You’re only as old as you feel, as the saying goes – and Baby Boomers are feeling young and fun well into their 60s. Not content to abandon their impassioned pursuits and jam-packed schedules just because they’re retiring, Boomers are keeping more active in their golden years than previous generations, taking on new hobbies and tackling their bucket lists with vigor. Developers have taken heed, and bustling Boomer communities are cropping up around the Valley to transform the retirement path from an amble to a gambol.
Victory at Verrado
Location: 20818 W. Pasadena Ave., Buckeye,
Quick Pitch: It’s way out west – but there’s wine!
Multiple builders allow Boomers to break out of the cookie-cutter mold that has long defined retirement living and design custom homes of all sizes, shapes and even colors. While some 55-plus communities segregate residents of a certain age, Victory takes the opposite approach, with no gates or walls separating the neighborhood from the rest of the Verrado development, to encourage intergenerational engagement. In addition to a public golf course that weaves in and out of the desert and miles of paved paths and trails that take hikers all around the beautiful White Tank Mountains, Victory offers some resident-exclusive perks. The Victory Club compound boasts a gym, movement studio, yoga lawn, resort-style pools and spa. Residents can also belly up to The Vic Bar + Kitchen for craft beer and cocktails or enjoy a wine tasting and wine-making class in the community’s Victory Vineyard, which celebrated its first harvest and crush this fall.
Locations: Goodyear and Chandler,
Quick Pitch: The space and privacy of houses with the relaxed responsibility of apartments.
While some active-living communities feel like overbooked resorts with bloated programming, Avilla feels like a traditional suburban neighborhood, but better – residents get the cream of both apartment and house living. Instead of traditional apartments stacked on top of each other, Avilla’s rental units are spread out in single-story, detached residences that afford residents space and privacy, but without the “buck stops here” realities of home ownership (Avilla employs repair people, handles garbage collection, etc.). Originally designed with footloose millennials in mind, the communities have instead attracted waves of empty nesters who want to scale down from large family homes without settling for seedy apartment complexes or breaking the bank on luxury condos. Avilla is growing exponentially and plans to increase its community count to five locations in the Greater Phoenix area by early 2017.
Trilogy at Wickenburg Ranch (Main Image)
Location: 3312 Maverick Dr., Wickenburg,
Quick Pitch: Luxe Wild West meets golfers’ haven.
This outdoorsy outpost of Shea Homes’ Trilogy project wasn’t designed solely as a 55-plus community, but neighborhoods within it have followed that trend, according to a representative, and the development’s amenities have been evolving in kind. To wit: Li’l Wick, a short-game golf course designed around a cabana bar and grill, is scheduled to open this month. It joins the William Brownlee- and Wendell Pickett-designed Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club, recognized as one of the Best New Courses of 2015 by Golf Digest. Coming in 2017: the main club, which will feature an Art Barn for crafty Boomers, chef-led cooking classes for foodies and a stargazing lounge outfitted with telescopes.
Location: 44 W. Monroe St., Phoenix,
Quick Pitch: Sophisticated city digs for urban explorers.
This chic high-rise apartment building in the heart of Downtown Phoenix is Arizona’s tallest residential tower – and its popularity with urban Boomers is just as staggering. Surrounded by Phoenix’s trendiest shops, restaurants and architecture, 44 Monroe promises the potential of a new adventure every time its inhabitants step out the door. New in the area: Hidden Track Bottle Shop, a hip beer-and-wine store that holds regular wine tastings and offers a wine-of-the-month club; and Mancuso’s Restaurant, an Italian steakhouse in the CityScape area. Inside the high-rise itself is a pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center where Boomers can stay fit, whenever they see fit.
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