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OHSU To Sell S. Waterfront Parcel To Pacific Retirement Services, Inc.; 30-Story Residential Tower Planned

Medford company's building may incorporate technology for OHSU studies on aging

Oregon Health & Science University has entered into a land sales agreement with Pacific Retirement Services, Inc. (PRS), for a one-block parcel in the South Waterfront District. PRS, a Medford company, is planning a 30-story residential tower at the site.

PRS plans to build a 325-foot-tall, 507,300-square-foot Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), to be named Mirabella, at Block 31, located two blocks south of Oregon Health & Science University's new Center for Health & Healing. Plans call for the building to have 224 Independent Living residences, 16 Assisted Living apartments, 20 Skilled Nursing private rooms, 21 Special Care Memory Support private rooms, 244 parking spaces, and various amenities and social areas.

PRS expects to start construction in spring 2008, with completion planned for summer or early fall 2010. OHSU and PRS signed the sale agreement Dec. 29, which also included an affiliation agreement. It is expected that Hoffman Construction Co. of Portland will build the tower, which is to be designed by Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, also of Portland.

"OHSU enthusiastically welcomes Pacific Retirement Services to South Waterfront," said OHSU President Joseph E. Robertson, Jr., M.D., M.B.A. "PRS has an outstanding reputation as a developer and operator of retirement communities, and we chose it as a buyer because of its desire to work closely with our health care providers in a way that's mutually beneficial for OHSU and Mirabella residents."

Tom Becker, president of PRS, said the rapid growth of the 38-acre River Blocks at South Waterfront, and Mirabella's future proximity to the Center for Health & Healing's health services and OHSU's geriatric programs, were major draws.

"With Mirabella coming to South Waterfront, PRS plans to continue its mission to 'enhance lifestyle opportunities for seniors' using the philosophy of successful aging," Becker said. Citing a MacArthur Foundation study of aging, he added that successful agers "live an actively engaged life filled with friends, enriching activities, lifelong learning and healthy living. The entertainment aspects of urban South Waterfront, combined with the health services and expertise of OHSU, make South Waterfront a prime location for senior living."

The affiliation agreement calls on OHSU and PRS to form a collaborative, synergistic, long-term relationship that takes full advantage of technological innovations to meet the needs of the CCRC residents; that is rich in lifelong learning opportunities for the CCRC residents; and that includes collaboration to understand issues in aging and improve health through an application of technology and improved models of care.

One of PRS's possible future collaborators on Mirabella is the OHSU Oregon Center for Aging and Technology, or ORCATECH. The interdisciplinary center, established in 2004 by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, studies and develops technology that assists in the assessment and remediation of elders in their home environments. Its goal is to help elders retain independence by collecting data that may indicate health changes long before quality of life is affected.

ORCATECH scientists already are using data-collecting devices that include motion and door sensors to track walking speed and overall in-home activity, and computers outfitted with software that can detect patterns that indicate memory changes. Being involved with PRS before construction begins would allow OHSU to better prepare residences for the implementation of new technologies.

"The collaborative relationship between OHSU and PRS would improve health through application of technology and improved models of care," Robertson said. "It will foster the exchange of ideas to promote better care for elders in the state of Oregon and beyond."

At this time, the groundbreaking for Mirabella is expected to occur in spring 2008, with a grand opening in summer or fall of 2010. Seniors are encouraged to inquire now about reserving their new view residences at Mirabella in South Waterfront. Call (503) 245-4742 or visit the Mirabella Web site at for more information.

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university, and only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), with nearly 12,000 employees. It serves 189,000 patients, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state. For more information about OHSU, call (503) 494-8311 or visit

About PRS
Pacific Retirement Service, Inc. (PRS), is a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Medford, Ore., that develops, operates, manages, and markets a family of 46 retirement communities and service organizations in Oregon, Washington, California and Texas. These include six Continuing Care Retirement Communities (Mirabella Portland is the seventh), two managed retirement communities, and 24 affordable housing communities. To learn more about Mirabella in South Waterfront, call (503) 245-4742 or visit To learn more about PRS, call (888) 724-6424 or visit

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