Believe it or not, E Madison has quite a bit to offer an assisted living community. Aegis Living is slated to open its newest facility in January at 22nd and Madison — called Aegis on Madison — and general manager Rob Liebreich said the company couldn’t be happier with the location.
“There’s been a transition in this area has really picked up in terms of its reputation and desirability,” Liebreich said. “Five years back we probably wouldn’t have built this community where we’re building it now.”
CHS first reported on the Aegis plans for what was an empty lot back in 2010.
Now that the 20-somethings who came to Capitol Hill in the 80s and 90s have parents entering retirement, the demand for retirement facilities in Capitol Hill is bound to grow. Liebreich said today’s seniors are looking for better quality of life amenities than past generations when choosing where to retire. Restaurants and museums are a draw, as are churches, synagogues, and easy access to hospitals — assets that all went into Aegis’s decision to move to Capitol Hill.
“Capitol Hill has established itself as a place for work, which allows people to think about having their folks stay here or live here,” Liebreich said.
The project also is part of the push of tall E Madison developments deeper from the First Hill medical zone and Capitol Hill’s dense core. While some projects remain in limbo, others like Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s growth plan are bubbling beneath the surface, while still others like the Lawrence Lofts are complete and active new housing communities.
When Aegis holds its grand opening on January 18th, it will also be opening two public businesses: a market and a cafe with a separate street entrance. Liebreich tells CHS the Queen Bee Cafe will focus on offering coffee, hot chocolate, and crumpets. Aegis founder Dwayne Clark named the cafe after his mother, who was nicknamed the “Queen Bee” while living in one of her son’s retirement communities. To further honor Clark’s mother, the cafe will be donating a portion of its proceeds to local charities. Madison Mercantile, to be located inside Aegis, will be a stand alone gift shop. Liebreich said both businesses are intended to also be neighborhood destinations.
Aegis is a Redmond-based company that opened its first facility in 1997. It currently operates 30 locations across Washington, Nevada, and California.
While Aegis communities have some fairly independent residents, the focus is on assisted living and memory care, which includes specialized care for those with more progressive dementia.
The seven-story building has 104 apartments, and Aegis has already started accepting down payments.
Aegis stands out in the assisted living facilities industry for its focus on upscale decor and amenities, as well as for holding some non-traditional events for their residents (there is a video on their website featuring a senior Woodstock”). Aegis on Madison will be equipped with a “man cave” with TVs and a sports ticker, as well as a retro-themed walking area complete with a classic car. There is also a movie theater which opens up into a large activity space that can accommodate speakers — pretty much perfect for Pike/Pine hipsters entering their later years.
The Memory Care Deck seems a little cheesy, and the discussion about “improving reputation” in a rapidly gentrifying area with all that that entails seems a little tone-deaf. But massive kudos for having first-floor retail open to the street and the general public. And even massive-er kudos for selling crumpets!!
Cost? Cost? Anyone?
For example: For a 78 year old living on $1400 per month social security, having exhausted all assets due to buying medical insurance for 23 years, no having no assets and finally eligible for medicaid, what would the cost be? Could this senior be housed in this facility? When my father went to Cannon House the answer was yes, but the facility took all his Social Security save a $23 or so per month personal allowance for toiletries, all his VA benefits, his medicaid and COPES payments. Can someone from Aegis crunch the numbers as far as will real elders from the area be able to reside here?