Bayview originally opened in 1961 in its current Queen Anne location. Photo by Joe Veyera
Bayview originally opened in 1961 in its current Queen Anne location. Photo by Joe Veyera

In 1961, Bayview Retirement Community opened its doors at the corner of Queen Anne Avenue North and West Aloha Street.

Now, as the building nears the age range of the residents it houses, some long discussed renovations are about to get underway, as the facility continues into its next half-century in the neighborhood.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) approved the issuance of $65 million in tax-exempt bonds earlier this year for substantial upgrades and additions, as part of more than $200 million in financing to construct or preserve nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing statewide.

Bayview Chief Financial Officer Joyce Doucet said the work is about four years in the making, but the topic been discussed in passing for even longer.

Among the main facets of the impending renovation are much-needed electrical, mechanical, and seismic upgrades to the 55-year old building, along with a two-story addition over part of current parking lot, which will house both assisted living and memory care residents. A secure courtyard will also be part of that addition.

“That’s something that we need so we can better serve those people who have those needs,” Doucet said.

Meanwhile, the electrical and mechanical improvements will also allow residents to eventually have washing machines, dryers, and ovens in their apartments, something that’s not currently feasible.

But along with the more technical work are additional and upgraded amenities. That includes a new fitness center and bigger pool, more dining options for residents, and a renovated top floor common area that already sports sweeping views of the city.

“It’s called Bayview for a reason,” she said.

The funding for the project comes through the WSHFC’s nonprofit housing bond program, which provides 501(c)(3) organizations that include housing in their mission with access to tax-exempt bond financing. The bonds can be used to finance housing facilities wholly owned by the organization, with the caveat that the facility furthers the charitable purpose of the nonprofit.

“It certainly gives them access to financing that is lowest cost than they would otherwise be able to access,” Graham said.

Graham said this particular program isn’t tremendously competitive, but there are many requirements that applicants have to meet.

Doucet mentioned that among the stipulations is that Bayview must offer a certain number of low-income units, something she said is already done.

With the financing secured, Doucet said that after a site visit from investors, bond sales will close on Aug. 3, after which construction will begin. 

“Bayview’s been here for 55 years, and we want to be here for another 55 years,” Doucet said. “We really needed to update and renovate, because it was a really aged building, and we’re really excited to continue to provide the services to seniors in Queen Anne.”

 

For more information on the WSHFC, visit www.wshfc.org. To learn more about Bayview, go to www.bayviewseattle.org.