Trend Watch: Why Empty Nesters are Opting for Urban Living

When kids go off to live on their own and the house is finally quiet for the first time in 18+ years, you suddenly have more space than you know what to do with and herein lies a decision all empty nesters face: to redesign your space and shape a new life there or trade in this environment for something different.

Though downsizing is no new trend, downsizing to bustling city life is. Parents are no longer expected to remain in the same place as where their kids grew up or maintain the same kind of lifestyle, sans kids. Here is what’s drawing empty nesters out of suburbia and into the centers of urban paradises these days.

Less to Maintain

A no-brainer, really. Why vacuum and dusty rooms that aren’t getting touched but once a year? Why mow a lawn or heat a swimming pool if your backyard was really designed for your kids’ enjoyment? City living means being able to cut your household chores down exponentially. No more gutters to unclog or driveways to pressure-wash or side paneling to repaint once you’re living in a maintained luxury building.

Walkable Neighborhoods

According to AARP, housing preferences of the 45+ crowd include being in a walkable neighborhood, in close proximity to work, and having access to public transportation. Trading in a backyard for vertical living gives empty nesters close access to all the restaurants, shopping centers, parks and cultural exhibits one could want. And, apart from convenience, regular walking is one of the best anti-aging activities you can do—proving beneficial for both physical and cognitive health.

Social Opportunities

While it might work for some, not everyone wants to retire to a remote location and enjoy their own company. Many adults are embracing better social lives than people half their ages because they now have the freedom to focus on themselves once their kids are grown and on their own. With coveted access to Uncle Harry’s and countless events organized by The Harrison’s Luxury Attaché—ranging from cocktail parties to meditation classes—residents have every opportunity to socialize.

Amenities Galore

Urban living offers residents five-star amenities you wouldn’t get out of a standalone home. The Harrison, for example, boasts a private penthouse lounge, Uncle Harry’s; a fully-stocked café-style Pantry; hot tub and swimming pool; fitness center; and personalized concierge service. Live like royalty without having to care for the castle.

5 Magnificent Winter Retreats Within 4 Hours of The Harrison

San Francisco has everything one could ever need: world-class cuisine, museums and galleries, and some of the most spectacular views on the west coast. Even so, a trip outside of San Francisco can be a welcome deviation from everyday life. Avoid complacency during the winter by planning a cozy getaway somewhere off the beaten path. All located within a few hours of The Harrison, these winter retreats boast some of Northern California’s best cold-weather experiences.

Oceano Hotel & Spa – Half Moon Bay

Though Half Moon Bay could easily be a day trip, winter presents the perfect time to extend it into a weekend getaway instead. Check yourself into Oceano Hotel & Spa, which has fireplaces in many of its rooms and suites, for ultimate relaxation. Enjoy views of Half Moon Bay Harbor and the Pacific Ocean after a hot stone massage, milk & honey bath or microcurrent facial. And if you’re feeling more adventurous one day, sign up for a whale-watching tour—as January through April is whale-watching season in Half Moon Bay.

Distance From The Harrison: 25 Miles (30–45 Minutes)

Calistoga Ranch

Renew your mind and body in nature at this Napa Valley resort. Soak in a heated mineral pool overlooking moss-laden oaks, melt your stress away in a detoxifying mud wrap or simply relax with a glass of local wine as you sit by a fireplace with your loved one. Book a stay in one of the ranch’s 50 freestanding guest lodges, allowing you to truly embrace the natural surroundings.

Distance From The Harrison: 72 Miles (About 1.5 Hours)


Orr Hot Springs Resort

Go for the hot springs and stay for the cozy yurt or cottage you’ll have the pleasure of sleeping in. During your stay, let the quiet ambiance and warm waters transport you to a state of relaxation. Orr Hot Springs Resort is a quaint resort in the rolling hills of the Mendocino Coastal Range. Here, treat yourself to mineral-water soaks in their hot springs, private/stargazing tubs or cold pool.

