IRVINE, CA - According to Manny Gonzalez, AIA, LEED AP and principal with award-winning national architecture and planning firm KTGY Group, Inc., "Thanks to increasing longevity and the aging of the Baby Boomers, the 50+ market is rapidly emerging as America’s most significant consumer demographic. Already, over half of all homeowners are 50+—and with empty nests, assets to burn and aspirations to fulfill – they’re among the most active post-recession homebuyers."
Many Boomers are rejecting "age-qualified" communities, Gonzalez says. "Yet demand is off the charts for some 'age-qualified' developments, especially those that are challenging convention and developing new and innovative models. And, while most 50-plusers prefer to 'age in place' in traditional neighborhoods, it will take a lot to keep houses compelling – including 'age-friendly' home remodeling and design, smart home technologies, and neighborhood-based amenities that promote aging well," says Gonzalez.
"The sheer number of Baby Boomers is staggering! Not only are there 10,000 people a day turning 65, people are living as much as four years longer than they did just 20 years ago," Gonzalez says.
"When you look at the 50 most influential Boomers that Life magazine identified a decade ago, the magazine included the likes of Steven Spielberg, Howard Stern, Steve Jobs and Madonna, all of whom thought outside of the box and reinvented their industry. These are the people we are designing age- qualified housing for today; a different type of home than we designed certainly 20 years ago, but even 6 or 7 years ago during the last housing boom," Gonzalez adds.
"We need to design homes that integrate Universal Design making life easier for the homeowner. Why would an empty nester want to haul laundry from their bedroom across the house and through the kitchen to the spot where the laundry room has traditionally been located? Why not just locate it near the Master Suite and it can even feature a direct access option from the Master Closet," explains Gonzalez.
Today’s buyers are into entertaining, but not by hosting the formal dinners of the past, says Gonzalez. "Tomorrow’s plans need to feature Great Rooms where a large 'Entertainment' Kitchen is at the hub of things. And, while the Great Rooms are wonderful for entertaining, a more intimate living space like the Hearth Room are a welcome feature when you just want to read a paper over a cup of coffee," Gonzalez says.
Gonzalez has been invited to be a speaker at the PCBC 2013 show, Homebuilding’s Premier Tradeshow and Conference, held on June 5-6, 2013, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. He will discuss trends and his insights about the 50+ market on Thursday, June 6, at 9:45 a.m., as part of PCBC's 50+ Housing Forum.
At PCBC's "Rethinking 50+ New Ideas and Insights about a Market You Can't Ignore!" Gonzalez will show several floor plans that demonstrate these features and more. "I will also discuss the amenities that are a must in tomorrow’s communities like energy efficiency, technology and, above all, fitness, but fitness that thinks 'outside of the box,'" says Gonzalez.
At 2:30 p.m. on June 6, Gonzalez will moderate PCBC's design panel, "Design's Greatest Hits." This panel will feature 8 topics and each panelist will get to show just one slide and only have 40 seconds to talk about it before the slide automatically transitions into the following slide from the next panelist. Not only will it be fast-paced but the attendees will see 32 best design trends in the multifamily industry today.
Gonzalez is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at various industry events and webinars including MultifamilyBiz.com, and currently serves as PCBC's Co-Chair of the Multifamily Trends Forum. Gonzalez has 25 years experience in design, land planning and production of residential, retail, and mixed-use developments throughout the western US. With his strong interest in livable communities, he focuses on well-scaled, contextual architecture that shapes vibrant environments. Gonzalez's commitment to the industry includes serving on the NAHB Multifamily Leadership Board, 50+ Education Committee and the University of Housing as well as being on the Editorial Advisory Board of 50+ Builder. Gonzalez is based in KTGY's Santa Monica, Calif. office.
Celebrating 21 years in business, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, is a national award-winning firm providing comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market trends and financial performance. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons, Va.