The Kenney – West Seattle Blog… West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 15 Aug 2018 01:30:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Morgan Community Association: The Kenney’s rowhouses; what’s next for 35th SW; HALA appeal; more… Thu, 19 Jul 2018 03:56:47 +0000 From the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting, which just wrapped up at The Kenney, itself a major agenda item:

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.

North of Morgan, 35th has 25,000+ vehicles a day, and that’s a big reason why they’re not rechannelizing, he said. He reiterated – as we’ve reported – that left-turn signals are in the works for 35th/Barton, and that 35th/Graham has a signal planned as part of the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project, hopefully getting it built in 2019.

He had new details about 35th/Juneau – noting that Metro has recently discontinued service at the stops there, reducing pedestrian usage at the intersection – and distributing a handout saying work will start as soon as late July on curb-ramp installation, turn restrictions, and left-turn lanes. On-street parking will be removed near the intersection – at least 20 spaces, Curtin said when we asked. The work has to be complete by October 1st, he said. He promised there’ll be an announcement as soon as work is about to begin. Here’s what is being sent to area residents (there’ll be door-knocking too):

And he recapped that a signal is going in at 35th/Dawson, where there have been concerns over the years from people getting to and from Camp Long. New paving east of 35th on Dawson, too “so the entrance to Camp Long is going to get some substantial touchups that are badly needed,” Curtin said. This part of the project should be done by year’s end, he said. “Hopefully we can (eventually) remember ‘I-35’ as a (relic) of the past,” he summarized.

Q&A included whether more speed or red-light cameras might be in the works. Right now, short answer, no, though they are “incredibly effective” at changing behavior, he said – for example, the city’s three-dozen-plus red-light camera intersections have seen a 40% reduction in crashes. The city is trying to get expanded authorization for more use of enforcement cameras but the proposals get stuck in Olympia, Curtin said.

HALA MHA APPEAL UPDATE: MoCA is one of the neighborhood groups that’s party to the citywide appeal of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the city’s Mandatory Housing Afforability plan. President Deb Barker provided an update on where the hearing on the appeal stands. She noted that the Hearing Examiner’s early rulings included a dismissal of consideration of the impacts that ferry-related traffic has on Morgan Junction traffic. The hearing took a full week in late June, and there are three more weeks ahead – non-consecutive weeks in July, August, and September, all open to the public. “It’s a huge thing,” as Barker put it. Witnesses for the appeal so far have included experts on legislative, policy, tree canopy, and more; former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck spent almost a full day testifying, she noted. The coalition has pointed out omissions in the city reports, too, she said. So the coalition is trying to get the word out about the issues those omissions raise. Displacement, pointed out one attendee – bringing it back to The Kenney’s project, “replacing six medium-income units with five high-end units.” Asked about ongoing negotiations, Barker said she had no details on talks between SCALE and the mayor’s office – the second mediation meeting, she said.

QUICK UPDATES: … The Morgan mural restoration is complete (as we reported and showed here), aside from a commemorative plaque … Litter League continues its Morgan Junction cleanups (next one, August 5th – details in our calendar listing) … West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) raised $524 for the Morgan Junction Community Festival fund at its benefit barbecue on festival day …Cindi Barker announced upcoming communitywide preparedness information sessions in October and November …

SPEAKING OF THE MORGAN FESTIVAL: Last month’s festival finished $700+ in the black, said outgoing MoCA treasurer Eldon Olson. That was in no small part due to $4,000 or so in support from 15 or so local businesses (WSB was among the co-sponsors – here’s our as-it-happened coverage). Otherwise, it was a “fantastic festival (with) perfect weather,” Olson declared. The kids’ activities expanded this year – 3 face painters and 2 balloon artists (plus, of course, Bubbleman). A magician will be added for next year, and MoCA would love to have more members for the planning committee!

MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: Seattle Parks was at the festival collecting input on potential design concepts, followed up by an online survey, as we reported here last month. They’re hoping to hear about next steps soon.

NEW TREASURER: Michael Brunner has been appointed as MoCA’s new treasurer, succeeding Olson.

