If you want to get excited, look to Boomers. They’re plentiful too, well-heeled (at least relative to millennials), and many of them are looking for compact, age-appropriate crash pads before heading off to heaven.
Some folks foresee a mass senior downsizing, calling it the silver tsunami. And one person who’s got his surfboard ready is Jimmy Buffett.
Buffett has already built an empire leveraging his white-bread, inebriate beach-bum brand for everything from Broadway musicals, themed restaurants, and 11 Margaritaville hotels. Now Margaritaville Holdings is partnering with senior-specialists Minto Communities to offer up two 55+ communities dubbed LATITUDE MARGARITAVILLE (all caps for easier reading).
There will be two locations: one in Daytona Beach and another in Hilton Head. Daytona Beach will feature 6,900 homes and 200,000-square-feet of retail, and have a $1b price tag, according to Curbed. Hilton Head’s current program calls for “3000+ homes” and 200k of retail, according to LM’s site. The former has some model homes now and the latter is expected to have them mid this year. Both are taking orders.
According to a press release, the development seeks to capitalize on “Margaritaville’s inherent ability to deliver fun and escapism,” which is better than the funereal feel that characterizes most of these developments. The communities feature concert venues where Jimmy Buffett cover bands can play as well as themed restaurants that serve pureed prawns and Metamucilaritas.
Many old people are reluctant to self-identify as old. One, because the look of older adults (55+ in demographese) is a lot different than it was 20 or 30 years ago; they’re living longer and many—though not all—are living healthier. Two, because no one, young or old, wants to face their mortality. The fact is most seniors won’t move into age-appropriate digs in their advanced years, according to a Harvard report from a few years ago. They will remain in their too-big single-family home they will increasingly be unable to maintain, afford, or access via cars.
Rebranding senior living like Buffett is doing—or as friend and architect Matthias Hollwich is doing in more sophisticated manner—is a smart play.
What I’d love to see is more multigenerational solutions, some of which I’ve written about in the past such as ADUs and platforms for seniors taking on younger roommates. I’d also like to see adaptably-designed larger multifamily projects that meet the overlapping needs of job-free, baby-free millennials and day-drinking seniors.