Oct 28, 2023 - Real Estate

From pickleball to the pool: New senior living spot offers luxury

Del Webb BayView community. Photo: Courtesy of Del Webb

Move over, sleepy senior centers. Active adult communities with resort-like amenities are appealing to Tampa Bay baby boomers.

Why it matters: America is going gray. Boomers and their kids make up a growing share of the country's population, according to census data.

Zoom in: Del Webb, which has multiple luxury senior communities across Tampa Bay, recently opened its latest property, BayView.

  • The Parrish community will have nearly 1,000 single-family, low-maintenance homes when complete.
  • Residents have access to a restaurant and bar, cafes, a pool, group fitness, sports courts and other luxe hotel-like amenities.

What they're saying: Dean Grulke and his wife chose to buy a home in BayView for its activities and friendly neighbors.

  • "We're buying the community," he tells Axios.
  • From pickleball to pool workouts, there's always something to do. And since the whole community is new, everyone is open to making new friends.

What's happening: Developers are courting empty-nesters as young as 55 years old, dangling prime locations, easy living and amenities you'd expect at a five-star hotel.

Yes, but: Many senior citizens can't afford plush prices, says senior economist Lu Chen at Moody's Analytics, whose research shows rents for more traditional senior housing are climbing across the U.S.

Reality check: Steep housing costs especially burden Americans on fixed incomes, contributing to rising homelessness among Baby Boomers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Roughly 29% of Tampa homeowners age 65 and older spend at least 30% of their income on housing, per census figures.

Between the lines: Our customers want a community that's social and active, says Jackie Rhone, an executive director at Greystar Real Estate Partners, which develops and manages "active adult" apartments nationwide and has plans to expand.

What we're watching: Single-family rental homes. The hot suburban segment appeals to some older adults who want property management perks, but without neighbors on the other side of the wall.


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