Senior Housing

Where does all that creative energy go when those in the movie biz retire?


Southern California Community Targets Creative Minds.

Only in Burbank?
Why not.

The Southern California suburb has gradually filled with writers, actors, makeup artists, editors, cinematographers, EPs, DPs, gaps, grips and other creative types over the last few decades, as Hollywood’s studios and TV networks have migrated five miles to the north.

This unique community has now spawned a unique approach to senior housing.

Just built, the 141-home Burbank Senior Artists Colony is the first 55-plus active-adult community ever to include a full range of amenities targeted to creative minds.

Not only does the community host a 45-seat screening room, residents have access to a comprehensive film-making studio — senior movie helmers can write their picture in the computer lab, use digital cameras to shoot it, then edit their work in a full-service post-production facility. The actors and various other film pros they’ll need to complete their work will be their neighbors.

As for talent agents, they’ll need to build their own senior community.

Still, BSAC’s developers are also planning to integrate an onsite independent film company, so that the community’s works can be sold and distributed.

A full range of art classes and galleries — painting to sculpture — are also onsite. Other amenities include a pool and health club, as well as a grassy place set aside for tai chi.

The $22 million project was conceived by Burbank-area writer Tim Carpenter five years ago. Having grown up in upstate New York and been exposed to the Yaddo artists colony, Carpenter asked himself, “Why can’t we do that with seniors.”

The City of Burbank lent the developer $3.5 million to get the project going, with the remaining funding coming from low-income housing bonds and conventional loans.

Designed by Scheurer Architects of Newport Beach, Calif., 30 percent of the 1.5-acre community’s one- and two-bedroom homes are targeted to low-income residents.

The project’s innovative concept has been lauded by the National Association of Home Builders, among other orgs.

“In other senior housing communities, the residents might pop in to visit their next-door neighbors and borrow a cup of sugar,” Carpenter notes. “Here, they’ll be going next door for script notes.”