Northland's retirement villages show no signs of abating, with Bupa the latest provider planning a $60 million development, in a rapidly developing suburb, that is expected to create more than 60 jobs.
The 4.45ha site on Wairau Dr in Tikipunga will have 80 spacious villas, 14 serviced apartments, 56 care rooms including dementia care, plus an adjacent community centre for locals to use.
"This will be the second retirement village and third care home for Bupa in the Northland area and we are pleased to be expanding in the region to meet the increasing demand," Bupa head of property development Jamie Gibson said.
He said Bupa had worked with Ikon Architects to create a vision which will see a village and care home that would catch the sun and be surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Once completed, the new facilities will employ more than 60 staff.
Bupa's announcement follows plans by Summerset to build a $140m retirement village — the biggest in Whangārei — on 11ha of land adjacent to the Whangarei Golf Club at Mt Denby to meet the needs of the district's ageing population.
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The number of people over 75 in Whangārei is forecast to increase 34 per cent in the next decade and, according to the latest Census, 17,328 or nearly one fifth of the district's 90,960 people were aged over 65 at mid-last year.
The Northland District Health Board had said an unprecedented population growth has put huge pressure on its staff, facilities, and budget, and it felt like it was constantly playing catch-up to provide the services the population needed and deserved.
Bupa has secured resource consents from the Whangārei District Council and the Northland Regional Council and stage one, to start in November, will include earthworks for the first 14 villas.
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Stage two will be the next 24 villas, followed by the community centre and the 14 serviced apartments.
The retirement village is expected to be completed by early 2023 and Bupa is currently negotiating with local contractors.
Construction of 56 care rooms will follow while the rest of the villas will form the final two stages.
Retirement Village Association executive director John Collyns said Bupa had seen a demand for such facilities in Northland .
He said that at the end of last year there were 17 retirement villages, 968 units, and 1280 residents in Northland.
Collyns said over-75-year-olds made up 8.7 per cent of Northland's population which was well below the national average of 13 per cent.
"There's certainly a significant boom for retirement villages and it's good to see that stuff happening. Living in a retirement village is becoming a mainstream housing option for older people," he said.
Collyns said between 80 and 90 people moved into retirement villages each week throughout the country.
PricewaterhouseCoopers' analysis show the construction of a retirement village of 250 units directly contributes about $21.4m to the economy anywhere in New Zealand.
That includes $4.8m in engineering, quantity surveying, architectural, other technical and business professional services, $13.9m in building and other trades, subdivision and site preparation services, $1.8m in civil works including site drainage and road construction services, and a further $900,000 in furniture, fittings, and equipment retailing.
The analysis is contained in an association's housing, employment, and economic impact report prepared last year.
Bupa has 48 care homes, seven rehabilitation sites including one in Whangarei, and 34 retirement villages across New Zealand.
The Bupa Merrivale Retirement Village and Care Home on Springs Flat, just north of Whangārei, and Bupa Kauri Coast Care Home in Dargaville employ more than 150 people.
Elsewhere in Northland, Kerikeri Retirement Village is building the town's first two-storey apartment blocks and last year announced long-term plans to buy as many as 42 neighbouring properties, build another 200 units and expand the number of beds in its care facility from 66 to 100.
Quail Ridge, off Rainbow Falls Rd, is growing rapidly, and Auckland-based Arvida Group just last month lodged a resource consent application for the first stage of a retirement complex off Hall Rd with 200 villas and 60 to 80 care beds.
In May, Metlifecare bought the Kerikeri RSA land and buildings to expand neighbouring Oakridge Villas.