The L.A.-based development phenom known as BOOM is on the cusp of major growth, planning to bring their hybrid grown-up amusement park/residential theme to the vertical environs of New York, Boston, and—you guessed it—Chicago. Site scouting and feasibility studies are already underway. Their latest feat, kicking off next year, is in Palm Springs, CA. The communities are curated for a middle-class LGBT population, seeking to provide a tight-knit, social atmosphere in numerous ways.
Matthew Hoffman, Project Manager for BOOM, answered a few of our questions via email. As for a time line, we won't have concrete dates until BOOM ties down a property, after which the project should take roughly two years. Hoffman names three target neighborhoods: Lake View, Andersonville, and Uptown. Both adaptive reuse and ground-up construction are in play. As for size, "we are estimating between 80-160 [units] for the Chicago market. Every BOOM Community will have a minimum of 80 units, which is a figure that we've developed due to the program mix between residential and public programs (commercial, event, hotel + restaurant) which are included at every BOOM."
A distinguishing feature of the housing units themselves is a suite-style configuration that encourages groupings of friends under one roof. "Every bedroom is a master bedroom...each bedroom also includes a separate entrance." But common space is shared for clusters of up to four bedrooms. Sounds like college, except the target market is middle aged and up. How will the sprawling greenfield concept for Palm Springs translate to a mid-rise city building? That's yet to be seen, but if Palm Springs' architectural ambitions are any indication, we're in for a treat.
·Official Site: BOOM
·Gay-Friendly BOOM Brings the Disco back to Desert Life [Curbed National]