Living Out, a 55 and older LGBTQ+ community set to open in 2023 in Palm Springs, will have an on-site restaurant for residents and 122 apartments.
RENDERING COURTESY KOAR INTERNATIONAL
Living Out, an all-LGBTQ+ senior community in Palm Springs, will cater to renters rather than buyers when it opens in 2023. Prior to the pandemic shutdown in 2020, Los-Angeles based KOAR International offered a condominium price range of $600,000 to $900,000 for a spot in the 55+ resort-style community. But the pandemic changed that thinking.
"If you look at the various active adult, independent living communities in the Coachella Valley, they're virtually all rentals. That's the direction of senior housing,’ says Loren Ostrow, CEO of Living Out, who adds the rental fees are not established yet, noting, "we are anticipating that our pricing will be competitive with our other senior independent living communities in the desert like Segovia in Palm Desert.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID A. LEE
Living Out held its ground-breaking ceremony Nov. 5 during Greater Palm Springs Pride weekend.
Palm Springs was an easy choice for what the company projects to be the first of many such gay housing projects across the country.
“Given the fact that Palm Springs has a significant LGBTQ population it made sense to start the project right there,” Ostrow said, “Palm Springs has its own history of resort style, senior living in the mainstream community, we felt it would be the right place to start.” In the future KOAR International is planning to build similar communities across the United States.
Ostrow expects that there will be both gay and straight people living in Living Out Palm Springs. “The need that I’m trying to fill is a community that’s accepting and welcoming, rather than negatively judgmental,” Ostrow says.” I’d anticipate that the straight people living here will agree with that philosophy and will be comfortable living in an environment with LGBTQ people.”
Palm Springs Life further spoke with Ostrow about the LGBTQ community, and what has changed due to the pandemic.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID A. LEE
Paul R. Alanis, CEO of KOAR International Inc., and a long-term business partner to Loren Ostrow, speaks at the ground breaking.
What else has changed in your plans due to the delay from COVID 19? Are you building the same number of units or has the number changed?
The number of apartments has changed from 105 to 122. In looking at how we were going to be transferring these to people, we ultimately came to the conclusion that people are comfortable and the market would like rental. That is what most of the choice in these communities is, and so we have decided to do rental.
Have there been any changes to the amenities that are part of the property? Will there be a restaurant on site only for people who live there, or will it be open to the public? What can you tell me about that restaurant at this point?
The restaurant will be certainly for the residents. Whether it's for a broader community at this point we have not made that decision. But the restaurant will be operated by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. They are very famous chef entrepreneurs. They own a restaurant chain called Border Grill, which is in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
They are very well known in the American culinary world, as well as in the LGBT world because Susan Feniger, is now co-chair of the board of the Los Angeles, LGBT center. It'll be a fabulous restaurant.
What other amenities will separate this property from others?
We will have a dog park for the residents. There will be a section for small dogs and for large dogs. It'll be a beautiful dog park fronting on Tahquitz, and adjacent to that will be a 5,000 square foot retail project building that will be housing a pet store, pet grooming, pet daycare, and pet hotel for overnight stays. All of those features will be available to our residents right in their backyard.
So pets are OK?
They're encouraged frankly, because people particularly in the LGBTQ community have pets.
Did you think about adding pickleball rather than bocce to the activity area?
Yes. Originally, we had pickleball and bocce ball, but we made the decision to eliminate pickleball because we had heard through many communities that it is quite loud and disruptive to the resident.
If a couple applies to live there, do both need to be 55 and older, or just one?
Just one needs to be 55 plus.
•READ NEXT: Read Our First Story on Living Out From 2020.