There’s about to be a brand new boom in Palm Springs, California. And no, we’re not talking about an earthquake or explosion. We are referring to an innovative housing development for gay seniors called BOOM.
BOOM is the brainchild of Matthias Hollwich, a 40-year-old architect who wants to develop a wacky yet fun community for gay retirees. The new community, which hasn’t been built yet but hopes to attract gay seniors from all over the country, will be moving forward in the near future. Overall, the community will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million to develop.
In the last decade, the gay housing market has exploded, so the development of BOOM makes total and complete sense. However, there aren’t too many LGBT-oriented communities across the country. Many have been planned, including those in Santa Rosa, Oregon and Boston, but they have mostly failed before the first house was even built.
So, experts want to know if BOOM will be a total bust or if it will come through to fruition. Will we see an onslaught of gay retirees moving to the Palm Springs area specifically for this development? We might and we’ll tell you why.
The developers of BOOM are approaching the gay retirement community a little differently. While developers of the failed gay retirement communities focused on quick sales, the developers of BOOM are planning every aspect of the project, including full-on workshops to make BOOM a way of life.
In essence, BOOM is a master-planned community. Hollwich’s idea is for BOOM to be pedestrian-friendly, driven by culture, and inspirational. The 100-acre site will feature designs and architecture by some of the country’s best, including LOT-EK, Surfacedesign, Diller Scofidio, and L2, to name a few.
Wondering what will make BOOM different than other retirement communities tailored to the gay community? Well, first of all there will be plenty of plazas and pathways. These will link the 300 homes to a snazzy entertainment complex, restaurants, shopping, a gym and spa, and even a boutique hotel with top-notch rooms for out-of-town guests.
It is important to remember that the gay community inspires BOOM, but it isn’t a housing development for just that community. It is open for anyone to move in, should they want to!
What we think is pretty special about BOOM is the idea of some really interesting architecture. Hollwich, who runs the program focused on aging and design at the University of Pennsylvania, plans on including some really interesting designs. The key word is actually ‘progressive’.
There will be a variety of home sizes so that retirees can move into a home they will feel the most comfortable in. The size of the homes will range from four bedrooms to studios. Additionally, the goal is to make the development affordable for all income levels, since the main focus of BOOM is integration.
The developers plan to break ground this year.