Developed with a powerful sense of place in the heart of one of Sydney’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan communities, McRae-McMahon Place honours Uniting’s rich history, inspirational leadership and strong community values.
The striking 65-apartment complex on Marion Street in Leichhardt has top-level apartments offering 360-degree vistas from the city skyline to the mountains, resort-style landscaping, an indoor pool, a private dining room and lounge, and spacious areas for entertaining family and friends.
The development has been purposefully designed for residents in their 70s and beyond seeking a connected and luxurious retirement lifestyle in one of Sydney’s most sought-after inner city suburbs, all with the level of care that Uniting is known for.
Paying tribute to a distinguished Uniting minister and activist
Uniting proudly honours Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon with the naming of the new Marion Street village.
As well as being an exceptionally hard-working and respected church leader, McRae-McMahon spent decades campaigning for disadvantaged and marginalised groups.
She spoke out against the Vietnam War and Apartheid, and actively fought on behalf of women’s groups and Aboriginal people. Now 88, she was a beacon in the early fight for LGBQTI+ rights and bravely shared her personal story in the hope of encouraging tolerance of diversity.
Embodying Uniting’s values of compassion, respect, imagination and courage, McRae-McMahon is notably also the first woman to be a Moderator of the World Council of Churches.
The new Uniting development recognises both her distinguished career and the admiration held for her across Sydney, from her earlier work in the Pitt Street Uniting Church to her longstanding ties in the Inner West.
A decades-long local resident, McRae-McMahon says she feels honoured by the naming of the new development and considers herself lucky to live at another of Uniting’s villages in Leichhardt.
“It’s really great to be part of the community around here and within this lovely place. It is kindness and equality for old people,” she says.
Connection with “sister village” at Leichhardt will build deeper local ties
The lifestyle perks of living in this pocket of Sydney’s Inner West are well known. Art-house movies, gourmet meals and outstanding macchiato – Leichhardt has it all and more.
McRae-McMahon Place's central location means that residents will have to venture only a few minutes away from home to take advantage of everything the neighbourhood has to offer.
While the enviable lifestyle is a given, Leichhardt is so much more than just great food and coffee. From its post-war roots as one of Sydney’s most lively multicultural neighbourhoods, it’s still very much a place where diverse ideas, beliefs and lifestyles are embraced.
This makes the suburb a fitting location for Uniting’s signature model of inclusive and welcoming retirement care.
In fact, the Uniting Church has a rich history in the area and has been providing retirement living units to the Inner West since 1957. In 2022, local services now extend to:
A new 49-apartment retirement and independent living village at Hawkins Place on Norton Street with a beautiful rooftop garden and spacious community room
A 130-bed residential aged care home on Marion Street
A 27-bed aged care home in Lilyfield
The Uniting Seniors Gym in Lilyfield.
The fact that Marion Street and Norton Street will become “sister villages” means that residents have the bonus of being able to use each other's facilities, as well as those at Uniting’s Lilyfield gym.
In addition to expanding the options available to residents, this helps to strengthen ties within the Uniting community as a whole.
Design excellence combined with features for ageing-in-place
Every detail in the development at McRae-McMahon Place has been carefully designed to embody the concept of connected and healthy retirement living.
The architecture, landscape and interior design teams worked closely to bring a unique sense of style and sophistication to the village.
“One of my favourite elements of the design is the whole entry-arrival experience between the buildings,” explains Chief Architect Glen Ollerton of Morrison Partnership Architects.
With its “resort-style” landscaping, the entryway creates a buffer of calm that immediately set the pace for residents to relax and unwind from the busier urban surroundings.
Residents are welcomed by lush foliage, a reflection pool and a water feature that connects them to the common areas and apartments in a seamless way.
“The arrival experience transitions you deep into the development with flowing water that brings life and natural activity into the space that you otherwise wouldn't get in a development of this kind,” says Ollerton.
Once inside the building, the design really works to maximise the magnificent vistas from apartments to rooftop. “The building takes advantage of the fact that it sits within a rich heritage setting. So even the immediate views are all fabulous right out to distant views of the city skyline and the Blue Mountains,” he adds.
Communal spaces are thoughtfully designed to accommodate events ranging from small private gatherings to large group events for lunches, dinners, parties, and movie nights.
The apartment interiors are also elegant and timeless with quality finishes and open-plan layouts. Features that allow residents to age in place have been incorporated in a subtle and seamless way.
“What we've tried to do is create a development where everybody's families will come to visit because it's such a beautiful vibrant place in terms of texture, materials, landscape and amenities like the pool and common areas,” Ollerton says.
Expressions of interest are running high
Chatswood locals Alan and Margot Mann are just two of the many retirees eagerly awaiting the opening of McRae-McMahon Place.
When asked what attracted them to Uniting’s newest village, they said it ultimately came down to three things – day-to-day convenience, the appeal of being in a central location close to family and the high level of detail and care that they saw in the development.
The couple is keen to maintain contact with their inner-city-based children and grandchildren without the burden of lengthy travel times. “The village is near to our children who are insistent that we don’t get too far out of range,” Alan says.
Margot adds that “McRae-McMahon Place is the best inner-city retirement village we’ve seen that offers us access to all of the things we’d like right next door.”
“With so many shops around, popping out for a litre of milk would be no problem at all. It’s also about being able to access things easily without having to get in the car. Being close to a variety of shops, restaurants and cinemas would be a great advantage,” Margot says.
“We took a tour of the Uniting development at Hawkins Place and really appreciated the attention to detail there – and it made the decision easier for us,” Margot says.
The couple were keen to talk about some of the impressive features they learned about in the new Marion Street village, including noise-reducing insulation and glazing, telecoil loop systems for the hearing impaired, and electric vehicle chargers. As well, there are “multiple entry or ‘investment’ levels that open up affordability and access,” they point out.
A retired businessman and avid part-time woodturner, Alan's biggest regret will be having to rehouse his extensive collection of woodworking tools. “Letting go is a hard thing and while moving will be stressful, we’re at the point where we’re happy to redirect our energy to this next stage of life,” Alan says.
Margot is a former university and TAFE teacher and, along with Alan, has an impressively active mind. The couple describe themselves as “still nimble” physically (Margot’s prior certification as an Iyengar yoga instructor is one possible reason for this!).
Even so, they appreciate the “safety net” that living in a Uniting community like McRae-McMahon Place would provide as they get older. As Alan says, “We’ll be close to medical support systems and hospitals. And there’s the care aspect. If one of us is ill or incapacitated we’ll be surrounded by community.”
McRae-McMahon Place by Uniting in Marion Street, Leichhardt offers a range of options from 2-bedroom apartments starting at $1,050,000 ($1,400,00 with study) through to deluxe penthouses. Enquire now and register your interest.