Brief History of Leisure World

by MCS Staff

Leisure World is an age-restricted, gated development primarily inhabited by retirees.

The area was formerly known as the Rossmoor census-designated place for the 2000 census, at which time it had a population of 7,569– named after developer Ross Cortese, who had acquired the land for $5 million in the early 60s.

The sales office opened in 1965 and the shopping center broke ground in October of 1967 with Safeway, People’s, Hot Shoppes, and more signed on.

The Leisure World Globe used to be colorful and even rotated (backwards). After years of security having to make people stop “riding” the globe, and multiple motor malfunctions, the change was made to the static globe we see today.

There are two other Leisure Worlds nationwide (California and Arizona), and a location called Laguna Woods that used to be known as Leisure World– all by developer Ross Cortese.


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