L.A. Seniors Get Crafty at Rental Artists' Colony

First it was hipsters in trailers; the next wave of colonies might be grandparents in arts-focused senior housing. It's a trend that's gaining traction in the Los Angeles area, with artistic seniors spending their golden years pursuing passions instead of biding their time.

The center at the heart of the movement is the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, a 141-unit complex purpose-built for creative types. The residence -- whose rental tenants are 55 or older -- is not a nursing-care or even assisted-living center, but strives to keep residents independent through engagement and activity.
And activity is easy to come by with on-site studios for painting, pottery, and sculpting, as well as video and computer labs, a library, a community room, and even a movie theater. Pursuits include yoga and water aerobics, and educational workshops on everything from drawing to acting.

The apartments are a mix of one- and two-bedroom units renting for up to $2,662. Though higher than the $1,488 average cost of renting a two-bedroom house in the area, with expanded amenities and an assurance of neighbors with common interests, it's a price many are willing to pay.

Other arts-focused senior housing options in the L.A.-area include North Hollywood's NoHo Senior Artists Colony, and an upcoming Long Beach project by the same developer behind the Burbank center -- awesomely described by CurbedLA as "Fame for the mah jongg set".

It's inspiring to see such unique and enriching options for seniors in a place where so many are drawn as bright-eyed youngsters with nothing but a guitar case or paint palette, and a dream.

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