Bainbridge Island Review


New facility planned on Serenity House land

Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
March 3, 2013 · 8:42 AM

When the Serenity House was demolished in 2009, more than a building was destroyed. A piece of island history came down with it.

But the future of the Pleasant Beach land is drawing off its historic roots; to care for the island’s disabled residents.

Developers of a new group care facility have expressed interest in a project, and the proposal is in the early discussion stages in the city’s planning department. The group home will be constructed on the land that the Serenity House once stood at 4500 Pleasant Beach Drive.

The home, designed by architect Peter O’Connor, will be two buildings with six bedrooms each. Caretaker space will be on the upper floors of the buildings.

The site is slated for 20 parking stalls, but developers may want to expand the lot in the future.

The new group care facility is being developed by Romerkoff Serenity, which is partly owned by Steve Romein.

Romein also owns Lynwood Center across the street from the property.

Representatives with Romerkoff Serenity will meet with the city’s Design Review Board on Monday, March 4 to map out the process of getting permits for the new care facility.

For decades the Serenity House was home to developmentally disabled islanders. But as costs to run the facility rose along with property values, it became less financially feasible to operate.

The 3.37 acre property was sold for $1.5 million in May 2009. Its nine staff members and 21 residents were displaced as the 95-year-old building was taken down.

The original building had a history of serving the island, first as the West Port Blakely School when it was constructed in 1914. Later it was a sanitarium and then a nursing home.

Eventually it came in to the possession of the Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority and was managed by the Low Income Housing Institute as a home for developmentally disabled residents.

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