NEW OPERATIONS LIEUTENANT: Lt. Steve Strand attended his first MoCA meeting as second in command of the Southwest Precinct, having succeeded retired Lt. Ron Smith three weeks ago.

NEXT MEETING: MoCA’s fall-quarter meeting will be the third Wednesday in October, 7 pm at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW).

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DEVELOPMENT FOLLOWUPS: 4508 California SW; 3084 Avalon Way; The Kenney Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:59:27 +0000 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.)


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‘New direction’ at The Kenney will bring closure of its skilled-nursing facility Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:00:51 +0000 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).”

It’s been more than a year since The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW) announced some other changes, including redevelopment plans for part of its site, still proceeding through the city system.

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West Seattle development: The Kenney’s rezone; new apartments near 35th/Roxbury; South Delridge townhouses; 2 more notes Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:43:46 +0000 Development notes:


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.

8 TOWNHOUSES @ 9225-9229 16TH SW: An early-stage proposal for this South Delridge site (map) calls for four 2-unit townhouse buildings, two fronting 16th, two right behind them, replacing a duplex.

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.

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‘New and different’ expansion plan in the works for The Kenney Mon, 03 Oct 2016 20:03:05 +0000 img_6724
(Early-stage concept for expansion of The Kenney – the light-green-shaded buildings at bottom of image)

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.

Heritage Ministries was founded in 1886 with roots in the Free Methodist Church, with five facilities in western New York state, and now The Kenney here. It serves 900 seniors and employs more than 1,000 people across its now-six locations, Smeltzer said. The Kenney was “a good fit with our faith-based mission.”

He was clear that without Heritage stepping in to “bring some stability” to The Kenney, negotiating “fairly significant” debt reduction (described at the time as halving its debt to $10 million) and providing “cash-flow advances,” “The Kenney probably would not be here today in its present state.” In Heritage’s view, it had been hit hard by the 2008 recession, more assisted-living competition in this area, and changing demand for senior housing.

They see an opportunity with Seattle’s population continuing to grow and baby-boom-age residents “soon to need services.” The only part of The Kenney that has the type of independent-living units that are much in demand, the Ballymena Apartments, has a waiting list, while other parts of the center do not.

In addition to looking ahead to an expansion, they’ve been “strategically combining smaller units to make larger apartments with preferred amenities – full kitchens, nicer bathrooms, more (ADA) accessibility.”

That’s changed their assisted-living capacity – 13 units in the Garden Court have been closed for revamping, as they’re looking at changes to the memory-care unit, moving it to the lower level of The Kenney’s newer building, and downsizing from 13 to 10 units. Their semi-private skilled-nursing rooms will be converted to private rooms.

Near the entrance, they’re planning a new dining space, with “more accessibility to the community,” and they’re working on elevator improvements.

After that overview, architect Cox talked about the future plans: “Our goal is to try to build more of what people want” – 800 to 900-square-foot units like those in the Ballymena.

He first listed to an attendee who said he had come to the meeting “with some trepidation that so far has been mollified but not eliminated” because of the 2008 plan that seemed like “a foreign invasion into our neighborhood.”

In response, Cox explained the site’s split zoning – part Lowrise 3, which allows structures of about three stories, while the other part is Lowrise 1: “Part of the effort here is going to be to try to correct the zoning that means much of this campus is non-conforming.” (The 2008 plan also was going to include rezoning.) Through the “contract rezone” process, tying the rezoning to a specific plan, they propose rezoning the southernmost section of The Kenney’s properties to LR3 (most of the area currently holds duplex/triplexes that are being rented out and would be demolished).

The new units would number about 40. In response to the next round of concerns, the architects said parking and services would be provided via the roundabout at the current main entrance, and they anticipate fewer deliveries since these are independent living units with their own kitchens.

To cover parking for guests as well as residents, the new units would have offstreet parking at “a little over one per unit.”

This would all be accomplished via an L-shaped building on the southwest corner of the site, with parking below, three stories stepping with the grade.

Another concern assuaged: The “park” garden area on the northwest side of the property is NOT proposed for change. But they do want to work on pathways and flow around the site so that these new units would have a pathway to enjoy that area, to “connect to amenity spaces.”

