Awards, and the striking thing about this year’s winners is that they all tell essentially the same story. From multibillion-dollar enterprises to the smallest of mom-and-pops, their owners describe a sense of responsibility that guides them — not just for the sake of profits today but also for the legacy they will leave to future generations. Like all business owners, they have had to weather the worst economic challenge since the Great Depression. But for them, the stakes were higher because they are in it for the long haul. Their stories reflect common themes — decision making by stockholders who are relatives, as well as problems of succession when one generation passes the torch to the next. But they really ought to be seen as stories of inspiration. These businesses are the foundation of our economy, the glue that holds communities together, the essence of the American Dream.

SILVER: Village Concepts

Federal Way | 356 employees |

Village Concepts, a FAST-EXPANDING 15-facility chain of senior-living communities, is managed by three generations of the Brown family: founder Bill, still an active participant in the business at age 90; sons and board members Steve and Rick; and grandson Stuart, the COO. The assisted living facilities aim to provide a level of independence not found in a traditional nursing home, says Corporate Development Director Tracy Willis. And it is a family business in more than one sense: “Our customers are our family,” she says. “We’re dealing with not just residents but with sons, daughters, offspring. And I think they like that we are grandsons and grandparents ourselves. We make sure they understand we’re sympathetic — even our ownership is going through the same thing.”

Port Angeles’ Park View Villas adding an atrium


PORT ANGELES — Park View Villas will christen a new atrium this holiday season.

The sunlit enclosure in the heart of the retirement and assisted living community will serve as a meeting space and expanded dining room for residents and their guests.

The nearly completed atrium is the third and final phase of a two-year, $475,000 overhaul of the 23-year-old facility in west Port Angeles.

“I know I can’t wait until it’s done,” said John LeClerc, Park View Villas’ executive director.

“It’s going to be gorgeous.”

The 700-square-foot, carpeted atrium will replace a rarely used concrete courtyard. The atrium is surrounded by the main office, dining room, wellness room and activity center.

A large roll-up door, similar to the one at Port Angeles City Hall, will separate the atrium from the meeting room during meals.

The door will be opened for meetings and large community activities.

“When we open up the door, it will be one huge room,” LeClerc said.

“We need an area that’s bigger for entertainment. We also do a lot of special events, and we’re finding ourselves too crowded.”

With 87 assisted living apartments and 20 cottages with a 97 percent occupancy, Park View Villas recently opened a wellness center and laundry facility that can accommodate commercial equipment.

“We grew out of the wellness center, which was half the size of the new one,” LeClerc said.

The old wellness center is being turned into a private dining room. It will be open before Thanksgiving.

The atrium should be done by Christmas, LeClerc said.

Increase in residents

A twofold increase in residents who get nursing services prompted the expansion.

Park View Villas also added new landscaping and furniture and tile floors for its commons area.

The atrium — designed by Simply Simpatico of Federal Way — is being built by Hoch Construction of Port Angeles.

The architect was Lindberg & Smith Architects of Port Angeles.

“We couldn’t have done these projects without the outstanding professionalism and expertise of Bill Lindberg’s architectural team and Rick Hoch’s construction crew,” LeClerc said.

LeClerc said later that the architectural plans were approved by the state Department of Health within 10 days.

“I’ve done this 25 years, 30 years, and I’m telling you that’s a long process,” he said. “Sometimes, it takes up to eight months to get approvals.

“That just shows how good they are.”

The expanded dining room will allow Park View Villas staff to serve meals in one sitting rather than back-to-back.

LeClerc said most residents have been “thrilled” with the community at 1430 Park View Ln., kitty- corner to Shane Park.

He added that the private dining room will be available to the general public for meetings.

Park View Villas has licensed staff available at all hours to assist residents with their daily activities. Services include bathing, dressing, medication management and mobility.

Park View also offers exercise classes, games and social events seven days a week.

The theme for this month is “Viva Mexico,” with a guacamole cooking class, quesadilla social and mariachi entertainment on the calendar.

The community is managed by Village Concepts, a third-generation, family-owned company with 13 retirement and assisted living centers throughout the Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula and Central Washington.

Pictured: John LeClerc, executive director of Park View Villas in Port Angeles, describes the features of an enclosed atrium at the retirement and assisted living center that will expand the dining area for residents. — Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Teens empowering seniors with social media skills


ISSAQUAH, Wash. – Anne Novak is nearing 95, and doing something she’s never done.

“I have never used a computer before,” Novak said.

Novak is now video chatting with her daughter in Montana from her retirement community in Issaquah.

Teenagers are teaching seniors in the Spiritwood Skyper’s Club the basics of social media.

Skype and Facebook were foreign to them, but Spiritwood is trying to keep senior’s brains active, and families connected.

Otto Henn is 100 years old, and struggled a little to keep up the conversation with his great grandson.

“My hearing has not only diminished, but it’s also slowed down,” Hein said. “While you’re on the end of the sentence, I’m still working on the beginning.”

Some of the residents were initially hesitant, after all these new fandangled computers weren’t around when they were kids. Novak didn’t even have radio.

“How many people do you know who are over a 100 years old?” Hein added.

As families become busier, and these Skyping seniors become less mobile, social media erases some of the loneliness.