Skip to main content


Rose Villa


Bringing Life Back to A Senior Living Community

The history tab on the Rose Villa website shows a photo that says a lot about how times have changed for seniors and their expectations and for Rose Villa, too.

The photo, which dates from the first residents’ arrival in 1960, shows two white-haired people amid croquet wickets. She is wearing a dress and looking on with concern while he, wearing a button-down and slacks, readies the mallet to thwack the ball.

Back then, Rose Villa was the latest thing in senior living. A terraced campus of single- level apartments just south of Portland, Oregon, it sold out before construction began and had to be doubled in size. As for croquet, it was not the latest thing, but it did epitomize the fun recreational opportunities available.

Enabling Seniors to "Live a Life of Their Own Choosing"

By the early 2000s, Rose Villa leadership recognized the intervening years had rendered the 22-acre campus ripe for reinvention. So they stepped up, even revamping the community’s mission statement, which now emphasizes enabling residents to “live a life of their own choosing.” In that spirit, leadership relied on the expertise of residents and would-be residents to inform plans for an expanded campus that eliminated old-style alleys and created innovative pocket neighborhoods. Today, clever, well-thought-out design gives each villa direct access to green space.

Also new is a pedestrian-friendly downtown that incorporates apartments above retail- type establishments – restaurants, an art studio, a library, a garden center, a salon, and a performing arts center. Many of these facilities are open to neighbors of all ages in the surrounding community – infusing energy and diversity into the atmosphere.

Planning for the Future While Being Kind to the Environment

Reese Hackman supported the Rose Villa project with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services besides lighting and technology design. In keeping with the progressive principles that underlay both the nonprofit’s founding and its reinvention, the work was done with an eye to sustainability and energy conservation, and to flexibility that will make future updates possible.

At residents’ urging, Rose Villa’s reinvention incorporated a wellness center that supports weight and cardio training, yoga and tai chi, a lap pool and even a lazy river. While there’s nothing wrong with croquet, seniors today want – and get – a lot more opportunities for fun. The reinvention’s success and future prospects are evidenced by the dearth of vacancies and renewed demand to live there.

Once again, Rose Villa is the latest thing.