Baby boomers continue to break the mold when it comes to retiring and “downsizing”. This generation wants to remain active, flexible and mobile – and so selling the family house doesn’t mean moving into a smaller condo. Instead many boomers are opting to move into a high-end luxury townhome or condo with all the bells and whistles of a 5-star hotel resort.
Here in Los Angeles, brands like the W and Ritz Carlton Residences are getting in on the act – offering stunning condos in highly desirable locations, like Hollywood, Downtown LA and Santa Monica. With a 24-hour concierge, valet parking, resort-sized swimming pool, full-scale gym, screening room and other facilities for entertaining including rooftop gardens with views, lounges, fireplaces and wetbars, retirees can enjoy a high quality of life while no longer having to worry about lawn care or home maintenance issues. Having been a guest at the W Residences, I can say that the rooftop views of the Hollywood Hills and iconic Sign, and panoramic views to Santa Monica, are stunning. The rooftop area is fantastic for entertaining and is offered at a minimal cost to the building’s resident/owners.
These condos also allow individuals to be able to simply lock their door and travel without needing to setup any maintenance or management of their home while they are away. This sort of luxury does not come without a significant pricetag: At the moment, the least expensive unit for sale at the W Residence in Hollywood is unit 6H at a pricetag of $725,000. This 1 bedroom/2 bath unit offers over 1200 square feet of space. The homeowners association dues monthly for this unit runs $1674/month. It sounds hefty, but when you factor in all the amenities included, you actually receive quite a lot of bang for your buck.
If you prefer the energy of downtown Los Angeles, with LA Live, Staples Center, Nokia Theater, the Coliseum, Disney Concert Hall and much more within a short walk or quick taxi/uber ride, the Ritz Carlton Residences offer stunning views, gorgeous amenities and a beautiful rooftop pool area. The least expensive unit there at the moment is Unit 33F, which is a 1 bedroom/2 bath 1078 square foot unit. HOA fees for this unit are comparable to the W Residences, at $1691 per month. This building also comes with complimentary breakfast each morning for its residences, a Billiard room, plus you can add room service and housekeeping if you don’t want to cook or scrub. The Ritz also has a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the building and a lovely spa.
If the beach’s calm and breezy energy is more your speed, I would check out the Azzurra in Marina del Rey. I just helped a client buy a unit in the building, and the amenities are similar in scope to the W. The building has a gorgeous resort-sized swimming pool with cabanas, a rooftop jacuzzi and entertainment area with BBQ, fireplaces, heatlamps and wetbar. The units face the beach or the city, and the building includes 24-hour valet, concierge, a screening room, various sized board and meeeting rooms for work, an amply stocked gym including pilates reformers, and more. The least expensive unit in the Azzurra at the moment is unit 1526, which offers 1 bedroom/1 bath, faces the city (rather than the marina/beach), and is priced at $650,000 with HOA fees of $849/month. The location is fantastic for people who enjoy jogging, walking, cycling, dogwalking. The building abutts the Marina del Rey bike path and footpath, and connects you to beaches both north and south.
If money is not an issue, the Azzurra offers several units with stunning views from marina to mountain to city in an array of configurations from 2 to 3 bedrooms, some single level and some two-level penthouse style.
There are several new buildings also coming up in downtown Los Angeles that seek to rival the Ritz in luxe accomodations (and pricetags). Not as many are coming to the beach area of Los Angeles, but that is partly due to very strict development rules in cities like Santa Monica, with an activist community that is against high-rise development in the beach area.
One final note especially for singles – many of these buildings offer regular casual social get-togethers where you can meet your neighbors while wine tasting or other fun activities. No stress, no pressure to go, just opportunities to get to know who you are living next to.