Retirement Village at Atherton may spark more investment
THE first retirement village on the Atherton Tableland in years may be the start of private investment in an area of severe shortages and a growing older population.
Construction of the $3.1 million boutique Highland Villas retirement village by the Rockley family at Atherton will be completed by the middle of this year.
The latest development follows the takeover of Innovative Care's 120-bed Sheridan Gardens Care Facility at White Rock by medical health insurer Bupa, with plans to add another 90 beds, and the completion of stages two and three of the $100 million Holy Spirit Westcourt redevelopment.
Mr Rockley said the secure, gated complex in the centre of Atherton was designed to meet retirees' needs. "The villas have been designed to encourage and support long-term independent living with features such as spacious, open-plan living and a large tiled entertaining area with direct access to dining/living areas," he said.
"In recent years we have seen many local projects fail to even get started, despite the growing need for something like this. As such, there is a real shortage of retirement-style complexes in Atherton."
Mr Rockley said the safe and secure gated retirement-style complex included an intercom system to allow access for visitors and gave owners peace of mind when away from home.
"Many retirees want to travel or visit family and can sometimes be away for weeks at a time. Living in a low-maintenance, secure complex means their lifestyle choices aren't compromised with the worry of who is going to take care of what on a daily basis," Mr Rockley said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator Jan McLucas said while the Federal Government played no regulatory role in retirement villages, she welcomed the investment.
"I'm sure it will be welcomed by older people wanting to retire to the Tablelands and potentially Tablelanders downsizing to a smaller property, which is designed for older people," she said.
The villas on Mazlin Stare a short walk to Carinya nursing home,Atherton Hospital,shops and amenities.
Construction of the development has been awarded to Allaro Homes.
The nine stand-alone villas, which range from 132-140sq m and start at$339,000, include two bedrooms, plus office, and two bathrooms, with an ensuite to the main bedroom.
A Tablelands Industry Working Group report has revealed a growing market for such facilities due to the ageing population.
"Mareeba, Atherton and Malanda have aged care facilities, with respite centres at Mareeba, Mt Molloy, Malanda, Herberton and Atherton," it said.
"However, there is a shortage of aged accommodation in the region. There are at least four retirement living projects under consideration for the area."
Group president Sandy Whyte said it would help alleviate the shortage.
"It's very positive to see private investment," he said.
s Mr Whyte said 24 students had just graduated from a QITE aged care training program with 17 already finding jobs.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Welcome investment: Andrew and David Rockley at the site of the Highland Villas retirement village.