West Seattle, Washington
When The Kenney (WSB sponsor) first announced its “new and different” expansion plan two years ago, the rental properties it owns to the southwest of its campus were envisioned for redevelopment as an apartment building. Now apparently that idea’s been scrapped, as the sites, which currently hold 15 units (three triplexes, one fourplex and one duplex), are on the market for $5.2 million, under the umbrella “The Kenney Assemblage.” The retirement complex appears to still be pursuing plans to build new townhouse units to the east of the land that’s up for sale, as they’re being marketed prominently on The Kenney’s website and have been going through the permit process since last spring. It’s now been seven years since The Kenney, under different management, scrapped a $150 million redevelopment plan.
Yet another stop on this busy Saturday – The Kenney (WSB sponsor) is welcoming visitors for a rummage sale, bake sale, and bazaar!
7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, until 3 pm.
THE KENNEY’S NEWEST REDEVELOPMENT PLANS: John Shoesmith from Shoesmith Cox Architects (based in Madison Park) explained what’s on the drawing board now. He explained that the site remains a mix of zones – LR1 and LR3. The three duplexes on the property’s southeast corner will be taken down and replaced with five rowhouses, two facing Fauntleroy, three facing Othello. They will range 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, with attached garages, master bedrooms on the main floor, and are aimed at attracting a “more independent” and somewhat younger (65ish) resident. They will be 1 1/2 to 2 stories high. A driveway off the SW Othello cul-de-sac west of Fauntleroy will lead to the garages of the units facing that street. The exteriors will include some brick, “cement wood” siding; street trees are planned on 46th, Fauntleroy, and Othello. The corner will be highlighted by an “amenity space” as required by zoning – landscaping, a bench, etc.
They’re currently in the Master Use Permit application stage with the city, seeking land-use approval, and filing soon for a building permit. They will be part of The Kenney rather than offered for sale. We asked a couple followup questions, recalling the meeting almost two years ago at which this same architecture firm discussed concepts for site redevelopment; no rezoning proposed right now, and the idea of an apartment building further west on the site is still out there, but nothing formal being pursued right now.
35TH SW PHASE 2 UPDATE: SDOT’s Jim Curtin was here to talk about 35th SW Phase 2, which we first detailed back in April. He said there’s been a “modest reduction in crashes” since Phase 1 was complete in fall 2015, and they’d like to see more of a reduction. He acknowledged that the signal timings have been less than optimal. They’ve been tweaked and “we’re seeing a pretty good flow out there” now, he said. He also acknowledged that before the timings were changed, they saw some diversion to side streets, and that, he said, has since eased.
Three quick development followups:
MORE DETAILS ON JUNCTION PROJECT: On March 30th, we brought you first word of an early-stage plan for a mixed-use project at 4508 California SW. We spoke briefly with property owner Leon Capelouto, who had no additional details to share. Since then, a document that’s appeared in city files provides a few details – a rough outline for 70 residential units, 34 parking spaces, 5,450 “commercial and back of house” square feet, which compares to the 4,690 square feet of commercial space in the buildings that would be demolished. The project remains in the early, pre-application stage.
MORE DETAILS ON AVALON PROJECT: In November, we reported on an apartment building proposed for 3084 SW Avalon Way – at the time, documents did not indicate the size or unit count. The project will be going through Administrative Design Review – no meeting, but there will be a call for public comment – and the city project page says it’s planned for 7 stories and 35 apartments, with no offstreet parking.
