It plays in Peoria: First union-only retirement center breaks ground The first ever retirement center for union members breaks ground in Peoria, Ariz., this spring and is expected to open in the early part of 2000.

The $60 million AFL-CIO Union Life Resort is located on a 35-acre site and will feature 450 assisted living apartments and 50 skilled nursing beds. Apartments, which are available for purchase, will range from 700 sq. ft. to 1,500 sq. ft. with one or two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchenette.

The development will include dining facilities, meeting rooms, a bank, a beauty shop and a medical clinic. A recreation center also is being designed with a swimming pool, a hot tub and an exercise room. A full-service mortuary and chapel will be located on site. The 766,000 sq. ft., three-story facility is being designed and built by two Phoenix-based firms, Durrant Architects and McCarthy, respectively.

Moody's downgrades Meditrust Corp. after changes announced New York-based Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the senior unsecured debt rating of Meditrust Corp. from (P) Baa3 to (P) Bal. The announcement came on the same day that Needham, Mass.-based Meditrust, a paired-share real estate investment trust (REIT), unveiled its new restructuring plan that will effectively split the company in two. As part of the plan, Meditrust will divide its primary businesses, healthcare and lodging, by creating two separately traded REITs. The $7 billion company also plans to sell $1 billion of what it terms "non-strategic assets," including the Santa Anita Racetrack.

Meditrust intends to retain its paired-share structure, which will become part of the to-be-created lodging REIT.

Moody's rating review is ongoing, according to Vice President Arlene Issacs-Lowe, who says the company will continue to focus on Meditrusts emerging capital structure and the company's ability to rebuild investor confidence.

Senior Campus Living gets busy on Boston's North Shore Senior Campus Living, a Cantonsville, Md.-based company, expects to open a new 90-acre continuing care retirement community by the spring of 2000 on Boston's North Shore. The proposed development, Brooksby Village, which could reach a total occupancy of 2,100, is designed for middle-income retirees with a monthly income between $1,000 and $2,000. Nearly 40,000 senior citizens live within a 10-mile radius of the project.

Located adjacent to the 232-acre historic Brooksby Farm in Peabody, Mass., the development will include independent and assisted living units as well as a long-term care facility.

Silverado Health converts hospital for Alzheimer's use Capitalizing on what it calls a mounting national trend, Silverado Health, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based firm, has acquired Glenbrook Hospital in Azusa, Calif., for $2 million and plans to convert the former psychiatric hospital into an Alzheimer's facility.

The 57-bed Glenbrook Hospital is located on 2.1 acres adjacent to the Doney Guest Home, a residential care facility that the company also purchased.

Silverado plans to spend more than $1 million to remodel both facilities, including the addition of exterior elevators and the installation of a new roof for the Glenbrook Hospital. The Doney Guest Home will be refurbished into a lower-care Alzheimer's facility with 30 beds.

ElderTrust spends $41million on four Massachusetts properties Kennett Square, Pa.-based ElderTrust, a healthcare real estate investment trust, has acquired interests in three Massachusetts assisted living facilities and one independent living center for $41 million.

The properties will be leased to a newly formed joint venture that is majority owned by GenesisHealth Ventures Inc.

Quick Facts... According to a study by researchers at Project HOPE's Center for Health Affairs and the Harvard School of Public Health, substituting assisted living facilities for nursing homes when treating Alzheimer's patients could result in potential annual savings of as much as $5.1 billion. Although researchers recognize that a wholesale replacement is unlikely, they conclude that the potential savings, which could be nearly $10,000 annually, have tremendous implications for state and federal Medicaid budgets. For more information, contact ASHA at (202) 974-2300.