Aegis eyes Newcastle for new, unique retirement community

June 6, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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A unique retirement community is coming to the shores of Lake Boren within the next few years.

Aegis Living, a Redmond-based company that offers senior housing, is set to build Aegis Gardens, an assisted living and memory care residence geared toward the Asian community.

The company already has a similar facility in Fremont, Calif., but Aegis Gardens of Newcastle will be the first of its kind in the state of Washington.

Courtesy of Aegis Living An artist rendering shows plans for a unique retirement community inspired by the Asian culture that is set to open on the shore of Lake Boren in a few years.

Courtesy of Aegis Living
An artist rendering shows plans for a unique retirement community inspired by the Asian culture that is set to open on the shore of Lake Boren in a few years.

“The Fremont location is one of our most successful communities with occupancy almost always at 100 percent,” said Jennifer Hall, Aegis Living’s director of marketing. “We felt that after the number of years of having the community there, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, that it might be time to do another community elsewhere.”

The facility will offer the same high quality assisted living and memory care that the company is known for with an added emphasis on the Chinese culture, which will be reflected in everything from the building’s construction to the staff, Hall said.

Staff members will speak Mandarin or Cantonese and serve Asian-inspired meals. Residents will also be able to enjoy activities such as calligraphy, games and tea service.

“It’s very family oriented,” Hall said. “The residents and the staff themselves create programs around what is preferred. So, we will have things like tai chi and mahjong. It’s all just very Asian-culture centric.”

Construction has yet to begin on the project, but the facility’s design will mirror elements of the Asian culture.

“We made sure it followed feng shui, and we used the correct colors because colors mean something specific in the culture,” Hall said.

Aegis Gardens of Newcastle is expected to be a bit different than the Fremont location, largely because the new community has more room to work with, Hall said. The company envisions the Newcastle site as more of a village, complete with daycare for children and event space for families to use for weddings or birthdays.

“We’re really looking at this village as a community center for the larger Asian community, both on the Eastside and across the lake and the city,” she said.

A majority of the residents at the Fremont location are Chinese, but the community is home to people that span a variety of Asian cultures, she said.

Newcastle was chosen after extensive market and demographic research to determine an ideal location for Aegis Gardens. The company found that about 72,000 people of Chinese descent live in the Puget Sound area, and roughly half of them live within 2 miles of Newcastle, along the Interstate 405 corridor, according to Michael Derr, Aegis Living’s vice president of development.

In addition, the Fremont location has shown that residents will travel miles, even several states away, to join such a specialized community, Derr wrote in an email.

“We think we have hit on a special housing and services need with this particular group,” he said.

As the company works with the city and state to obtain the proper permits for the site, Derr estimated it would be about 15 months before Aegis is approved to start construction. After that, it would take another 16 to 18 months, depending on the weather, to finish the project, meaning Aegis Gardens of Newcastle is still a few years away.

“It will be a new experience for us, but we really believe that it will be something that isn’t available right now,” Hall said.

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2 Responses to “Aegis eyes Newcastle for new, unique retirement community”

  1. Aegis breaks ground on region’s only Chinese-focused retirement community : Newcastle News – News , Sports, Classifieds in Newcastle, WA on July 30th, 2015 9:20 pm

    […] With an occupancy rate at 100 percent, the Fremont location has shown that residents will travel miles, even several states away, to join such a specialized community, Michael Derr, Aegis Living’s vice president of development, told the Newcastle News in 2013. […]

  2. Aegis breaks ground on region’s only Chinese-focused retirement community facility in nearby Newcastle : The Issaquah Press – News, Sports, Classifieds and More in Issaquah, WA on July 30th, 2015 9:24 pm

    […] With an occupancy rate at 100 percent, the Fremont location has shown that residents will travel miles, even several states away, to join such a specialized community, Michael Derr, Aegis Living’s vice president of development, told the Newcastle News in 2013. […]

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