Northwest Asian Weekly
Aegis Living, a Redmond-based assisted living provider administering over two dozen properties in Washington, California, and Nevada, is moving forward with plans to break ground for a new culturally Chinese retirement facility near Bellevue, modeled after its successful Aegis Gardens in Fremont, Calif.
The property, named Aegis Gardens of Newcastle, will feature English, Mandarin, and Cantonese speaking staff and luxury amenities, including a Chinese apothecary, Chinese gardens, koi ponds, tai chi, grocery store, farmers’ market, acupuncturists, and more. It will be located on a six-acre property on the shore of Lake Boren, adjacent to shopping centers, a movie theatre, and a golf course.
“The natural setting of the property is wonderful,” said Michael Derr, vice president of development, at a 2012 event. “But it is also located within a block of the commercial center of Newcastle, which includes a new King County Library, the new Valley Medical Center Clinic, and wonderful restaurants and other shopping. …So this location should have something to offer to just about everyone.”
A spot at the $40 million property will start at $3,500 a month. Eight spots have already been reserved, despite no marketing push and the project not yet underway. Reservations can be made with a fully refundable $1,000 deposit.
The property is also attractive to foreign investors. Aegis Living has already met with multiple Chinese companies interested in investing capital in the property and has more meetings scheduled.
Construction is expected to commence in the fall, roughly a year and a half after Aegis Living founder and CEO Dwayne Clark hosted a launch party at his Seattle-area home to recruit an advisory board to offer advice on cultural issues.
The board, made up of Alaric Bien, Dennis Su, Fred Crosetto, LoYu Sun, Mike Jiang, Shiao-Yen Wu, Walter Liang, YP Chan, and Dr. I-Jen Chen, met in February to review the architectural plans, facility layout, and facility materials and programing.
The community will include a mix of modern and traditional Chinese design that will include elements of wood, metal, and water.
“Public interest is high for this very first Chinese focused senior living community in the Pacific Northwest,” Advisory Board member Dennis Su said. “The Advisory Board was excited about the progress and look forward to the next phase of development and ground breaking.”
As part of the planning and design stages, Aegis Living hired feng shui expert Andrew Wong to consult on the placement of trees and water. The facility will also be home to a professional on-site chef and feature programing aimed at a multi-generational audience, as Aegis Living attempts to create a cultural center for the Eastside.
Aegis Gardens of Newcastle will also include a daycare and have the ability to host weddings.
According to Aegis Living research, nearly half of the 72,000 Chinese Americans in Puget Sound live within two miles of their future facility.
“The design reflects a good balance between modern living style and traditional Chinese culture,” Advisory Board member Mike Jiang said. “To me, the most exciting part of the design is the club house, which can serve as the Asian community center on the Eastside. We have a huge Asian population on the Eastside, but there is not a nice place where a large group of people can get together for special events and still enjoy genuine Asian/Chinese food with good service. I hope Aegis Garden becomes the center of Asian community on the Eastside.”
The inspiration for the Newcastle facility came from the company’s success of their first culturally Chinese facility in California, which has been 100 percent occupied over the past seven years.
“I’m really proud to be a part of this exciting project which will bring a new and unique resource for seniors to our community,” said Advisory Board member Alaric Bien. “The specs and plans that we have seen so far show a dedication to making it the best, most culturally appropriate senior living community on the West Coast — a place you would be proud to place your parents.” (end)
For more information, visit www.aegisliving.com.
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