Merrill Gardens Launches Middle-Market Truewood Brand

SEATTLE — Merrill Gardens, a Seattle-based owner-operator has launched a new brand aimed at middle-market seniors named Truewood by Merrill.

As the roll out continues over the coming months there will be 23 Truewood communities located in 13 states. The Truewood by Merrill communities are former Blue Harbor communities that Merrill purchased in 2019 in a joint venture with ReNew REIT.

The main changes in the communities are in operations, with the new brand designed for seniors whose annual income ranges from $40,000 to $50,000. Monthly rental rates for Truewood by Merrill communities will be in the $3,000 to $3,500 range.

“Truewood by Merrill is taking us back to some of the basics — we are committed to a quality experience, but it will be less fancy,” says Tana Gall, president of Merrill Gardens. “It’s all about choice — Truewood by Merrill is an option for those who have always chosen a practical lifestyle they can control. It is attainable and aimed at residents who don’t want to compromise comfort and security for affordability.”

Dining at Truewood by Merrill will include buffet-style breakfast with a few hot options. The communities are also testing a dining program for breakfast where once a week team members grocery shop for residents and supply a week’s worth of breakfast foods. There will be one meal a day served by waitstaff in the dining room with made-to-order menu items prepared by the chef. The third meal will be a “grab and go” or “grab and stay” option.

Truewood by Merrill communities will also feature a new type of team member — the Resident Experience Partner or REP — who will be able to perform a number of functions in the community and be a partner to residents and family members. REPs may divide their time in dining, activities or the front desk. These team members can also increase their salary by earning accreditations in various areas of operations.

The name Truewood refers to the R.D. Merrill Company’s timber roots — it indicates timber that’s been freshly cut and reflects the spirit of residents who still maintain their zeal for life while taking their next step in life.

Truewood by Merrill and sister company Merrill Gardens together operate 70 communities in 20 states.