Inside Living Out In Palm Springs

Living Out poolsideCourtesy Living OutCourtesy Living Out Susan Feniger and Mary Sue MillikenAlice B. opening spread (Michele Stueven)Alice B. opening spread (Michele Stueven)The Water Lilies (Michele Stueven)The Water Lilies (Michele Stueven)Living Out Palm SpringsIndoor TheaterIndoor TheaterMahjong in the game room (Michele Stueven)Artist Richard Alther (Mchele Stueven)Artist Richard Alther (Mchele Stueven)Mary Sue Milliken’s to go items in the breakfast room (Michele Stueven)Mary Sue Milliken’s to go items in the breakfast room (Michele Stueven)Mary Sue Milliken’s gin and tonic jigglers (Michele Stueven)Tailwaggers (Michele Stueven)Tailwaggers (Michele Stueven)From left: Chefs Susan Feniger, Lance Velasquez and Mary Sue Milliken

Living Out Palm Springs, the first of its kind LGBTQ+ and 55+ community for active adults, opened last week to much fanfare, including words from Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Mediterranean spread and endless appetizers from Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken’s Alice B., live music from the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, and Olympic caliber performances from synchronized swimmers The Water Lilies.

Living Out

Susan Feniger, left,  and Mary Sue Milliken at the opening of Living Out (Michele Stueven)

The new luxury 122-unit complex in downtown Palm Springs is spread over nine acres and is anchored by the Alice B. restaurant. The pool is built for significant schmoozing, laps and water aerobics. There are bocce ball courts, a putting green, and an event lawn to bring singers and public events like Shakespeare in the Park to the community. The facility is “pet encouraged,” with a big park for both small and large dogs for residents.  The LA-based Tailwaggers has a facility on-site that provides everything including a retail store, grooming, daycare and overnight boarding.  

And that’s just outside.

There’s a 25-seat theater for movies and streaming shows, a community room with free breakfast every morning from Alice B., and healthy take-out items, an art studio, a game room, hair and nail salons, and a fitness center. A nurse from the nearby Eisenhower Medical Center is on-site daily.

The apartments are all beautifully appointed in mid-century style with state-of-the-art kitchens,  roomy patios and balconies. The one-bedroom units are 1,100 square feet and include a den and large walk-in closet with panoramic views of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains.

“When I was seeking to build this, the city council asked me why I would do this in Palm Springs, which is already so LGBTQ+ friendly,” Loren Ostrow, developer and well-known member of the local LGBTQ+ community told L.A. Weekly about the four-year project at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I said no matter where you are, as you get older you tend to isolate yourself and unless people come to you, you generally don’t go out. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an LGBTQ+ friendly city, you have to be in a place where it’s easier to form community than being behind gates in a house or in an apartment where you don’t go out.”

Living Out

Credit: Marco Franchina

Living Out

Credit: Marco Franchina

With that in mind, Ostrow and his team, including Paul Alanis, LuAnn Boylan and Richard Delaney, designed the facility to bring the local community in and intermingle with residents through program-rich events and Alice B. 

“I’m here for the community, I’m not a monk in an ashram,” artist, master swimmer, and resident  Richard Alther said during a tour. The long deep walls of the facility are lined with hundreds of artworks — some for sale, some for self-expression. Alther has five on display. A widower of four years, he had a sprawling house in Palm Springs with his husband. But after three winter seasons without him, he became increasingly isolated.

“I realized it was time to take a step to the next best thing. Short of finding a companion at my age on the journey, this appealed to me. I’m finding that like with other widows and widowers, life changes pretty dramatically. But truth be told, that pool is worth the price of admission. It’s a comfy 84 degrees and I’m in there swimming every day.”

Photo Gallery courtesy of Marco Franchina and Michele Stueven
































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