The Riverview Senior Living facility is under construction on Clinton Drive in the Mendenhall Valley on Monday, May 2, 2022. Senior living has been an issue for Juneau and the facility received financial support from the city. The projects promoters say they’ve already received a number of applications. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

The Riverview Senior Living facility is under construction on Clinton Drive in the Mendenhall Valley on Monday, May 2, 2022. Senior living has been an issue for Juneau and the facility received financial support from the city. The projects promoters say they’ve already received a number of applications. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Applications pour into new senior facility

Backed by city, facility aims to meet high demand for senior living

A new senior living facility set to open in early 2023 is already signing up residents for the 86-unit structure on Clinton Drive in the Mendenhall Valley.

The company that will run the new Riverview Senior Living facility — California-based Northstar Senior Living — had a meet-and-greet at Centennial Hall on April 27 that was attended by over 200 people, according to Sioux Douglas, an advocate for senior citizens.

“There are 86 units,” Douglas told the Empire. “We already have close to 50 deposits, so I would urge anyone who is interested to submit a deposit — which is fully refundable — the demand is so high.”

Douglas said the company’s presentation materials were clear and the crowd was enthusiastic about the project.

“People of course come concerned about what it’s going to cost,” Douglas said. “I think costs, comfort, safety, amenities.”

The facility will have a 31 one-bedroom units, 26 studio units and 29 apartments for memory care, according to Lori Schultz, regional sales manager with Northstar Senior Living. Deposits to hold a room are $500, according to the company.

[Cleaning up the environment is their bag]

“With the presentation that we did, I think that so many of the questions were answered,” Schultz told the Empire.“‘Are we going to allow pets?’ Yes; some parking questions, a few questions about any benefits for veterans.”

The project broke ground in early September and Schultz said the company hopes to begin operating in February 2023, but that supply chain issues and other variables could affect the opening date. The company is working on a tentative start date of Feb. 1, 2023, Schultz said.

The building is located in the Vintage Business Park near the Mendenhall River. In addition to housing, the facility will have exercise and activity rooms and a restaurant that company materials refer to as a bistro. According to the presentation, the starting monthly cost for a private studio apartment is $6,000 and a one-bedroom is $7,500. There is also a $4,000 community fee paid at signing, according to company materials.

The state-run Alaska Pioneer Home has five levels of care ranging from $3,182 to $15,000 per month, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Senior care has been an issue for the City and Borough of Juneau and in 2020 the project received a $2 million grant from the city and tax abatements. Douglas said the campaign to bring additional senior care to Juneau goes back several years, and she and other senior advocates had formed a nonprofit organization for senior issues. That organization, Senior Citizens Support Services Inc., no longer exists, Douglas said, but ended up starting a senior service fund with the Juneau Community Foundation.

According to the Alaska Commission on Aging, Alaska continues to be the fastest-growing senior population per capita for the ninth consecutive year. In three states, the age 65 and over population increased by 50% or more between the years of 2007 and 2018; Alaska, 69%; Nevada, 57% and Colorado, 58%, according to the commission’s 2020/2021 report.

Schultz said the company is also looking to hire upward of 50 employees, including nine director positions.

“We’re currently looking for candidates for executives and sales right now,” Schultz said. “We’ve got a sales office opening mid-June, maybe July.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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