15 July 2019

When it comes to retirement villages, the future is looking up - literally. 

According to the Property Council of Australia’s 2018 Retirement Living Census, retirement villages increasingly contain multi-storey buildings. Some 30 per cent of new villages include these types of buildings, compared to only 15 per cent of existing villages.

The trend is hardly surprising. 

With the high cost of land in urban centres, retirement living developments become more financially viable when you construct towers and therefore increase apartment yield.

Building denser and taller retirement villages also makes it more cost-efficient for village developers to construct the amenities increasingly sought by incoming residents, such as gyms, pools, health and beauty salons and cinemas.

In addition, retirees are increasingly looking to be near bustling and vibrant urban villages, where they can access restaurants, shopping and arts and cultural opportunities. Land in and around these centres is often set aside for higher density living, which can be utilised by retirement village developers.

Given the strong trend towards vertical retirement villages, we thought we would conduct an analysis of some of newly-built villages on the market right now.


Aveo Carindale (Brisbane)

Aveo Carindale is a $280 million six-stage redevelopment, will deliver 432 independent living apartments and a 115-bed high care facility upon completion in 2028. 

The village is located in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, some 11km from the Brisbane CBD near Westfield Carindale. As of May 2019, new apartments were selling from $295,000- $952,000.

The first stage of Aveo Carindale will be completed in July 2019 with the official opening on 28 August 2019, and will comprise of one, two- and three-bedroom independent living apartments in two multi-storey residential buildings up to ten storeys high. 

Facilities include a bar and terrace, restaurant/cafe, heated swimming pool, cinema, library, hair and beauty salon, games and billiards room, gymnasium and arts and craft room.

“We’re thrilled that the first stage of the Aveo Carindale redevelopment is nearing completion and will set new standards of excellence in seniors living, being the largest retirement development in South Eastern Brisbane,” said Aveo Group CEO, Geoff Grady.

“Aveo Carindale is located near a vibrant shopping and entertainment precinct, parklands, leading health and professional services and Brisbane’s CBD, complementing our strategy to provide residents with access to established infrastructure and lifestyle amenities both in the community, and within the broader setting."

Artist's impression of the Aveo Carindale complex

Shine Birtinya Retirement Village (Sunshine Coast)

Stockland’s Shine Birtinya, located in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has 140 units and was completed in October 2018. Its tallest building is eight storeys, with prices ranging from $279,000 to $740,000.

The village is located just moments from the iconic beaches of the Sunshine Coast. It is also less than 1km away from a medical precinct which includes the world class Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Stockland Birtinya Shopping Centre is also nearby. 

The village features a state-of-the-art Wellness Centre, including a gym, weekly fitness classes, yoga studio, hair salon and clinical consult room. 

Shine Birtinya features a clubhouse, with a heated outdoor pool and a billiards and activity room, hair salon, kitchen and bar, community lounge and library for residents to access.

“The community here is so caring and friendly. From outdoor BBQs and gatherings, to playing Mahjong or enjoying banter during Happy Hour, many of our residents are not only neighbours, but close friends,” said Robyn Hauser, Village Manager at Shine Birtinya.

“We believe that no retirement should be the same which is why we offer all the amenities one could hope for in their retirement, and more.”

View from the Shine Birtinya complex


The Verge at Burleigh (Gold Coast)

Overlooking Burleigh Golf Club’s 10th tee, The Verge at Burleigh Golf Club will feature 145 contemporary independent living apartments and 32 state-of-the-art care apartments for those requiring a higher level of support within their homes.

The Verge will be built in three stages, with construction on the first stage beginning soon. The first stage is expected to be completed by early 2021. Independent living apartments in Stage 1 of the retirement community are priced from $540,000 to $1,250,000.

When constructed, The Verge will comprise three apartment buildings up to six storeys in height, plus a wellness centre.

It will feature a brand new wellness hub catering to body, mind and soul with a gymnasium, indoor and outdoor activity areas, salon, café and lush gardens, all within wandering distance of the existing Burleigh Golf Club clubhouse. A rooftop terrace and resident’s bar will also be included.

