One of Spokane’s oldest nursing and retirement homes will not have to leave town because of a financial ailment.
County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously granted Hawthorne Manor permission to expand.
Neighbors say the $21.5 million expansion and renovation project will threaten the serenity of their North Side neighborhood near the Division Y.
While disappointed with the commission’s decision, nearby property owners said Hawthorne Manor has always been a good neighbor and that relations will continue amicably.
“This is one of the most peaceful conflicts I’ve ever seen on a land-use matter,” offered Commissioner Steve Hasson.
The nursing and retirement home opened nearly 40 years ago at 101 E. Hawthorne Road. Hawthorne Manor officials had told commissioners that they would be forced to relocate the center without $6.9 million in renovations, including fire sprinklers and a sewer line.
To pay for the upgrades, Presbyterian Ministries, the non-profit Seattle organization that owns Hawthorne Manor, will build a three-story, 93-unit apartment complex for retirees age 62 and up. The total project will be financed over 20 years with tax-exempt bonds and revenues from the new tenants.
About 85 of 115 residents surveyed opposed the project. But they were willing to allow a twostory, or 60-unit apartment complex.
Hawthorne Manor couldn’t cut back plans that far, but offered a compromise. The break-even point on the center’s loan is 93 units, officials said.
They did agree to reduce traffic to an underground parking garage by forcing cars to enter on Middleton Drive and exit on Mayberry Drive. Tour buses for manor residents will be confined to Hawthorne Road, an arterial, while truck deliveries will be minimized during peak morning and afternoon hours.
“It’s a good facility,” neighbor Michael Bowen said. “But its size is bad for the neighborhood.”
Hawthorne Manor officials could not be reached for comment following Tuesday’s decision.
New tenants in the new building will buy contracts for care and housing at $95,000 to $170,000 for each unit.Some of the older apartments might be converted to rooms for residents who need more intensive care.