PROJECT AT THE KENNEY: Thanks to Mike and Colby for pointing out the signs that have gone up around the perimeter of The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW):
It’s been a year and a half since the retirement center’s management/ownership previewed their scaled-back plans for redevelopment. The notice now is for part of the plan – five townhouses in two buildings on the south side of the site. We inquired with The Kenney to find out more; spokesperson Angela Johnston replied, “The new development will include several townhomes that will be offered to people age 62+. As part of The Kenney model, those residents will pay a one-time entrance fee and a monthly fee (similar to rent), which will include a variety of services and amenities. They will essentially have the best of both worlds – living independently in a single-family home, while reaping the benefits of community life with their peers.” And she says they expect to have a timeline and more details soon about other “renovations and programming changes that are happening throughout The Kenney campus.” Meantime, the signs’ appearance and official application for the townhouse construction indicates an official comment period should be opening soon – watch the Land Use Information Bulletin. (ADDED THURSDAY: And indeed, the notice is in today’s LUIB – the comment period is open through May 9th.)
The Kenney has announced that it’s closing its skilled-nursing facility, known as its Health Center. In a news release, The Kenney’s management calls the closure part of “a new direction for care services” and says the center’s “small size … has limited what we are able to offer our residents. … In making this change, the Kenney will be joining a growing number of continuing-care retirement communities nationwide who are moving away from operating their own skilled-nursing facility on-site.”
In response to our followup questions, The Kenney’s executive director René Dumas says 15 people are currently living in the Health Center, which has 20 beds, and that almost half of them are there for “short-term stays … for rehabilitation prior to discharge to home.” The facility says the center’s residents “are being offered assistance with the transition.” That’s also what they say they’ll be doing with an unspecified number of employees who will be affected. Dumas also says that after its closure on February 1st, the area now used for skilled nursing care “will be used for memory-care services.” Elsewhere at The Kenney, Dumas adds, “We plan to use a wing that has not been used for two years as expanded assisted-living services (more care services than our existing assisted living in Lincoln Vista).”
THE KENNEY REZONE PROPOSAL: We first reported two weeks ago on retirement-housing complex The Kenney‘s plan to expand via rezoning to add an apartment building with about 40 units on the southwest side of its property, and possibly townhomes on the southeast corner (rendering above). A “contract rezone” will be required, and city online files now show that the process has begun. The official notice isn’t out yet but it’ll be at Land Use Permit #3026106.
20 APARTMENTS @ 9447 35TH SW: This early-stage proposal just appeared in city files today – 9447 35th SW (map). It would replace a small commercial building with a 20-unit apartment building including 1,200 feet of commercial space.
SW HOLDEN SUBDIVISION SITE CLEARING: Thanks to the neighbor who pointed out site-clearing for the 18-house subdivision at 2768 SW Holden (map):
The project has been in the works for at least four years (backstory here) and finally moved toward construction earlier this year after Jabooda Homes bought it for $2.2 million.
COMMENT PERIOD FOR 4754 FAUNTLEROY: Today’s edition of the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes official word of the land-use-permit application for 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW, the 7-story project with 108 apartments and 10 live-work units proposed for the former Capitol Loans site (and the parking lot north of it) at Fauntleroy/Edmunds. You have until November 2nd to comment; the notice explains how. The project still has at least one more Southwest Design Review Board meeting ahead (no date yet); it passed Early Design Guidance in August.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The senior population is growing and we don’t have the type of housing they want.”
That’s what The Kenney‘s executive director Larry Foss told about 50 people at a community meeting, explaining why the 125-year-old retirement complex north of Lincoln Park is launching a “totally new and different” expansion plan.
What he and others made clear at Thursday night’s meeting is that the plan to add some housing on the south side of their block is nothing like the “pretty grandiose plans” scrapped five years ago, leaving The Kenney with financial challenges. To underscore that, Foss stressed that “the people who (were part of that) are not a part of The Kenney any more.” The board is new, the management is different, the affiliation is different.
In 2014, The Kenney announced plans to affiliate with East Coast-based Heritage Ministries, whose CEO David Smeltzer also serves as Kenney CEO and was part of the presentation, as were architects John Shoesmith and Steve Cox.
Before getting to the new plans – which are still in their early stages, the Kenney executives said – they offered some context on their organization and what’s happened since it took over.
