Living Out Palm Springs to offer LGBTQ seniors a retirement community

Living Out Palm Springs

One of the amenities to be offered at Living Out Palm Springs will be a dog park.

For decades, Palm Springs has been a popular retirement destination for well-to-do gay men. The city in the desert might become more attractive as it prepares to welcome Living Out Palm Springs, an upscale resort-style apartment community designed specifically to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ seniors.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the 9-acre development along East Tahquitz Canyon Way Friday during Palm Springs Pride.

The project was initially scheduled to break ground in early 2020 as a luxury condo retirement community, but then COVID-19 pandemic hit, and it was put on hold.

The developers, Loren S. Ostrow and Paul Alanis, eventually decided to pivot their business model from luxury condominiums to upscale apartments.

The Coachella Valley’s first and — so far — only LGBTQ-centric retirement community, North Palm Springs’ Stonewall Gardens, opened in 2014. The facility’s 24 bungalow-style apartments include an option for 24-hour on-site care.

If residents require it, Living Out will recommend supportive in-home care companies with LGBTQ cultural competency.

LGBTQ seniors don’t have many options for welcoming and inclusive living environments for people 55 and over, LuAnn Boylan, who’s in charge of marketing and sales with Living Out Palm Springs, told Q Voice News in 2019.

“We hear stories all the time about people who are discriminated against from the senior communities they live in, whether it’s from other residents or from the staff,” Ostrow, 70, said. “Sometimes people have to hide photographs in their own homes, photographs of them with their partners, so people don’t know they’re in a same-sex relationship.”

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According to SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders), when compared to older heterosexual adults, LGBTQ seniors face several challenges:

  • Twice as likely to live alone
  • Half as likely to have life partners or significant others
  • Half as likely to have close relatives to call for help
  • Are caregivers for older loved ones, but four times less likely to have children to help them.

Living Out Palm Springs, with the iconic Mid Century Modern design that is renowned in the city, has been created to fight loneliness and increase socialization among residents. The project will feature numerous amenities:

  • Upscale restaurant and piano bar operating
  • Private screening room
  • Massage studio
  • Hair, pedicure, and manicure salon
  • Community lounge with coffee bar, prepared food options, yogurt bar, and workspace
  • Resort-style swimming pool
  • 2 jacuzzi-spa areas
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Putting green
  • 2 Bocce ball courts
  • Outdoor BBQ and entertainment areas
  • Pet park for large and small dogs adjacent to a full-service pet facility (retail, grooming, boarding, and daycare)

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The 122 luxury apartments will be offered in four configurations ranging from a 1 bed, 1 ½ bath, and den to a 2 bed, 2 ½ bath, and den.

Units will range from 1,100 to 1,700 square feet, with every unit containing a large usable balcony or patio.

An official with the project said the rates have not yet been set, but will be comparable to some of the luxury heterosexual communities in the area. That means starting rents could be between $4,500 and $5,000 a month.

Project construction is scheduled to take 18 months with anticipated opening in early 2023.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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