Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Children's Hospital's Buying And Selling Activity In The Neighborhood And Nearby

Children's Hospital recently purchased the Gema Mae Apartments, directly across from the Hospital Emergency Room and behind the old Wells Fargo location, on the 4500 block of 40th Avenue NE.

The twelve unit fourplex apartment buildings, built in the 1950’s. The Hospital plans to make improvements such as painting and bringing the building up to code. According to this website, it was purchased for $4,500,00.00

Todd Johnson, Vice President, Facilities and Supply Chain, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff that  any available units are being offered to all qualified renters on an equal basis.  Hospital staff members are welcome to submit rental applications but do not receive preferential access or rates.

He added that the plan is to make improvements to the apartments and retain them as rental housing for the foreseeable future.   Work crews have trimmed trees and tidied up the landscape.  Todd added that crews will bee replacing windows, carpeting, and furnaces, staring with the vacant units and are evaluating other improvements, such as roofing replacement.

Todd also said that the Hospital doesn't have any plan to amend the Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP) to include the apartments in the boundaries.   He added that a new MIMP will presumably be developed at some point beyond that, which will be based on the institution’s anticipated needs for 2020 and beyond.

The Laurelhurst Blog asked Todd if the Hospital looking to buy Wells Fargo Bank, which recently moved to the former Tully's location near Federal Express.  

Todd said "We will investigate a purchase of the bank property because of its location so close to our campus and the Gema Mae Apartments. Like the apartments, the site is subject to existing zoning and is not included in the hospital’s MIMP."

The Laurelhurst Blog Staff also inquired if the Hospital is looking to buy the newer town homes directly next door on the south side of the Gema Mae apartments. Todd responded "We have no current discussions with the owner of the townhomes."

Children’s also still owns two single family houses along NE 45th Street. The Hospital originally purchased a total of eight single family houses, in 2007 and 2008, along NE 45th during the construction of the Mary Gates Ambulatory Care building and Whale Garage. In 2013 five of the homes were sold.

At the time, the hospital approached homeowners to sell their homes and some homeowners contacted the hospital about the sales which were purchased "at the then-market value," Todd Johnson, Children's Vice President of Facilities told us.

"Children's did make known its willingness to purchase immediately adjacent homes,  "The sales were also probably motivated by unknowns related to Children's proposed Major Institutions Master Plan and the impacts that it could have had in its pre-Laurelon Terrace state," Todd added from information given to him by Ruth Benfield, who was the Children's executive over facilities at the time of the purchases. he said. 

In 2013 five of the homes were sold.

One of the homes, 4323 NE 45th Street, was recently put on the market for  Todd told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff that "the second home is occupied by a long term tenant and we will not be offering it for sale at this time."

The Hospital purchased the home in 2005 for $858,375 and is it is listed for sale at $1,050,000.

Children's also purchased the Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), a 4.4 acre e site with a  50,000-square foot building about a mile north of the campus on Sand Point Way NE, in March for $16,992,850.

The site is zoned residential but has a covenant placed on the deed limiting the uses to religious, educational and recreational purposes.

Todd told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff that Children’s will house its educational activities at the CSL location.

A Land Use application was recently submitted to the City, Permit #3027946, "to allow a change of use of an existing structure from religious facility (Center for Spiritual Living) to a vocational school (Children’s Hospital). No change to parking."

The permit stated the following approvals are required: "Administrative Conditional Use to allow a vocational school in a Lowrise zone. Other permits that may be needed which are not included in this application: Building Permit."

Todd told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff about the property:

Our intention is to leave the buildings essentially as they are today and to begin utilizing the classrooms, auditoriums, and gathering spaces for educational purposes.  The hospital trains future health care providers, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and others who join our team, either as residents and fellows or as permanent employees.   
We will use the  CSL campus to house learning programs like our newly-established Nurse Residency Program, which takes newly-hired, often newly-graduated registered nurses and provides additional skill building and confidence to allow these nurses to care for our high-acuity, medically complex patients.   

We also will use the site to create a simulation center, where medical professionals can improve their skills in areas like surgery or bedside care in an environment that supports high-fidelity simulation and real-time feedback.    
We have applied for an Administrative Conditional Use Permit to change the use to support this educational purpose.
Finally, we will relocate some existing community programs, like our pediatric CPR training, that are currently provided on the main campus and at our 70th/Sand Point way facility.  No patient care will take place in the building.

We are planning to do a small amount of restoration work at the facility, such as repairing the roof on the 1950’s area sanctuary, supplementing the landscaping along Sand Point Way, and adding some lighting in the parking lot.   
The building footprint will not change, nor will the entrances and exits from the site.  There may be permits required for the roof work or for electrical upgrades inside the buildings, but there will be no new construction. 

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