(WSB file photo of The Kenney)
Tomorrow (Thursday) night, the retirement center at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW is hosting a “community meeting” announced earlier this month with this description: “We want you to hear about changes that have taken place in our community over the last 18 months and to share with you some of our plans for the future.”
The meeting’s been listed in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar a while. In the past few days, The Kenney has distributed hard-copy invitations to nearby residents, prompting several to contact us about it.
This morning, we talked with Larry Foss, The Kenney’s executive director, to find out more about those “future plans.” First, we checked online files, and the only thing that’s in the city-permit system is for what he called some “internal renovations.” But, Foss said, there’s one potential project they’re considering, and want to talk with neighbors about: “Increasing the amount of independent senior housing” on The Kenney’s campus.
Right now, the “independent” housing on site is at the Ballymena Apartments on the west side of The Kenney. Foss says that 34-unit building has a waiting list, so that’s why they want to talk with neighbors as a “first step” toward a possible expansion. (In the original circa-2008 Kenney expansion plan, that building was to be demolished and new apartments were to be built around the campus. But The Kenney has gone through a lot of changes since then, including adding a memory-care unit in 2012.)
He added that the meeting is also a chance for community members to learn more about Heritage. It’s at 6:30 pm Thursday (September 29th) in the community rooms on The Kenney’s lower level, all welcome.
We’ve already previewed some of tomorrow’s big events – and here’s another: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual benefit tour, “If These Walls Could Talk,” takes you behind the scenes at The Kenney. Its century-plus-old grounds include the city-landmarked Seaview Building (with the cupola you see in our photo taken earlier this week at sunset from nearby Solstice Park). The SWSHS site has full details on the 3-5 pm tour, including a video invitation from the great-great-great nephew and niece of The Kenney’s founders Samuel and Jessie Kenney. Admission by donation, $10 for SWSHS members, $15 non-members. (The Kenney is at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW.)
Great morning for a walk (-a-thon)! In this morning’s West Seattle Tuesday preview, we mentioned the first-ever Walk-A-Thon at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), raising money for its Resident Care Fund, which helps ensure that people living there don’t have to move if their lives outlast their assets. We stopped by around midway through, and were told about 50 residents and staffers already had joined in the walk around the west lawn of The Kenney’s landmark Seaview Building.
The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has cleared all of the necessary hurdles to complete its affiliation with Heritage Ministries, a New York nonprofit, faith-based organization. As a result of the completed affiliation, the amount of The Kenney’s outstanding secured debt will be reduced almost in half from $21.3 million to $10.7 million, a reality that greatly improves The Kenney’s financial position, assuring The Kenney’s ongoing mission to serve seniors in West Seattle.
Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. The legal affiliation of the two organizations has been accomplished by way of Board control. Governance documents of The Kenney have been modified to reflect that Heritage Ministries is now responsible for the appointment of members to The Kenney Board of Directors. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors with at least 1/3 of the directors required to be residents of the State of Washington. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.
The Kenney has been operating under an administrative services agreement with Heritage since December of 2014.
It’s been a long journey for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) over the past six years, including starting and canceling a major overhaul plan. Today, a big announcement – The Kenney is affiliating with New York-based Heritage Ministries and reducing its debt. Here’s the announcement:
The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Heritage Ministries, a nonprofit, faith-based organization. Through this planned affiliation, The Kenney has also signed a purchase agreement with its current lender to purchase its outstanding debt at a 50% discount.
Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. Heritage Ministries and The Kenney intend to affiliate and to maintain the mission of serving seniors in West Seattle. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.
The level of debt incurred by The Kenney was the result of construction of a new assisted living and community space in the 2000s. The construction and loans had occurred prior to the economic downturn and current operations could not sustain that level of debt. The Kenney worked with its lender, Sovereign Bank, for several years to maintain operations and to continue to service the needs of The Kenney’s residents. Ontrac Management Services was brought in to work with The Kenney in summer 2012 after the organization had defaulted on its loan.
