A dementia care home on Capitol Hill is preparing to close after the facility’s nonprofit owner announced Wednesday it was selling the 17th and E Madison property likely to be coveted by developers despite its possible landmark status.
Since it was opened by Full Life Care in 2004, the Gaffney House has served hundreds of Alzheimer and dementia clients in a rare, small-scale assisted living setting. Full Life executive director Nora Gibson told CHS the organization was forced to put the 1605 17th Ave house up for sale when it lost its loan on the property.
Gaffney serves a mix of private and Medicaid paying clients, which Gibson said added to the bank’s decision not to renew its loan. Also not helping matters was last year’s arrival of the 125-resident Aegis Living facility at 22nd and E Madison. “They presented a tough competition for us win the private pay market,” Gibson said.
The Gaffney House, which currently houses 12 residents, is not expected to close its doors for several months. “When the sale approaches, we’re committed to helping families make a smooth transition for their loved ones,” Gibson said.
Nestled between Trader Joes and Central Co-op on the future “bus rapid transit”-serviced E Madison corridor, the Gaffney property will certainly draw the attention of Capitol Hill developers. However, the 1906-built house will likely be heading to the Landmark Preservation Board for review before any new development takes place. The property is expected to list for $3.6 million. Gibson said the sale will help fund Full Life’s other memory care home in Columbia City.
The U.S. Census estimates that 21% of residents in the 98112 ZIP code are 60 or older and demand for senior living on Capitol Hill appears to be growing. An Aegis spokesperson told CHS many of the company’s E Madison residents choose to live on Capitol Hill so they can keep shopping at the same stores, and attending the same churches or synagogues.