In 1978, a 243-acre tract of land owned by the Sisters of Providence and used as a college was sold to the Lutheran Bible Institute. A provision of this sale required that 180 acres of that campus would then be sold to a developer with the idea of building and creating a community exclusively for seniors to enjoy the life they wanted, to be active and involved. After over 30 fiercely competitive bids were entered, the winner chosen was the Swanson-Dean Corporation.
The dream was Providence Point. It was a planned $130 million community specially built for the needs of seniors. A concept that seems routine today was cutting edge then. It was the first retirement development in the area to offer buyers the right to purchase their homes. At the time, units ranged in price from $55,000 to $135,000 for one- and two-bedroom homes.
In November 1982, public seminars were held at the Swanson-Dean Bellevue office. Up to three groups a day of potential homeowners were interviewed and questionnaires were given to get input from the public on lifestyles and floor plans.
Immediate response to the concept was overwhelmingly positive. A $500 “Reservation List” was started and by 1984 when ground was broken, there were almost 450 reservations.
In May 1984, the dream became reality. Town Hall, which is the community center, had a grand opening party and the first furnished models were shown to the public. The original residents began moving into Building 3 in Center Village.
Providence Point was born.