In Spring 2014, Sovereign Bank sold The Kenney’s loan to a private lender who agreed to honor the resident contracts and allowed the organization to continue its nonprofit status. In October 2014, the same lender notified The Kenney that it needed to sell the debt before the end of the year. Ontrac Management Services was asked by The Kenney board of directors to find a lender and/or other nonprofit organization to assist with the debt purchase.
With the affiliation plan for Heritage Ministries and The Kenney moving ahead, Ontrac Management will step out of its interim role in December. Larry Foss is being named Executive Director of The Kenney. Mr. Foss joined The Kenney in the finance department and as the licensed nursing home administrator in June 2014. He has more than a decade of experience working in senior living communities as a chief financial officer, executive director and as a nursing home administrator. Mr. Foss is also the current Chair of LeadingAge Washington, which is the nonprofit trade association for senior living and healthcare organizations.
“It has been a privilege to support The Kenney as interim management during the last two years. Our role is now coming to an end. We see that the future is bright for The Kenney in its affiliation with Heritage Ministries,” said Moraine Byrne, President of Ontrac Management Services.
In an October news release, The Kenney said the 50 percent debt reduction would bring its debt down to $10.5 million. It pursued a $150 million redevelopment project between 2008 to 2011, in the end settling on smaller changes such as creation of a Memory Unit. We asked Byrne for a little more elaboration on what “affiliation” means; she replied, “The Kenney will continue to be a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Affiliation means that the corporate member in the bylaws is Heritage Ministries and that The Kenney will continue to be governed by a volunteer board of directors. Heritage Ministries will provide management oversight too.”
(Photo courtesy The Kenney)
Among the hundreds of people who joined in the Pacific Northwest Walk to End Alzheimer’s today were four residents of The Kenney (WSB sponsor), along with staffers and family members. They raised $1,600 and walked the full two-mile route along Lake Union. Proceeds from the walk – more than $270,000, in early estimates – go toward “the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association,” according to the event website. The rise in cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia has led some retirement centers to make big changes; The Kenney added its Memory Care Community in 2012.
Thanks to Amy and Lisa for sharing the photo and report:
Gatewood Elementary third graders on Mrs. Griffin and Mr. Nowicki’s team had their poetry celebration today at The Kenney. Each student read their own original poetry on the microphone based on something they cared about. Then they gave their poems away as gifts to their Kenney friends.
We had a wonderful time making new friends and sharing our poetry.
The school and retirement center are neighbors – almost directly across Fauntleroy Way from each other.
(WSB file photo of The Kenney)
The Kenney (WSB sponsor) has announced a new “investment lender relationship” that, it says, allows the center to “remain a nonprofit, charitable organization.” Here’s the news release we received with the details:
A new investment lender relationship has been established for The Kenney. The Kenney has been seeking a new lender and/or sponsor to provide a stronger financial footing for The Kenney. Through that process, Seattle Healthcare Investors, a limited liability company, was formed, which is now the lender for The Kenney.
The new lender purchased the debt and outstanding note from the previous lender, which is exiting this sector of financial investing. This was a mutually-agreed upon transaction between the new lender and The Kenney board of directors.
PRESERVING THE PAST. PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE:
While it’s a joy to still have parent(s) around even as you approach elderhood … it can be a challenge to have tough conversations with them about changes that might be needed as the years go by. Tomorrow (Thursday) night at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), you can get some help as you prepare for those conversations with parents and/or grandparents – is it time to give up the car? Is the house getting to be “too much”? Is their health deteriorating and help needed for day-to-day life? A free seminar on “Having the Conversation” is planned for 6 pm tomorrow at The Kenney, with Moraine Byrne, who has 20+ years of experience “guiding and counseling families on how to have a meaningful and respectful conversation with aging parents,” as the official event announcement describes it. No charge, but an RSVP is appreciated – call 206-937-2800, or RSVP online here. Walk-ins will be welcome tomorrow, too, but they’d love advance notice if you’re planning to go. The Kenney is at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW (map).
