Se­nior hous­ing de­mand boom­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Rock­et­ing de­mand for se­nior liv­ing in cen­tral Auck­land is cre­at­ing a boom in re­tire­ment vil­lage con­struc­tion.

Devel­op­ment sites in the works in­clude the Trop­i­cana farm in Lyn­field and the old Kings­gate Ho­tel in Green­lane, pur­chased re­cently by Ryman Health­care.

Man­ag­ing direc­tor Si­mon Chal­lies says it is a mat­ter of snap­ping up large plots of land where fa­cil­i­ties are needed.

He says most re­tire­ment vil­lage res­i­dents come from within a 5-kilo­me­tre ra­dius.

‘‘It’s rare to get an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop a big site in Auck­land city proper,’’ Chal­lies says.

‘‘We’ve got a lot on the draw­ing board at the mo­ment.

‘‘We’ve tried to work out which com­mu­ni­ties could do with a new vil­lage in terms of the fu­ture and what’s avail­able there right now.’’

Grey Power North­ern rep­re­sen­ta­tive Anne-Marie Coury says se­niors are look­ing for dif­fer­ent ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions.

Re­tire­ment vil­lages are just one choice for se­niors fac­ing hefty rate in­creases and un­man­age­able prop­er­ties.

‘‘There is a hous­ing cri­sis go­ing on and, I be­lieve, there is a par­tic­u­larly spe­cific hous­ing cri­sis for se­niors.

‘‘There is a lot of con­ver­sa­tion within the se­nior com­mu­nity about find­ing places to down­size to,’’ Coury says.

The 1.6-hectare Kings­gate Ho­tel site on Camp­bell Rd in Green­lane will be re­de­vel­oped at a cost of $100 mil­lion with work ex­pected to be­gin in early 2015.

The 8.9ha farm off Trop­i­cana Drive in Lyn­field is one of the largest un­de­vel­oped blocks of res­i­den­tial land in Auck­land. De­vel­op­ers hope to start con­struc­tion there at the end of 2015 but none of the neigh­bours who spoke to the Auck­land City Har­bour News had heard the land had been sold.

One Trop­i­cana Drive res­i­dent, who asked not to be named, says she will be sad to see the green space go.

‘‘It’s a real shame. I love look­ing out and see­ing all of that. Why haven’t we been told any­thing?’’

Puke­ta­papa Lo­cal Board chair­woman Julie Fairey says the board has re­quested a meet­ing with the deve- lop­ers to dis­cuss the site’s her­itage, eco­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance and trans­port links.

Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Lo­cal Board chair­man Si­mon Ran­dall says the Camp­bell Rd devel­op­ment could be an as­set if it is done right.

De­vel­op­ers will need to take into ac­count the traf­fic, trees and the ur­ban de­sign of the lo­cal area, he says.

Photo: KEVIN STENT

Go­ing up: Si­mon Chal­lies of Ryman Health­care says it is a busy time in Auck­land.

Pho­tos: LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Anne-Marie Coury

Change com­ing: The farm off Trop­i­cana Drive in Lyn­field is one of the largest re­main­ing blocks of un­de­vel­oped land in cen­tral Auck­land. Si­mon Ran­dall Julie Fairey

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