Retirement village has town in mind
A $30 million retirement village proposed for Warkworth will fulfil a community need, developer Chris Murphy says.
The Oaks Village proposal comprises two sixstorey complexes and one of four storeys, 86 apartments, a 30-room care facility and 10 retail shops.
The proposal could be submitted to the Auckland Council for resource consent within a fortnight. Initial feedback to the plan has been positive, Mr Murphy says.
‘‘We expect the village to bring about 130 active retirees to the centre of Warkworth. The convenience of not needing to drive will be a significant attraction.’’
One benefit to the town would be the care facility. Residents will have priority, but it will be available to nonresidents too. This is expected to help fulfil a need for more hospitalquality care in Warkworth.
Another benefit to the town could come with the upgrade of the old hotel building, potentially creating Warkworth’s largest function centre with a 120-person capacity.
‘‘We plan to upgrade the hotel to make it something Warkworth can be proud of. This building should be a feature,’’ Mr Murphy says.
The plan has been developed in negotiations with the council to minimise the effect on the town’s character and maximise the benefit to Warkworth.
‘‘ There’s a trade-off between height, retail and trees.
‘‘ We can sacrifice height if we encroach further upon the trees or do away with retail, but the community and council want both.’’
The idea to include retail space also came from the council but it has now been embraced by the developers.
‘‘We’re not commercial landlords but the council wanted it,’’ Mr Murphy says. ‘‘ They thought it was good for Warkworth, and we now think retail is good for us as well as the community.’’
The proposal will require the removal of some trees and Mr Murphy also acknowledges building height could be an issue. But if there were fewer apartments, the business model would not work, he says.
The model is aimed at the long term – it’s not about turning a quick profit, he says.
‘‘ This is not a selldown walk away and make a profit venture,’’ he says.
‘‘Developers generally look at a 25 percent margin and if they don’t have it they don’t do it. But that’s not our game.’’
Big plans: The proposed Oaks Village in the heart of Warkworth.