Three months after The Kenney (WSB sponsor) announced it was exploring the possibility of “sponsorship” by Wesley Homes, there’s no final decision on that yet, but one change has just been made – a new interim CEO is in charge. Here’s the announcement:
William (Bill) Lange is named as the new interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for The Kenney, effective October 1, 2013. Mr. Lange assumes this interim role at the time that Ed Mawe, current interim CEO, leaves to take a new position with another retirement organization. Mr. Mawe is an employee of Ontrac Management Services and he was hired in July 2012 to act as an interim CEO. Mr. Lange is also an employee of Ontrac and has been working in a supportive operations role with Mr. Mawe, the Kenney board of directors, and staff over the past year.
“Bill is not a new face to the residents and staff at The Kenney,” said Moraine Byrne, President of Ontrac Management Services. She added, “His knowledge of the current operations and the strategic direction of The Kenney make for a smooth transition as Ed leaves to take his new career opportunity.” Mr. Mawe has accepted a position as Chief Operating Officer of Horizon House, a large retirement community located in [downtown] Seattle.
Back in April, a spokesperson for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) announced that the continuing-care retirement center was seeking a “sponsor” to take over its operations, and that there were four prospects. Three were named at the time; one of them, Wesley Homes, which operates centers in Des Moines and Auburn, is now the front-runner. Here’s the announcement just in from a representative of The Kenney:
Wesley Homes, based in Des Moines, Washington, has presented a letter of intent to further explore sponsorship of The Kenney in West Seattle. The letter of intent was presented to and accepted by The Kenney board of directors on June 4, 2013.
It is the next step in the process of completing due diligence before Wesley Homes makes a decision to become the new non-profit sponsor. Due diligence typically involves an in-depth review of the operations, physical plant, legal issues and finances, including discussions with the bank lender. The due diligence is expected to take several weeks.
Non-profit sponsors are governed by a volunteer board of directors and within the non-profit sector, the term “sponsorship” is used instead of “ownership.” The Kenney board of directors had interviewed and accepted letters of interest from four potential sponsors.
The other three organizations all cited that they were interested, but that the timing of the transaction or other factors outside of The Kenney prevented them from moving forward at this time.
In today’s complex health care environment, affiliation with another sponsor has proven to benefit senior living providers and the residents they serve. Being part of a larger sponsoring organization often presents opportunities for group purchasing of supplies and equipment resulting in significant savings. Larger sponsoring organizations also have the capacity to implement more efficient systems for billing, accounting, nursing services, dining programs, human resources and marketing.
The Kenney has been under interim management since summer 2012 and the interim management will remain in place through the sponsorship process. Interim Chief Executive Officer, Ed Mawe, with Ontrac Management Services continues to provide staff leadership. The quality services to residents continue in the fine tradition of The Kenney.
According to its website, Wesley Homes has been in operation since 1944, and is associated with the United Methodist Church.
A spokesperson for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) says it’s seeking a “sponsor” to take over its operations, and has four prospects. Here’s the announcement we just received:
The Kenney Retirement Community, located at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, is in the process of seeking a new sponsor to assume operations of the retirement community.
The Kenney board of directors has been interviewing non-profit, faith-based organizations who share a similar mission of serving seniors. Covenant Retirement Communities, Mennonite Services Northwest, Wesley Homes, and a fourth (yet to be named) have indicated interest in the potential of a transaction to become sponsors, and each is evaluating the feasibility to assume operations of The Kenney later this year.
In today’s changing health care environment, affiliation with other sponsors has proven to benefit senior living providers and the residents they serve. Benefits include group purchasing programs, efficiencies in staffing and systems, and the ability to provide a broader network of services.
