Developers gambling on LGBTQ retirement community in Palm Springs

Units start at $699,000. Are they worth the price tag?
Posted at 3:36 PM, Nov 27, 2019

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Palm Springs, California, real estate market is thriving, with many properties receiving multiple offers just a few days after being listed.

“It’s amazing how fast the prices have escalated,” said Kevin Stern, a real estate broker with Town Real Estate.

Stern has been selling real estate in the Coachella Valley for years and calls Palm Springs a very unique market.

“It draws the LGBTQ community so greatly,” said Stern. “I would say the average is age group that is buying right now is between the ages of 45 and 60.”

Combine that with median home price of nearly $500,000 and there are a lot of retirees spending a lot of money in this desert resort city.

And now a pair of casino developers are gambling on building and bringing something new to the desert.

“This is nine acres of undeveloped property that will be the site of Living Out,” said developer Paul Alanis who along with his business partner Loren Ostrow are building Living Out Palm Springs – an active retirement community designed for the LGBTQ community.

“It will be first class in every respect,” Alanis said. “The level of amenities and the level of an access to a vibrant LGBTQ community here in Palm Springs – those are the two features that are most different than others.”

Those features, however, are going to cost you. A 13,000 square foot, one-bed, one and a half bath starts at $699,000.

“It’s clearly going to be worth it because it's going to be a luxury type of facility,” Alanis said. “We’re not skimping on anything when it comes to creating a quality of life.”

Who would buy a property like this for this price? Well, it depends on who you ask.

“Palm Springs is already a retirement community for LGBTQ’s,” Logan Whalen said.

While Whalen isn’t at the retirement age yet and he doesn’t plan on moving to a LGBTQ community when he turns 55, he does think it’s a good option.

“I think the more people that feel welcome here, the happier all of us are going to be in retirement,” he said.

Several city leaders also support this project.

“People use to say Palm Springs is a place for the newlyweds and the nearly dead,” joked Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon.

Moon leads the country's first all-LGBTQ city council. And with the number of LGBTQ Americans over the age of 50 expected to double in the next 10 years – he believes there is a big need for this kind of retirement community.

“A lot of people find once you come here you can’t forget it,” he said. “This is a wonderful place to visit but it’s also a great place to retire.”