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Merrill Gardens at the University is a very new building, constructed around 2009, if I recall correctly. Another new apartment building complex shares the block along with some restaurants and coffee shops. The apartments were cozy with kitchenettes. For those used to city-living, the 2 bedrooms were quite spacious. The halls were wide enough to accommodate those with limited mobility, and the facilities were all very new clean and easy to navigate. The food was prepared by their kitchen staff and was satisfactory, but did not stand out to me. Most people can take my complaints about food with a grain of salt, since I am so picky that very few restaurants in Seattle meet my expectations. They did mention a basic meal plan is basically 1 meal a day, which would allow residents to enjoy the many other dining options in the neighborhood. When speaking with the staff, it was clear that they worked there for the right reasons; they wanted to work with seniors and they demonstrated compassion and care for those who live there, greeting residents by name. Beyond the newness of the community and the enjoyment the residents seemed to have living there, this is what stood out the most to me.
I toured Merrill Gardens at the University approximately 8 months ago. I was researching possible retirement communities in the area near my home for my newly retired parents (they are looking to retire to a community with amenities in approx 5 years). I cannot say enough about this beautiful community. I almost can't wait to retire myself just to have the option of living here! Merrill Garden's location is ideal. It's within walking distance of University Village, with a grocery store (QFC), shops, and restaurants galore. It's also right on the bus line so if you want to hop a bus for downtown Seattle it's right there. I love Merrill's sense of freedom they provide to their residents; the anytime dining program allows residents to eat when they feel like it...a nice bonus. The common areas are warm, modern, and inviting. They have a wine bar which my parents would love! They also have a beauty salon, work out area, and concierge onsite. I feel like no one would want for anything here. A lovely outdoor area with a fountain is a great touch for the warmer months. I can see my parents sipping coffee out there and reading the paper. I also love the modern, urban exterior. And the staff...so warm and smiley and without a doubt loving their jobs! So important! All in all this place is an absolute GEM. I think anyone would be lucky to live at this beautiful community. Well done Merrill Gardens at the University. I will be calling you in about 35 years myself!
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