Last summer, an interim CEO and Ontrac Management Services were engaged by The Kenney to assist during this transition. Ed Mawe, Interim CEO, and The Kenney board of directors have been communicating with residents, families of residents and staff frequently about the sponsorship search. Communication about the sponsorship search process has been transparent with all parties, sharing discussions about the preference to find a sponsor who shares similar values with the heritage of The Kenney.
The Kenney continues to provide quality continuing care with residential apartments, assisted living, memory care and support, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Potential sponsors have expressed their intention to continue the services and the fine tradition of care.
The Kenney marked its centennial four years ago. From 2008 through 2011, it pursued a redevelopment plan that eventually was downsized to some standalone changes including the addition of a memory-care unit, opened last year. Meantime, as for today’s announcement, we’re asking a few followup questions and will add to this story when they’re answered.
4:36 PM UPDATE: Ontrac’s Moraine Byrne has replied to our questions: No, The Kenney is “not in danger of closing. All financial obligations are being met (and it’s) operating well within budget.” She says its occupancy is also “strong.”
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
A whole lotta love flowed at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) this afternoon, during a Valentine’s Day celebration with treats and tunes. Above, Margit Killenger, Helen Gilman, and Norma Lewis were busy reading Valentines. Kermit Franks wore his – a photo of his sweetheart Faye, who died last year:
Months before Mrs. Franks’ death, the couple celebrated their 70th-anniversary .
The Kenney’s residents are loved by the staff, too – activity director Denise O’Toole had a smile for Kenney resident May Commeree:
Love-ly music filled The Kenney’s commujnity room, courtesy of Sid Law:
He had a rapt audience:
The Kenney itself was created from an act of loving kindness – as told in its history here.
Though today’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is wrapping up along Lake Union right about now, it had West Seattle representation – this group headed out this morning from The Kenney (WSB sponsor). Participants included residents and staffers. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the walk’s beneficiary, 35 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s worldwide, and this is National Alzheimer’s Month – find out more here.
Residents and staff at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) have been getting to know new CEO Ed Mawe over the past few weeks, but tonight was the first big public event at which he appeared – the continuing-care retirement center’s annual barbecue.
Mawe joined The Kenney last month, not long after the departure of previous CEO Kevin McFeely. That’s according to information provided tonight by Moraine Byrne, president of Ontrac Management Services, part of Covenant Retirement Services, an Illinois-based firm also recently hired by The Kenney, to help with management and positioning. Byrne tells WSB that Mawe has “many years of serving senior adults in the Tacoma and Portland areas.” Online research shows Mawe’s past leadership roles include tenures at Franke Tobey Jones in Tacoma and Mary’s Woods in Portland.
Back to the barbecue – The Kenney’s park-like northwest lawn provided shade, both trees and tents, and a chance for residents, relatives, and neighbors to enjoy each other’s company.
The barbecue is an annual August tradition.
And another 4th of July story emerges … this one likely to make you smile. Another parade – one we didn’t hear about till The Kenney (WSB sponsor) sent photos today, along with this report:
We’re all a “Kid at Heart” on the Fourth of July!
The Kenney Retirement Home in West Seattle celebrates their very first “Fourth of July Parade”! Residents decorated their own “wheelchair floats” complete with balloons, streamers, stars, sparkle flags and fun flair – balloon fashioned hats, drums, and more. The Kenney residents received honks and waves from passing cars and local West Seattle residents as they made their way down Fauntleroy.
The festivities began with a flag ceremony from a local Boy Scout Troop, Pack 282, led by troop leader Eric Linxweiler, followed by a carnival celebration in our Community Rooms; which included fishing games, bean bag toss, horseshoes, and face painting. It was a great day to be had by all seniors living at The Kenney!
Amy Seebeck, Director of Activities, and all the Activities Staff
So with the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade (WSB coverage here) and the 32nd SW Bike Parade (noted here, thanks to info/photos from neighbors), that makes at least three parades yesterday – anybody else?