Distance From The Harrison: 135 Miles (About 2.5 Hours)


One of the country’s most visited national parks is known for its summer recreation: camping, hiking, basking in the vast natural beauty. What you might not realize is that Yosemite is also a great destination during the winter as well. Take in the snow-capped mountains and frozen waterfalls and check six National Historic Landmarks off your list. Best of all, you can enjoy ice skating in the great outdoors at Half Dome Village Ice Skating Rink, followed by a cozy sit by the fire pit.

Distance From The Harrison: 189 Miles (About 4 Hours)


Lake Tahoe

For the winter sports aficionado, Lake Tahoe is a not-so-hidden gem. Choose from 13 different ski resorts—from the Olympic-caliber Squaw Valley to the family-friendly Tahoe Donner Downhill—for your winter getaway. Not into skiing or boarding? Many of the resorts offer indoor activities for those who prefer to stay cozy and warm.

Distance From The Harrison: 202 Miles (About 4 Hours)

The Harrison Designer Ken Fulk Crafts Golden Globes After-Party Elevator

Award season kicked off last week with the 76th annual Golden Globes and the InStyle & Warner Brothers after-party was nothing short of spectacular. The event was incredibly star-studded, per usual, but the party’s design aesthetic was just as brilliant—all thanks to The Harrison’s designer, Ken Fulk.

The internationally celebrated designer debuted an entirely new custom look for this year’s VIP elevator and lounge, which provided the perfect, picture-worthy backdrop. Fulk brought to life the same chic, whimsical designs that we enjoy right here The Harrison, like fanciful wallpaper, studded leather elevator doors, various animal prints and old-school bar carts—all incredibly reminiscent of Uncle Harry’s.

In an interview with InStyle, Fulk explained, “My motto in my work and in my life is: ‘Make every moment matter.’ In our designs, that often translates to a highly aesthetic approach to enhancing our life through beautiful experiences by leaving no detail untouched or surface unadorned.” And, of course, the same can be said for his stunning designs throughout The Harrison—spanning from the Grand Salon to our model residences and private penthouse lounge.

The custom elevator has garnered worldwide attention with celebrities posting their beautifully curated photos and videos on Instagram and acclaimed publications like Architectural Digest taking notice. Congratulations to Ken Fulk on yet another astounding masterpiece.

An Inside Look at the Urban Renaissance Happening in SoMa

SoMa is leading the way into the future of San Francisco—a future that’s more urban, vertical and transit-rich. And at The Harrison, we’re seeing several evolving elements in particular that are making this future evident. Get a glimpse inside the urban renaissance that’s happening in SoMa below.


Believe it or not, the Bay Area is now home to more than 4 million jobs for the first time in its history—all by virtue of a continuing economic boom. Top companies are still recruiting at the highest rates and the industry-leading companies recently attracted to the area—Google, Salesforce, Slack and beyond—are indicative of the growth that is already here and undoubtedly forthcoming.


SoMa is amongst the newest neighborhoods in San Francisco, which has ultimately given rise to a variety of new architectural styles that stand in contrast to the older, more historic locales in the city. Here, “iconic” San Francisco is being both literally and figuratively redefined. The many new buildings in SoMa, including The Harrison, are indicative of a more vertical future of San Francisco that, with it, offers a more amenitized lifestyle.


An urban renaissance is nearly synonymous with an upsurge in transit. In SoMa alone, residents are within moments from the area’s largest employers and have simple access to the freeway, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), CAltrans, Muni and the Ferry Building. The neighborhood has likewise been ranked amongst the most walkable and bikeable in San Francisco, making it an effortless locale to both live and work.


The Transbay neighborhood, Folsom Street and Rincon Hill are slowly adopting a new name “The East Cut,” and the community benefit district that comes with the name provides 24/7 security, daily street cleaning and programs to help homeless off the street. Here, San Franciscan’s largest concerns are being directly addressed and, as a result, those who both live and work in the area are given a clean, enjoyable environment to call home.