A renovated 42-room mansion - once owned by Australian businessman and aviator Sir Reginald Ansett - is at the centre of revised plans lodged for a major retirement living project on Victoria’s booming Mornington Peninsula.
Ryman Healthcare has submitted a new application for an aged care and retirement village project at the Moondah Estate in Mt Eliza. This follows a July decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to refuse a previous application.
The proposed scheme seeks to provide 104 independent apartments, 35 assisted living suites and 82 aged care beds, including catering for low care, high care, specialist dementia and respite care needs.
The proposed development will also include landscaped gardens and a village centre which will comprise a bowling green, café, dining areas, lounge areas, billiards room, pool, gymnasium, activities room, craft room, residents’ work shop, hairdressing salon and beauty salon.
Ryman Healthcare Development Manager David Laing said, as part of the redevelopment, the site’s 130-year-old Moondah mansion will be restored to its former glory.
The 42-room Victorian mansion was built for business executive and pastoralist James Grice in 1888. Sir Reginald Ansett bought Moondah in 1947 and restored the building into a five-star luxury hotel.
It was run as an education centre from 1957, most recently as the Mt Eliza Business School, before Ryman bought the property in 2016.
We’re planning to completely restore the exterior of the mansion so it’s in a condition that James Grice and Sir Reg would be proud of,” Mr Laing said.
"It’s in a pretty tired, rundown state at the moment so we’re excited at the prospect of reinvigorating this local historical treasure.
“Inside, the building will be reconfigured to accommodate the village’s shared amenities, including a café, bar, lounge, cinema, gym, and hair and beauty salons.
“It’ll become the centrepiece of the village community for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“It’s so important that buildings like these aren’t lost to the community, so we’re hopeful Moondah will be given a new lease on life and be a place for people to come together for another 130 years.”
The mansion is listed as being ‘locally significant’, which protects it from being demolished.
The site’s gatehouse carries a State heritage listing. Ryman has spent about $800,000 restoring this gatehouse so it’s in pristine condition.
The revised application is now expected to be assessed by Mornington Peninsula Shire, following a period of public exhibition.
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