Mountain View Senior Living, once a part of the collapsed Sunwest Management network of such homes, was bought in August by Emeritus Senior Living of Seattle, owner of 460 residential and assisted-living facilities.

Mountain View Senior Living, once a part of the collapsed Sunwest Management network of such homes, was bought in August by Emeritus Senior Living of Seattle, owner of 460 residential and assisted-living facilities.

Mountain View, on North Main Street, will continue operating at an improved level of service and no residents will have to relocate, according to its new officers.

"Things are getting better, from what I've heard from employees. There will be no rent hikes. A lot of people were concerned about that," said Mark Whiting, Mountain View community relations director.

"We're looking for ways to improve conditions, not crank the bottom line," said Whiting, noting that Emeritus bought all 144 troubled Sunwest properties for $1.2 billion. Included in the Aug. 5 sale is Eagle Cove Retirement Center in Eagle Point and others in Southern Oregon, he said.

The Ashland facility's new executive director, Alexander Ben-Israel, said Emeritus is "a great corporation with a long track record operating senior communities" and that "resident service is absolutely paramount." Emeritus bought Mountain View but not the land it sits on, which remains in the ownership of the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, said Whiting.

A news release from Mountain View said it will be independently managed and promised improvements, touting the parent corporation's "commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of the people it serves by fostering an atmosphere of family and community."

Emeritus, according to a June survey by Provider Magazine, was the top provider of assisted living and Alzheimer's and related dementia-care services in the nation. It now has 45,000 residents living in facilities in 44 states.

The new portfolio will bring revenues of $346.8 million annually at an average occupancy of 79 percent at $3,108 a month, according to the Emeritus website.

"We are pleased that the Sunwest transaction has closed and we are able to welcome over 9,200 residents and 5,900 employees to the Emeritus family," said Chairman and CEO Daniel Baty, on the corporate website. "The Joint Venture will contribute to our growth over the next several years and should provide a significant return for the company over time."

Sunwest's collapse and bankruptcy in 2009 brought hardship to thousands of investors. The firm was started in 2000 by Umpqua County natives Jon Harder and Darryl Fisher, who initially borrowed $300 million from 1,200 investors, enabling explosive growth from 20 assisted-living facilities to 270 around the U.S. before the economy bonked.

Some area Sunwest properties were sold last year during Chapter 11 debt restructuring, including Morrow Heights in Rogue River and Spring Meadow Cottages and Spring Meadow Retirement Community in Grants Pass, according to Mail Tribune archives. Harder filed personal bankruptcy in 2008. Eagle Cove went into default also in 2008.