Gig Harbor To Welcome 17-Acre, $180-Million Retirement Community Targeted For 2017

Heron's Key will feature 170 independent living apartments, 10 duplex-style cottages, 12 assisted living suites, and 45 skilled nursing private rooms — all managed by Emerald Communities. It will be located in the Harbor Hill area.

Redmond, Washington-based Emerald Communities is developing a new retirement community, Heron’s Key, in Gig Harbor.

Upon completion, which is targeted for 2017, Heron’s Key will be Gig Harbor’s first and only Type A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with true life care.  Emerald Communities has an agreement to purchase a 17-acre site, located in the Harbor Hill area of Gig Harbor North, from Olympic Property Group.  The senior living not-for-profit organization hired Des Moines, IA-based Life Care Services as a development consultant to assist with the process.

Plans for the $180 million campus development, which will be built in two phases, include 170 independent living apartments, 10 duplex-style cottages, 12 assisted living suites, and 45 skilled nursing private rooms — all managed by Emerald Communities.  Depending on demand, additional residences and health care suites may be added at a future time.

Feasibility studies for Heron’s Key are complete, and Bremerton, Washington-based architecture firm Rice Fergus Miller, which specializes in senior housing design, is working on the community’s master plan.  The project is currently going through the City of Gig Harbor’s design review process.

Heron’s Key will be the second life care community owned and operated by Emerald Communities, which has managed Emerald Heights in Redmond for over two decades.  With Heron’s Key, Emerald Communities will provide jobs for approximately 130 full-time employees.

“We’ve had our eye on Gig Harbor for a while.  With its modern hospital, expanding retail amenities and walkable areas, it’s a promising location for a new retirement community,” said Lisa Hardy, president and CEO of Emerald Communities.  “As with Emerald Heights, we’re committed to providing future residents with the unmatched financial security and peace of mind afforded by a life care community.  Plus, the addition of Heron’s Key will allow us to recruit and retain highly talented staff.”

As a life care community, a one-time entrance fee and monthly fee at Heron’s Key will pay for lifetime use of an independent living residence and future health care provided in the community’s health center, including assisted living, skilled nursing and memory support, if needed. 

Beyond providing housing and medical care for seniors age 62 and older, Heron’s Key will feature walkable green space and a host of additional services and amenities, such as restaurant-style dining, a fitness center, wellness programs, and social, cultural and educational opportunities.  The community will be within walking distance of the Gig Harbor YMCA, as well as near the Harbor Hill retail center which includes Costco, Target and a growing number of stores and restaurants.

Heron’s Key is currently accepting deposits as part of its “priority program.”  Members submit a $1,000 refundable deposit to be among the first to select their future home from more than 10 different floor plans available later this year.  “In the meantime, priority members will be able to review community plans as they are developed, as well as meet other depositors who are considering Heron’s Key during information sessions planned for the coming months,” said Hardy. 

Gig Harbor was recognized by Smithsonian magazine as one of the top five small towns in America.  It is increasingly becoming a retirement destination for its access to cultural amenities, the outdoors, and year-round events and activities.

Heron’s Key will be located on the south side of Borgen Boulevard, between Harbor Hill Drive and Peacock Hill Avenue.  The Emerald Communities Information Center is located at 5727 Baker Way NW, Suite #103.  For more information, visit www.theemeraldcommunities.org.

Joseph February 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM
This is great news. Welcome to our community!
Margot Leroy May 18, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Just curious about the financial viability of this company......I assume that information will also be provided?


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