Waikanae retirement village plan on track as site acquired
Arvida Group has bought prime land in Waikanae Beach for a new retirement village. The 9ha-plus site, off Te Moana Rd, is within the Nga¯rara development zone and next to the Waikanae Golf Club. The village would comprise 180 villas, 40 apartments and 60 care suites, which would provide hospital and dementia-level care on site. Covid-19 delays had affected the ability to fully engage with the main stakeholders, “but we are planning, as soon as we can, to commence this engagement and work closely with Ka¯piti Coast District Council and the wider community”, chief executive Jeremy Nicoll said. He was delighted with the acquisition and early support from people. “We know there is a strong market for an innovative, high-quality retirement community in Waikanae and we believe this is a fantastic site being close to the golf course, beach and the lifestyle everyone knows and loves at Waikanae Beach. “We have had a lot of locals, Wellingtonians and from further afield, already contacting us about this new community. “They are excited about the concept ... ‘‘ Marketing and sales general manager Tristan Saunders said about 200 jobs would be created during peak construction, and once completed and operational, the facility will employ about 60 people full time. The company’s investment was about $130 million over a period of years. Arvida was in the early stages of creating the masterplan, but the end result would be similar to its popular Waimea Plains village in Richmond, Nelson. “We launched Waimea Plains about two and a half years ago and the demand from the local community was off the chart,” Saunders said. “We’ve never seen anything like it, with people saying ‘this is a different offering to anything out there and we like it’.” Nicoll said the company’s mission was to improve the lives of New Zealanders by transforming the ageing experience. To achieve that we are delivering a fresh approach to retirement communities that focus on outward-looking, inclusive and permeable masterplanning that creates connection and integration into the wider community.” A highlight would be a wellness centre, which would operate as a front door to the community, providing extensive health and recreation facilities to both residents and the wider community. Nicoll said the company was “designing for future generations with the intention of enabling residents and the greater community to ‘live well’ in every sense of the term”. “What we will be bringing to Waikanae Beach will offer services and facilities to get the most out of life.” Arvida already has a presence in the area with its firmly established Waikanae Lodge, which is also in Te Moana Rd. As well as the Waikanae Beach site, Arvida has also acquired a greenfield site in Te Awamutu. The two new sites will take the retirement operator’s total number of sites to 34. ■ Footnote: In last week’s edition we reported that an Expert Consenting Panel had approved resource consents for Summerset Village to create a new retirement village in Waikanae, off Park Ave. The village would comprise 217 independent living units — cottages, villas and townhouses — centred around a main building containing 56 assisted living suites, 20 memory care suites and 43 care beds.