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Aging Baby Boomers Spur Housing Efforts
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Driving along Yosemite Avenue past A street residents might notice the signs of construction. A bright yellow building is nearing completion and is visible from the road. This is a common sight across the country, even in a housing market where many find it cheaper to buy than to build. This is not a single family home, or even an apartment complex. This construction project is a senior housing complex, the one type of new building that is doing well despite the economy.

“We’ve never had this much demand for senior housing in this area. Ever,” said Danelle Stylos of the City of Oakdale.

The Heritage Oaks Senior Apartments, that bright yellow building on Old Stockton Road, joins the many new senior housing units popping up across the country to meet the increased demand. Another 99-unit senior living apartment complex is planned as part of a larger housing development on East F Street in Oakdale. The Trieste Investors LCC development agreement was approved by the Oakdale City Council in September. The development agreement was for 55 single-family homes and 99 senior housing units. The senior homes will be detached units in a 55 or older gated community. Stylos said that there are not currently any single lot in-fill construction for single family homes in the permit process with the City of Oakdale.

The demand for senior housing is greater than ever across the United States. Baby boomers, defined as babies born anywhere between 1946 and 1964, according to the United States Census Bureau, are aging. The majority are reaching the age where they qualify for active senior housing and “adults only” gated communities. Some older boomers need medical care or are otherwise unable to care for themselves, and are increasingly moving to assisted living facilities. This demand for senior housing in its many forms has spurred construction. And the focus of these newer senior housing units is not only function, but luxury.

Heritage Oaks Senior Apartments will also be a 55 years and older active adult community. This type of housing is different from assisted living or nursing care because residents do not require ongoing medical care. Residency will be income-qualified in partnership with the Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing. Adroit Development estimates that the project is about four month from completion.

“I think it will be one of the nicest active adult communities in California,” said Michael Owens, owner of Adroit Development.

Heritage Oaks will include 40 single bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units. It will also include a two story fireplace, a fitness room, a technology room, an entertainment room with an 80 inch plasma television, garage and craft room, among other amenities. Owens said that the apartments were designed with the comfort of older adults in mind. For example, there will be trash shoots on the second floor so that residents do not have to go downstairs for each trip.

Cities across the country are reporting similar increases in new senior housing construction. Minneapolis, Fresno, and New York for example are all experiencing a senior housing boom. The baby boomer generation is sparking a need for increased senior housing, and builders anticipate the need will grow over the next few decades.