Then on the southeast corner of the property, they would look at building rowhouse/townhouse units, 4 to 8 of them, because they feel that relates better to the single-family development across the streets on both sides of the corner.

Next community concern: The 2008 plan drew some wrath for a lack of setbacks. The architects promised the expansion would have 10-to-15-foot setbacks, “maybe more … you want a bit of front yard for townhouses/rowhouses.”

Other concerns included height and a plea that the architects would “be more imaginative in exteriors than the current residential units that are going up. If what you do looks like the high-rise apartments up toward The Junction, you’re not going to get community support.”

A woman who identified herself as the family member of a memory-care resident said she was worried about moving “severely impaired people” to a new space, especially one that seemed to be in a basement. Architect Shoesmith said they were designing the space to have more light, and to create “a household” with a living room, kitchen, and connection to the outdoors.

(WSB file photo of the Seaview Building)

Concerns were voiced about The Kenney’s iconic Seaview Building, the cupola-topped building that was designated a city landmark while last decade’s redevelopment proposal – which at one point proposed demolishing it – was still active.

Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society urged the landmarks to “take into account the charm and grandeur of the Seaview Building and not wall it off – enhance The Kenney’s brand architecturally.”

Architect Cox acknowledged they hadn’t considered that yet – “it would be further into the process.”

Another attendee voiced hopes that SW Othello would be a primary entrance/exit, as the Myrtle route requires “get(ting) your reflexes going well to exit correctly.”

A Ballymena Apartments resident said she felt “reassured” at how this expansion is being handled, so far, compared to what she called the “2008 debacle” that was “shoved down our throats.”

Cox reiterated, “This is obviously a much-smaller-scale effort we’re looking at, not an ambitious effort.”

It also is not on a fast track, in part because of how much longer it’s taking to get city permits with the continuing development boom citywide – it could take up to four years before getting to the construction phase. The rezone alone could be an 18-months-or-so process, and they don’t want to “do a lot of design” until that’s in hand. Once they do get to the design phase, they expect the project to go through Design Review.

Meantime, they are continuing to work on The Kenney’s financial stability. CEO Smeltzer said that they had hoped to be “breaking even” by the end of last year, but now they’re projecting that will happen “on a monthly basis starting next January.” They’ve worked on a lot “to turn a corner – I think we’re turning,” he added.

Executive director Foss said again that they want to be “good neighbors” and that there will be more community meetings as this process goes along, in addition to the mandatory public hearings that will come with a rezoning request.

You can watch permit activity for the site via the city website, here. WSB coverage of The Kenney is archived here.

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Why The Kenney is having a community meeting Thursday night Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:32:55 +0000

(WSB file photo of The Kenney)

Five years after shelving what was once a major redevelopment plan, and one year after finalizing a new “affiliation” and halving its debt, The Kenney is taking the next step into its future.

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.

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SATURDAY: Tour The Kenney with Southwest Seattle Historical Society Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:00:32 +0000 kenneynightfall

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.)

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West Seattle scene: Residents at The Kenney walk to help neighbors Tue, 18 Aug 2015 21:03:31 +0000

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.

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‘New era’ as The Kenney finalizes Heritage Ministries affiliation Wed, 13 May 2015 07:36:17 +0000 Six months after we reported on the plan for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) to affiliate with Heritage Ministries and halve its debt, it’s final, according to this announcement:

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.

Through this agreement, Heritage provides such services as financial accounting, accounts payable processing, resident billing, and human resources support, as well as other strategic planning and operational oversight. Heritage President and CEO David Smeltzer will also serve as the President and CEO of The Kenney, with Larry Foss, current Executive Director of The Kenney, continuing to provide the day-to-day, on-site management of The Kenney operations.

The affiliation between The Kenney and Heritage is not an uncommon occurrence these days. With ever-decreasing reimbursement streams, rising costs of overhead and employee benefits, and increasing requirements for government compliance; it is becoming more difficult for smaller, stand-alone organizations to survive without affiliating in some fashion with a larger system. President Smeltzer says, “Heritage was already ranked as the 134th-largest, not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, according to a publication from the investment banking firm Ziegler. With the affiliation of The Kenney, Heritage would now be ranked in the top 100.” But he is also quick to point out that, “It’s not about growing Heritage so much as it is about assuring the ongoing, faith-based ministry of The Kenney and others like them.”

