Highline alumnus gives back to Des Moines seniors

By James Jackson - Staff Reporter

Brian Scalabrine's gift to Des Moines-area seniors is close to completion.

Scalabrine, who won the National Basketball Association world championship with the Boston Celtics and played with the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey Nets, has partnered with Pete Jorgensen of Village Concepts and Andy Langford of Venture Real Estate to build a five-story, 101,427 square-foot building that will house 119 units of affordable housing for senior citizens. 

Last Friday Scalabrine spoke to 50 people at a pancake breakfast at the Des Moines Activity Center. 

Originally from Enumclaw, Scalabrine came to Highline to play basketball and met the woman who eventually became his wife. Kristen, originally from Des Moines, played for the Highline women's basketball team.   

"She would take me to downtown Des Moines for lunch and I fell in love with the area," Brian Scalabrine said.

The couple graduated Highline in 1998, both earning their AA degrees. Scalabrine went to the University of Southern California, and Kristen went to Central Washington University.

"Highline is a special place for me and allowed me to express my dreams and tell people this is what I want. Highline changed my outlook on life," Brian Scalabrine said.

"I am a big fan of community colleges for figuring out what you want to do. Highline allowed me to figure out what I wanted and to play basketball," Kristen Scalabrine said.

Scalabrine's passion to help seniors with affordable housing came from his experience as a child when he used to go visit his grandparents in a mobile home park. Disturbed by the environment of the mobile home park, Scalabrine said he is giving back by providing affordable housing and community for seniors.

"I wondered, why do they live there, why don't they have a yard?" said Scalabrine.

Scalabrini and Andy Langford of Venture Real Estate met a decade ago and invested in an apartment complex in Kent.

"Andy, what about Des Moines?" asked Scalabrine.

They then started buying property in Des Moines. Wanting to figure out what worked best for the area, they came up with the senior center, Langford said.

It was nine years ago when Pete Jorgensen from Village Concepts and Langford came together to handle the hard business of development. 

 "The marina district has not changed much over 50 years and the lot where the Adriana is being constructed sat vacant for a long time. This project is a great anchor for future projects," Kaplan said.

"The City Council has been easy to work with. People want to improve an area it's easy to work with them," Scalabrine said.

Others in attendance included Mayor Pro Tem Vic Pennington, City Manager Michael Matthias, and City Councilman Dave Kaplan. 

"Projects like this are extremely important for moving ahead. The Adriana provides opportunity for seniors to have a great place to live," Kaplan said.

"Historically Des Moines has lagged behind in the downtown area as far as development. This project has brought attention to Des Moines and is helping to encourage development that is concerned with livability," Pennington said.

The city was close to insolvency, but with the Adriana and other projects in the area the city is getting stronger. Not relying on one time money, the city has a good revenue stream and a sustainable budget, Pennington said.

"The city is getting healthy, this equates to services for its citizens that they want and deserve," Pennington said. 

Named after Scalabine's daughters, Adrian and Anna, the Adriana will start renting in June and will be completed in September of this year.

The Adriana will be a rent-controlled independent senior living.  Rent includes all utilities with a six-month initial lease. After the first six-months it goes to a month-to-month lease and small pets are allowed.

There are two store fronts and 62 stalls of secured parking under the building and van service. The city is providing transportation for seniors to access downtown and the waterfront.

"The Adriana provides seniors with a great place to live," said Kaplan.

For more information, you can visit the website at www.villageconcepts.com or call 888 548-6609

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