Construction under way on new Touchmark community with unparalleled views and services

tpor_cam1_083116After building and operating 11 retirement communities in eight states and Canada, locally based Touchmark is now constructing a unique retirement community in the west hills near Portland’s Forest Heights. Established more than 35 years ago, Touchmark was one of the first companies to create retirement communities offering an enriched lifestyle and continuum of services and care. Today, Touchmark is among Oregon and Southwest Washington’s top 30 private companies.

The new community is situated on forested terrain northeast of Barnes and Leahy just three miles from downtown Portland and one mile from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Touchmark in the West Hills combines a remarkable, natural setting, vineyards and commanding views with convenient access to the area’s cultural activities, health care, shopping and other attractions.

Scheduled to open fall 2017, Touchmark in the West Hills will offer a range of active-adult living that will include two lodge buildings, single-family and garden homes, a health and fitness club and award-winning wellness offerings.

The project is providing work for more than 1,000 people during construction. Once opened, it will employ about 200 team members.

Residents will benefit from numerous on-site amenities such as a community garden and greenhouse, walking trails, vineyard, pickleball courts, hair salons, library and reading rooms, lounges, theater, chapel and much more. Restaurant-style dining will be available in both lodges.

The Clubhouse Lodge will offer 130 independent living homes with one and two bedrooms. Options will include fireplaces, balconies and sunrooms. The Terrace Lodge will include 146 homes for residents requiring health services and support for their daily activities. At completion, services will include assisted living, memory care, home health and home care.

Single-family and garden homes will feature innovative, barrier-free open floor plans with no stairs, upscale finishes and private outdoor areas. Instead of the typical three-story vertical structures, the garden homes are designed as two-story structures over parking garages. Each floor will have two homes. An elevator will serve all four homes.

All Touchmark communities are certified Best Friends environments. The Best Friends Approach is a groundbreaking method of care for individuals living with dementia. This approach focuses on building meaningful relationships and encouraging respect, empathy, support and trust. Evidence supports this reduces the anxiety associated with dementia and use of psychotropic medications.

“When completed next year, this community will be unlike anything offered in the metropolitan area,” said Touchmark Founder and Chairman Werner G. Nistler, Jr., citing the natural setting, views and design of the buildings. “All of that is a backdrop to our commitment to exceptional service and resort-style approach to hospitality.”

More than 15 years ago, Nistler envisioned the many benefits this rare site could offer, and for years pursued opportunities to purchase land parcels. “The spectacular topography, 210-degree views of 50-plus miles and convenient location are what first attracted me,” he says adding, “We plan to keep a significant portion of the site natural.”

An exceptional approach to a wellness lifestyle
In addition to the homes, services and amenities, what is striking about the new community is the many ways it will promote wellness.

The comprehensive health and fitness club is designed to meet the needs of those 50+ and will include indoor heated pool and spa, aerobics and fitness studios, specialized equipment, personal trainers, group exercise classes, a bistro and more.

A unique offering will be functional fitness training. Certified personal trainers/exercise specialists will work with members using a variety of equipment (jungle gym training system, universal training systems and other supportive gear) to engage multiple muscle groups at once. This improves strength as well as enhances balance and flexibility, all of which increase people’s ability to function better in their daily activities.

Touchmark’s Fall Reduction and Awareness Program also will be offered with trainers using the NeuroCom® Balance Master®, advanced equipment that applies interactive computer technology to identify and evaluate a person’s unique balance and movement patterns.

Membership in the club will be open to residents as well as adults 50 years and older.

The health and fitness club is part of a clubhouse that will provide restaurant-style dining with terrace seating, lounge and rooftop terrace. Meeting rooms for residents, civic groups and other functions will also be available.

Full Life offerings
Touchmark’s Full Life Wellness & Life Enrichment Program has won national and international awards for the ways it enriches people’s lives. Based on the seven dimensions of wellness and resident interests, the program results in a calendar filled with classes, events, excursions and activities.

Among the planned offerings are winetasting and demonstration kitchen gatherings, farm-to-table dinners, the Touchmark Trekkers walking program, wine/art/book clubs and more. Life Enrichment/Wellness staff will be Certified Cognitive Stimulation instructors and will lead Brain Builders classes to support brain health.

Touchmark in the West Hills is located on a wooded hillside. “This site offers spectacular views of the valley as far as the Coast Range plus the ever-changing natural setting of trees and wildlife,” said Touchmark CEO Marcus Breuer. “The fact that this is just minutes from downtown and Portland’s restaurants and cultural activities makes this a unique property.”

Extensive preserved walking trails will wind throughout the property when it is completed.

Vineyard offering Pinot Noir
Touchmark residents also will be able to stroll through rows of Pinot Noir grapes at Swede Hill Vineyards, located on Touchmark’s property. In fall 2013, Nistler and his wife Colleen teamed up with husband and wife winemakers Matt and Nancy Vuylsteke of Farm to Cork, LLC to plant Pinot Noir vines in the Swede Hill neighborhood, adjacent to Touchmark in the West Hills.

The elevation, varied exposures, and volcanic soil are ideally suited to the growing of premium wine grapes that will be meticulously hand farmed. The first harvest happened this fall. More information is available at

An information center is now open at Touchmark’s recently remodeled company headquarters at 5150 SW Griffith Drive in Beaverton. Hours are Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm. The center offers virtual tours, floor plans and photos of the site and views. Appointments can be made by calling 503-954-1640. More information about the project is available at

Architects for Touchmark in the West Hills are LRS Architects and Senior Vice President of Architecture with Touchmark Development & Construction Joseph Billig, AIA. Andersen Construction is the general contractor. Senior Vice President and Director of Construction Rick Wessell and Development Manager Michelle Platter, both with Touchmark Development & Construction, are overseeing the project.