I get at least 10 calls a month about 55+ housing in the South Bay. The calls are mixed.. some from people looking to buy a home in a 55+ community and others looking for a place to rent. Some folks are thinking about downsizing. They want to buy a smaller house or one with less yard work. The South Bay does have some 55+ condos at relatively affordable prices. However, the largest number of calls are from local residents or family members looking for a place that folks 55+ can rent at a lower rate than beach apartment prices. For many, the prices they can afford and the area rental prices are far apart.
People think Torrance or Redondo will be much less expensive than Manhattan or Hermosa but they are not that much cheaper. The culprit is inventory. Over the years many rental units have been lost to builders. Smaller apartment units are torn down and replaced them with Townhomes. In Manhattan and Hermosa those cute little duplex’s have been replaced with large single family homes.
So it was interesting to see three articles about different types of housing. Two of the articles suggested that adding housing to Shopping Malls that are losing stores is something that should be considered. The third article discussed the Village concept where 55+ units are integrated with all age housing. One of the interesting points in the Village concept is that older adults age slower in a mixed age community than in a 55+ development.
The Village concept has many good points. However, there are not a lot of large pieces of land available for housing. The idea of building living spaces in malls seems to be a smart idea. In Redondo Beach, it has been suggested that as The Galeria that has fallen on hard times since Nordstrom moved, adding housing with some great restaurants might be a terrific idea. However, the naysayers are up at the mere suggestion of affordable housing or 55+ housing. Do p[eople seriously think building apartments at The Galleria will increase traffic over the number of trips you get at a Mall?
The Galleria would be a great place for a mixed 55+/ all age apartments. There is transit at the front door so to speak. It’s hard to have Grandma live near you if she can’t afford a place to live. Many folks seem to forget that not everyone can afford to spend $2500.00+ for a 1 bedroom apartment. If you don’t want your kids moving to Georgia there needs to be some form of alternative housing available for people.
We need to get over NIMBY and figured out a plan to allow affordable housing in a high priced market. Ther are a number of small malls in the area that could be switched to housing. Residents just need to realize that the person who needs that spot just might be a family member, not a stranger. Besides, it’s hot and humid in Georgia!