George Lucas Getting Into Senior Housing Development? May the Force be With Him

Nerd alert: Marin County, California might be getting some Star Wars-themed senior housing in the not-too-“far, far away” future.

Billionaire George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, is working with the Marin Community Foundation to look at options for developing affordable senior housing at Grady Ranch, a property he purchased more than a decade ago with plans to build a film production studio, reports Marin Independent Journal.

[Marin Community] Foundation CEO Thomas Peters said the foundation will bring in affordable housing developers to review numerous land use, geologic, watershed, traffic and related studies completed by Lucasfilm [Lucas’ film production company], which aborted plans for a huge film studio after neighbors complained about a project obscured from view but not far from their backyards.

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Lucas, who expressed an interest in selling the land to affordable housing developers when he pulled the plug, “is thrilled to be working with the foundation,” said Lynn Hale, Lucasfilm spokeswoman.

Peters said the foundation is pleased that George Lucas is seeing this as an opportunity to address one of the most critical issues in Marin County—making it possible for a broad range of individuals and families to afford to live in Marin.

“In many instances, this is housing for people who work in the county but can’t afford to live here and for people who grew up here but who now cannot afford safe, secure housing in their home county,” he said. “And we have always paid particular attention to the need for affordable housing by the county’s expanding senior population.”

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While a possible Grady Ranch development project could include affordable family or senior housing, the foundation plans to explore “all housing options available,” Marin Independent Journal reports, adding there hasn’t yet been a land price discussion. 

Whether or not Lucas’ foray into senior housing comes to fruition, the senior force in Marin County is strong. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, the county’s 65+ demographic totaled 16.7% of the overall population, significantly higher than the 11.4% for the whole state of California—which already ranks high among states with large senior populations.

Lucas is the second high-profile billionaire in recent weeks to express interest in affordable housing, following Warren Buffett’s investment into a Chicago-area affordable senior housing project. 

For more information, read the full Marin Independent Journal article.

Written by Alyssa Gerace