Home Commercial Merrill Gardens Acquires Senior Living Facility in Seattle’s First Hill For $23.8MM

Merrill Gardens Acquires Senior Living Facility in Seattle’s First Hill For $23.8MM

Merrill Gardens at First Hill in Seattle (Photo Courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield)

By Kristin Bentley

Merrill Gardens, a Seattle-based firm that owns and operates senior living communities in six states across the country, in a joint venture with an affiliate of Chicago-based Heitman has closed on the acquisition of four West Coast facilities. The team worked with Cushman & Wakefield Senior Housing Capital Markets Group on the acquisition of the West Coast Collection.

One of the locations is located in the Puget Sound Area. The 96-unit Merrill Gardens at First Hill in Seattle, which was part of the deal, sold for $23.8 million, or nearly $248,000 per unit, according to public records. The approximate 95,000 square-foot senior living facility sits on a 0.69 acre lot that is bounded by East Pike Street to the north, Minor Avenue to the east, Union Street to the south and Boren Avenue to the west. The site is also in close proximity to Interstate 5 and near Virginia Mason Medical Center.


“The competition for the portfolio was intense highlighting the strong demand for stabilized, newly constructed properties in coastal in-fill locations,” said Richard Swartz, an executive managing director for Cushman & Wakefield in Boston in a statement.

The three other West Coast properties were Merrill Gardens at Lafayette and Merrill Gardens at Campbell, both located in the Bay Area, and Merrill Gardens at Huntington Beach in southern California. The properties offer both independent and assisted living, as well as provide memory care services for those suffering from dementia-causing diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

In addition to the sale, the Cushman team arranged $145 million of long term acquisition financing, provided by Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers acting on behalf of an institutional investor. The Cushman & Wakefield team involved in the transactions included Executive Managing Director Richard Swartz, Managing Director Jay Wagner, Senior Directors Aaron Rosenzweig and Michael Kane, and Director Timothy Hosmer.

“These are exceptional properties in prime urban locations – Merrill Gardens developed the Huntington Beach, Lafayette and Campbell communities and acquired the First Hill community – with the intention of holding them for the long term,” said Bill Pettit, president of R.D. Merrill Company, the parent company of Merrill Gardens in a statement. “We are very pleased to enter into this partnership and to continue our successful operations.”

King County’s aging population of 2,044,449 senior citizens is projected to grow another 25 percent by 2040, says the Area Agency on Aging of Seattle and King County. The fastest growing segment of this population is those aged 85 and older. A report conducted by the agency concludes that an increased life expectancy will strengthen the wave of aging baby boomers, steadily increasing their total numbers, which will also increase the need for senior living communities such as these.