The village will be located close to stunning beaches and some of the Gold Coast’s best dining experiences, shopping and entertainment hubs. The retirement community is co-located with the popular Burleigh Golf Club, meaning residents are a two-minute walk from a game of golf or relaxing at the terrace bar. 

“The Verge at Burleigh is redefining seniors living on the Gold Coast with high-quality apartment designs and an exceptional array of services and facilities combined with its unique location overlooking the fairways of Burleigh Golf Club,” said RetireAustralia Senior Development Manager Judi Hutchison.

“Designed to support the health and wellbeing of our residents, this is a place where today’s vibrant and independent seniors can enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle within easy reach of beautiful beaches and exciting dining, shopping and entertainment experiences."

Artist's impression of The Verge at Burleigh complex

The Village Yeronga (Brisbane)

The Village Yeronga is located in Brisbane's inner-south. Its facilities include a gym, pool, bowling green, bistro, library, wellness and beauty centre, doctor’s surgery and private cinema. Meanwhile, it is close to parks and major hospitals.

The tallest building in the village is six storeys, with a five-storey building completed in November 2017. Units range in pricde from $459-$799,000.

There are some 285 units across the complex.

The most recent building at the Village Yeronga


Aveo Bella Vista (Sydney)

Aveo Bella Vista will ultimately comprise of ten buildings containing 446 independent living units, including a 144-bed care facility on completion. As of June 2019, apartments were selling from $715,000-$1,195,000.

The $75m first stage, ‘Waratah’, opened to the public in October 2018, comprising 64 independent living apartments over nine levels and offering a range of one, two- and three-bedroom residences.  

The remaining 382 apartments will be developed progressively over the next five to six years, with the tallest building in the complex to be 11 storeys.

The site is located within 2km of the new Sydney Metro railway line to Sydney’s north-west, and is footsteps from a shopping centre. It also has easy access to the M2, Cumberland Highway and the Westlink M7, making it a great launchpad for holiday trips.

On-site facilities include the resident bistro and bar, beauty salon, gym, snooker lounge, function rooms, community garden, outdoor fitness/yoga lawn and health and wellness suite, which includes physiotherapy and remedial massage.

“Retirement attitudes and needs are changing; people entering this stage of their life want to maintain their lifestyle, and Aveo Bella Vista is leading the charge to meet this demand by providing the best retirement living options on the market,” said Aveo Group CEO, Geoff Grady.

“Being part of the exciting Norwest precinct and incorporating beautiful gardens, a lake and retail space into the community’s design plays an instrumental role in bringing the local community together."

Aveo Bella Vista

Cardinal Freeman Village (Sydney)

Stockland’s Cardinal Freeman Village is located just a 10km drive from the CBD and just minutes from the Summer Hill, Burwood and Ashfield shopping precincts. The village will be complete in July 2019 with the new and final building, Camellia, ready to occupy.

The village was named the best Retirement Living Development in NSW at the prestigious 2017 UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence and Best National Seniors Living/Retirement Development by the Urban Taskforce. 

It has 318 units in buildings up to five storeys high, with prices ranging from $870,000 to $1.350m.

Cardinal Freeman offers many state-of-the-art facilities, one of which is the award-winning clubhouse that houses a heated swimming pool and gym, billiard room and bar, lounge area, craft and meeting rooms and a theatre and media centre that runs weekly movies for residents.

The gym facilities have a Wellbeing Coordinator who is on-hand to help residents with their health, medical conditions or anything they would like to improve on.

There is also a Village Green where residents can relax with some lawn bowls, communal vegetable garden, resident workshop with power tools and equipment provided, an on-site café, and in-home services including visits by podiatrists, dentists, physiotherapists and more.

Cardinal Freeman also includes an OPAL aged care residential facility so that residents can stay in the precinct if they need to move to a higher level of care.

Mark Maybury, Village Manager at Cardinal Freeman Retirement Village, said that the village offers the very best in retirement living for so many reasons.

“Residents here get the beauty and serenity of a gated community, but are still only 10 kilometres from the CBD,” he said. “They love how they are able to take a short drive, bus or train into the city to see their family or experience the city, then return home to their lovely new apartments for some peace and quiet.”

