The 38-unit senior housing community located near George Fox University opened Dec. 9

GARY ALLEN - Graphic photo: Gary Allen
Friendsview Retirement Community's University Village, which features 38 hybrid style homes off of Fulton Street, is open for new tenants. 
Friendsview Retirement Community's latest expansion, University Village, opened for residents Dec. 9 after several delays.

The facility was first set to open in the late summer, but that date was moved twice due primarily to labor shortages.

"We had been announcing up through spring that they were to be ready sometime late summer and we had a large gathering for the depositors," said Frank Engle, a Friendsview spokesman.

Then the contractor called with bad news and it became necessary to inform those residents ready to move in.

"We hate to tell you this but it's now going to be Oct. 28," Engle was told by the contractor on the project. "More recently we had another meeting with them, a very hard meeting: we had to announce that the delay had to bump until Nov. 11 and we had all these move-in's scheduled."

Friendsview worked to accommodate those folks until the facility was finally opened.

"A number of people moved into some empty apartments that we chose to vacate, or not fill with others until this is done," Engle said. "So a number of people moved here, a good number of people moved in with families and a number of stuff was put into pods and storage," said Engle.

University Village is called a life plan community that houses those who first live in independent living, move on to assisted living and then residential care. The concept is to develop friendships and neighbors who stay connected during transitions and is comparable to building a large extended family.

"There are those who are discovering the life plan communities, they are seeking us out because it provides so much security and peace of mind. What's not to like when you're in such a nice community next to a university and really in such a lovely valley here," Engle said. "One of our challenges is as a life plan community, these are increasingly becoming expensive. The board is really concerned with that and we are trying to keep the rates as low as possible to attract seniors in the community or people in the region or people who want to have this kind of environment and also the security of long term care."

Eventually University Village will expand beyond its current site on Cherry Street as adjacent older homes are purchased and either moved or razed.

"The challenge is that we are so landlocked," Engle said.

Friendsview has little room for expansion with George Fox on the south, railroad tracks on the north, Meridian Street on the west and Hess Creek flowing on the east side.

"Because we are so landlocked we are expanding to the Springbrook Meadows campus," Engle said. "The idea has been on this campus (University Village), people said that 'I really want a duplex or at least that size of a residence, but I also want to be able to walk right across the street to George Fox.' Or 'I want to walk down six blocks to the cultural center.' They asked the architect to come up with an idea that is similar to the (Friendsview) duplexes but stacked on top of each other."

The architecture is in a hybrid style that is between a duplex and an apartment.

"The unique hybrid-home design affords residents opportunity to live in residences that feel like our duplex homes while they enjoy the conveniences and views offered by our Creekside apartments," Engle said.

Floor plans are from 889 to 1,290 square feet and each includes a balcony. The 38 units feature two-bedrooms with a washer/dryer, kitchen appliances, a fitness center with free classes and a trainer. All of the units have two bathrooms and are handicapped/wheelchair accessible.

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