Ryman Healthcare's plans for a new $150 million Auckland retirement village have been notified for public comment and the Urban Design Panel has sought changes.
Last May, the listed company said it would develop a 3.1ha site next door to Selwyn College, not far from the Eastridge Shopping Centre.
Auckland Council is calling for submissions on the scheme at 223 Kohimarama Rd and 7 John Rymer Pl on leasehold land which Ryman has for 137 years with rights of renewal.
A 98-bed hospital, 75 assisted living suites, 123 apartments, 192 car parks, two van parking spaces; and 15 bike bays are planned.
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Construction will take 36 to 42 months, most likely in four stages, Ryman said.
Earthworks will involved about 52,874m3 of cut and about 5750m3 of fill. Proposed significant excavations for basements require groundwater diversion and dewatering.
The council panel asked Ryman to reconsider the treatment of exposed car parks and retaining walls to minimise visual impact. It also wants two buildings to look different in their design, to "encourage some differentiation to ensure that, from a distance, these read as individual buildings".
A potential conflict between pedestrians as residents and visitors, mobility scooters, cars, and service vehicles required further resolution, the panel said. It also had concerns about "ground floor units with limited outlook".
But the panel thanked Ryman for engaging early on its plans, said it supported in principle the good solution on a difficult site, that the building coverage and heights represented a good outcome with generous well-scaled landscaping which would create a feeling of spaciousness within the site and to neighbouring properties.
A Ryman spokesman said: "We were really pleased with the panel's positive reaction to our plans and we took the feedback on board."
Ryman opened its first village in Auckland in 2003 and now has nine villages in the region.
Jeremy Moore, Ryman acting chief development officer, said the Kohimarama Rd site was in an excellent Auckland suburb with a large retired population and a shortage of living options.
"It's rare to find a site this large in Auckland which is close to great shops and handy to many other amenities.
"There's a significant retired population in the wider eastern suburbs area and we plan to build a village with independent living and care on one site.
"We want to build a village that the Kohimarama community regard as a great addition to the area. We'll be talking to them about our plans.''
At last month's AGM, Ryman vowed to continue to expand despite Covid-19 challenges.
Chairman David Kerr said sales had recovered well in New Zealand following the end of the lockdowns in May and demand for aged care remained strong.
The pandemic remained concerning in Victoria and here and the impact of Covid's re-emergence here was difficult to predict, he said.
The hardest-hit region was Victoria, where Ryman had two operational villages and 750 residents and 550 staff in villages, construction and office work.
"We put our villages into a second lockdown in Victoria in early July and our team has done a fantastic job to keep everyone safe over there in difficult circumstances over many weeks," Kerr told the meeting.
New Zealand sales rose after the first Covid-19 lockdowns ended in May, and total resales and new sales for the four months to the end of July were higher than in the same period the year before. Occupancy at established care centres was at 97 per cent, with Ryman's care continuing to be in strong demand, the meeting heard.