An event (on Tuesday) at The Kenney honored outgoing Board Members, recognized new and returning Board Members, and formally recognized the Heritage affiliation. Executive Director Larry Foss says, “We are excited about being part of the Heritage system. They are well respected in the communities they serve, and because they are a larger organization, they are able to bring expertise and experience to The Kenney that will assist us in moving forward. Residents and staff alike have expressed their excitement about this new era for The Kenney.”

The Kenney, located at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, offers retirement housing options for seniors who are still independent as well as assisted living, memory care, and rehab and skilled nursing. For more information about The Kenney call 206-937-2800 or visit their website at

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New affiliation, reduced debt, leadership change for The Kenney Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:40:24 +0000

(File photo)
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.”

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Group from The Kenney raises $1,600 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:55:59 +0000

(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.

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Another author event: Gatewood Elementary students read poems at The Kenney Sat, 03 May 2014 01:19:20 +0000

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.

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The Kenney’s future: New ‘investment lender relationship’ Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:47:53 +0000

(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.


The Kenney remains a non-profit, charitable organization with the same mission of caring for seniors in West Seattle. More than a century ago, The Kenney was founded on faith principles of care and compassion. With our new collaborative relationship with the limited liability company, The Kenney’s mission roots are acknowledged and affirmed; while at the same time, enabling us to efficiently prepare for the future of aging services and the seniors who will need housing and services. We refer to this as “Preserving the past. Preparing for the future.”

We are moving into another century of service and we are pleased that the interim management of Ontrac will transition to a longer-term relationship. The lead position at The Kenney will now be called Executive Director and we will hire a new person to replace Bill Lange, who is currently serving as Interim CEO. When a new Executive Director is hired, we will introduce that person to you. However, Bill will continue to provide support to The Kenney, along with others from the Ontrac management team. Through our ongoing relationship with Ontrac, we will have access to a number of well established senior care services and systems which we do not currently have.

We have asked a few followup questions and will add the answers when we receive them.

ADDED 4:41 PM: We asked The Kenney spokesperson Moraine Byrne for more information on the new LLC, since we couldn’t find it in Washington state corporation records. Her reply: “Seattle Healthcare Investors, LLC is a newly formed corporation just for the purpose of holding the debt on The Kenney. They were incorporated in Delaware but their purpose is to provide the lender relationship for The Kenney. The name of the person with the LLC is Ted McMullan and he lives in Georgia. He is simply the investor lender and will not be the operator nor part of the nonprofit board.” The loan amount, Byrne says, “is essentially the same as what the previous bank loan was, which is just over $21 million dollars.”

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Time for a tough talk with your parent(s)? Get help tomorrow Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:38:38 +0000 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).

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New interim CEO for West Seattle retirement center The Kenney Thu, 05 Sep 2013 01:11:14 +0000 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.

Mr. Lange has been a Vice President with Ontrac since fall 2011. Prior to that appointment, he served as Executive Director of Covenant Village of Colorado, one of 12 continuing care retirement campuses within Covenant Retirement Communities. Before joining Covenant Retirement Communities, Mr. Lange’s career included leadership positions in acute urban, rural and multi-hospital systems, a medical and rehabilitation post-acute care hospital, and three additional continuing care retirement communities. Mr. Lange holds a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Washington University, St. Louis, MO., and is accredited as a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives. In the interim CEO role at The Kenney, Mr. Lange remains an employee of Ontrac Management, the organization which has been retained by The Kenney Board of Directors to provide management for the West Seattle retirement community.

The Kenney continues to explore sponsorship by Wesley Homes, based in Des Moines, Washington. Wesley Homes began its due diligence in June and is expected to complete its process in the next several weeks. Due diligence typically involves an in-depth review of the operations, physical plant, legal issues and finances, including discussions with the bank lender. 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.”

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