Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Summerset on target to finish 200 units

Summerset CEO Norah Barlow.
Summerset CEO Norah Barlow.

Executives at highly rated retirement business Summerset Group Holdings say it is on target to finish 200 new village units this year and that they are gearing up to build 300 by 2015.

In the latest half-year report to June 30 issued yesterday, the chairman of New Zealand's third largest listed retirement specialist, Rob Campbell and outgoing chief executive and managing director Norah Barlow outlined how five sites were in their landbank.

Now the business is hunting for more, they said. "We remain focused on delivering on our promises and have an excellent platform for growth," they say.

Macquarie Private Wealth Research said New Zealand equities it favoured were Summerset, Sky Television and Restaurant Brands.

Campbell and Barlow said construction was under way in Dunedin, Hamilton and Nelson.

New villages are planned for Ellerslie and Hobsonville in Auckland and larger hospitals will be built there than Summerset has built before.

However, Summerset was knocked back at Hobsonville when its resource consent was declined, but the firm says it is appealing against this, heading for the Environment Court against Auckland Council.

Campbell and Barlow said work would start soon on the main building at Katikati. The first residents moved into units there in July. That brought Summerset's village network to 16 and Campbell and Barlow said raising the total to 20 villages was now imminently achievable.

A new 4ha site has been bought adjacent to Summerset's existing Trentham village. "That will enable us to extend the existing 5.4ha village by more than 100 retirement units. We intend to build new recreational facilities, care apartments and care beds to the existing 124 retirement units and 41 care beds," Campbell and Barlow said.

Summerset has bought the 3.1ha Boulcott's Farm Heritage Golf Course in Lower Hutt and plans a $100 million village. About 200 people will live there once it is finished.

A 4ha New Plymouth site has been bought and 150 village units will be built there.

Summerset built 102 retirement units in the first half of the 2013 year, they said.

"We are progressing resource consenting for our other greenfield sites, Karaka, Ellerslie and Hobsonville, and remain on track to reach our target of 300 retirement units per annum by 2015," Campbell and Barlow said.

Apart from developments in Dunedin and Nelson, Summerset is solely focused on the North Island, unlike market leader and giant Ryman Healthcare with more of a national spread of villages. Summerset owns 1748 units and 370 hospital or care beds, home to about 2200 residents. Shares in the company closed up 1c yesterday at $2.97, up 165 per cent from $1.12 a year ago.

- NZ Herald

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