Cardinal Freeman Village at Ashfield

The Rise at Wood Glen (Erina, Central Coast NSW)

Construction of the first stage of RetireAustralia’s The Rise at Wood Glen is well underway, with completion expected in August 2020. The village will be opening its doors for an open day on 25 July 2019.

The Rise at Wood Glen, when complete, will comprise 58 purpose-built two and three-bedroom independent living apartments against a backdrop of award-winning gardens and stunning views in the existing Wood Glen retirement living community. 

Nestled into the base of Kincumba Mountain Reserve, each building steps up the hillside and is limited to three storeys at any one point.

The Rise at Wood Glen is located adjacent to Erina Fair Shopping Centre, the largest shopping centre on the Central Coast featuring major supermarkets and department stores. Medical and allied health services and community facilities are also close by and local beaches and nature reserves are just a short drive away.

Residents will enjoy access to Wood Glen’s wide range of exclusive community facilities including a resort-style lodge with a lounge and bar, hairdressing salon, library, swimming pool and spa, gymnasium, table tennis, bowls green and billiards table.

There is also a barbecue and recreation area, medical consulting rooms and an auditorium for functions, with regular events and activities scheduled for residents. Independent living apartments in Stage 1 range from $650,000 to $1,050,000.

“The Rise at Wood Glen is unlike anything seen before on the Central Coast, with world-class designs and expansive layouts that capture the Erina Valley views,” said RetireAustralia Development Manager Bill Clydesdale.

“This is an extraordinary project that allows seniors to both maintain and enhance their pre-retirement lifestyle, ensuring they don’t need to compromise on the things that matter most.

“The apartments are also pet-friendly and residents have access to Wood Glen’s exclusive facilities and all the benefits of living in a prime location on the Central Coast, across the road from the region’s largest shopping centre.”

The Rise at Wood Glen


The Grace Albert Park Lake (Melbourne)

The Grace Albert Park Lake, being developed by Australian Unity, was completed in May 2019 and is now an 18-storey landmark on the Melbourne skyline

Positioned between the CBD, the shops of South Melbourne and the acclaimed Albert Park dining precinct, residents are just minutes away from the very best of Melbourne and enjoy magnificent views (see photo above headline).

Meanwhile, the Albert Park Lake offers a great setting for Sunday picnics and afternoon strolls, while the city’s arts district is only 15 minutes away. 

Resident facilities on offer include a concierge, edible garden, fitness centre, a library, artist studio, rooftop terrace, piano lounge, pool. Unit prices currently range from $670,000 to $4,950,000.

Harley Moraitis General Manager of The Grace said: “They’re beautifully appointed apartments, when you look at the finishes – the marble, the timbers, the wool carpets – they are unsurpassed. It’s about enjoying life your way, our focus is helping residents live their life to the fullest through the services we offer.” 

The Grace Albert Park Lake

Drummond Place (Melbourne)

Completed in 2017, Australian Unity’s Drummond Place village at Carlton includes 90 apartments, with the tallest building on-site being eight storeys high. Prices range from $765,000 to $2,350,000.

Resident facilities on offer include a concierge, private library, lounge, arts and crafts room, dining room, gym, games area, private cinema, The Garden Room with on-site kitchenette and a rooftop terrace.

The location gives residents easy access to Carlton and the broader offerings of the City of Melbourne. A short tram ride connects you with Melbourne’s famous laneway culture, the arts precinct, world-class boutiques and iconic department stores. 

Most of Melbourne’s major sporting venues and theatres, the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Zoo, and the State Library are a short trip away. 

Gavin Young, General Manager of Rathdowne Place and Drummond Place said: “Our residents are city people. They like to be close to the theatre, to the arts and museums of Melbourne, particularly the metropolitan lifestyle of Carlton, that is definitely in contrast to your traditional urban sprawl retirement village.” 

"We have a mixture of residents, some are already using services as they are in the initial stages of requiring care, while others are strictly and fiercely independent.”

Drummond Place outdoor area

By Mark Skelsey, News Editor at Downsizing.com.au - [email protected]