The Old Messenger House Being Reborn as Cutting Edge Retirement Center
The historic Messenger House Care Center, which has sat dormant for the past several years, is being transformed into the island’s newest memory care and independent and assisted living facility.
Fieldstone Memory Care, together with local partners, purchased the building and grounds last year and is planning to invest up to $33 million on the renovation project. Kennewick, WA based Fieldstone operates 11 similar facilities in Washington and Oregon, including a 200-bed property in Silverdale.
Located on a bluff in Rolling Bay at 10861 Manitou Park Blvd NE, Messenger House was closed in 2018. It was founded in the 1960s and some of the buildings on its six-acre property date back to the early 1900s when it was part of a resort/hotel community.
The former Moran building, at one time a boy’s school, and later a military academy for young men, dates back to 1923 and was adjacent to the former nursing home. After unsuccessful attempts to save the historic structure, it was torn down in October 2017.
Fieldstone, which began operations five years ago, plans to open its newly remodeled memory care wing at the former Messenger House sometime in mid-July.
“Normally, we would come in and build our own facility,” said Candy Lee, Community Relations Director for Fieldstone’s Bainbridge and Silverdale operations. “But there were people on the island that didn’t want to see Messenger House go because of (its) history”.
Bainbridge Island’s historic building permitting process does not allow Fieldstone to build beyond Messenger House’s existing footprint, making the renovated structure smaller than the company’s other facilities.
The memory care section, aimed at serving people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, will include 35 apartments, and will be able to accommodate up to 39 residents. Under Fieldstone’s patient plan, potential residents pay a one-time “community fee” of $5,000 and a monthly rent of $7,950 for a private room and $5,150 for a shared room.
Once the Memory Care wing is open, it will join the Madrona House, at 8800 Madison Avenue N., as the only other island facility offering Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Lee is hoping to hold an open house in early July to promote its new facility.
Later this year, Fieldstone is hoping to receive building permits from the City of Bainbridge Island and then break ground on its assisted and independent living wings. Lee said the company is targeting the summer of 2022 to open those sections.
Those 46 residential units will be built on three floors and include studios, and one and two bedroom apartments. Monthly rents range will from $4,700 to $5,600 for independent living, and $6,900 to $10,000 a month for assisted living.
Fieldstone is building in a number of amenities to attract residents and make them feel comfortable, Lee noted. These include an outdoor terrace, movie theater, gym and art studio on the garden level and a viewing deck, game room, and fireside room with a coffee bistro on the main floor.
A Sky lounge with a deck overlooking the water is planned for the third floor. “This will be like a real restaurant and a lounge where (residents and visitors) can order a cocktail, if desired,” said Lee. A library is also planned on the same floor.
Unlike some retirement community, Fieldstone does not accept Medicare contracts; although it does negotiate with some long-term care insurance programs, Lee said. For more information on Fieldstone Memory Care visit FieldstoneBainbridge.com or contact Lee at (360) 271-2530.