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Leisure World, Laguna Hills
Article contributed by Frank J. Hill, ABR, ASR, CRB, GRI, SRES
Broker/Owner Century 21 Rainbow Realty

Leisure World, Laguna Hills, California (now referred to as Laguna Woods Village in the City of Laguna Woods) is the nation's leading planned residential community for seniors. It was conceived and developed by Ross W. Cortese, who built the first Leisure World in Seal Beach, California in 1960. Cortese, a man of unlimited vision, believed that a void in housing existed for a person age 52 and over.

To find out what Seniors wanted he talked to civic leaders, doctors, clergy and groups of older people. He discovered that Seniors, those 52 and over, wanted a fresh new start in their lives after raising a family, fulfilling a career and, basically, just wanted to be free of household duties and the maintenance and up keep of a home. They wanted to enjoy their "Golden Years"!

Based on his research Cortese, working with a team of planners, architects, builders and designers, started Leisure World in Laguna Hills in 1963. His concept was to build a community that would cater to the needs of seniors.

The first manor (residence) was completed in November 1964 and the last manor in September 1980. Leisure World (the name was changed to Laguna Woods Village in October 2005) has approximately (2008 figure) 18,000 people who live in one of the 12,736 residential units (6,323 co-ops, 6102 condos and 311 units in two tower buildings), 7 clubhouse (originally 6 were constructed, but a 7th was added in 2005), 5 swimming pools, 10 tennis courts, 2 golf courses, an equestrian center, 10 craft shops, 2 garden centers, 2 RV storage areas, a library, 2 fully equipped fitness centers and over 200 clubs and organizations for residents to participate in. Add to this a "free" community bus service and a residence security service that patrols the 2,095 acres and mans the various entrance gates.

When completed Leisure World contained all the elements that Ross Cortese had envisioned in the early 1960's, security, access to local health care facilities, nearby shopping, good transportation, cultural events and programs, excellent housing, recreational and educational opportunities and various other activities designed for Seniors to ensure their freedom and the opportunity to enjoy their "Golden Years".

Article prepared by Frank J. Hill, ABR, ASR, CRB, GRI, SRES
Broker/Owner Century 21 Rainbow Realty

No unauthorized duplication without written consent.


Article contributed by Frank J. Hill, ABR, ASR, CRB, GRI, SRES
Broker/Owner Century 21 Rainbow Realty


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