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50 more villas for Lansdowne Park

An artist’s impression of Lansdowne Park’s new development on land adjacent to Hansells. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

PAM GRAHAM
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The owners of Lansdowne Park Village are buying 3.2 hectares of land from Hansells Masterton to build 50 to 55 villas in a $25 million expansion of what is already the largest retirement lifestyle and care village in the region.

Alan Stewart, executive chairman of Hansells Masterton, said a sale of land the company isn’t using has been agreed subject to Lansdowne Park getting a resource consent.

An application went into Masterton District Council last week, he said.

The villas are to be built on the land from the driveway of the Hansells factory to Fifth Street. The driveway will be formed into a road.

Lansdowne Village is owned by Arvida, which has been listed on the stock exchange for four years.

“This is significant for us and we’re really excited about it,” said communications manager Tristan Saunders.

He said Lansdowne Park is already large and spacious and “this is just carrying on in the same theme”.

The village, which includes care facilities, has a waiting list of 30 people who have paid deposits, which is historically high, and they will be the first to be offered the chance to buy the one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes to be built, starting late next year.

There are 120 people living in the village and 50 in the care facility and the new development will increase this by 80 residents.

The intention is to have the new villas very much a part of the existing village with the one identity.

Saunders said the project is complicated and the company is in the early stages of design. Residents are being asked what amenities they want in the area being developed.

“Our current thinking is we will have a clubhouse looking out over a wetland area,” he said.

The development will provide jobs in the region during the build and the village itself will employ more people, Saunders said. It currently employs 100 people.

Also, as people move into the new villas they will free up existing homes in the region to first-home buyers.

“It’ll add jobs on construction and jobs on completion and it’ll release properties in the market,” he said.

Arvida reported underlying profit of $17.9 million in the six months ended September 30, up 45 per cent on the first half of the previous year.

Arvida chief executive Bill McDonald said the excellent result was driven by a combination of continued high care facility occupancy rates and full period contributions from acquisitions made last year.

Arvida has a portfolio of 1909 retirement units and 1743 aged care beds spread across 29 villages.

Arvida reported care facility occupancy of 95.3 per cent in September, which continues to be significantly higher than industry experience.

Retirement villages have an increasingly important role to play in addressing New Zealand’s housing supply, said McDonald.

The land for the Lansdowne Park expansion was originally owned by the Maunsell family but has been owned by Hansells for a long time.

Saunders said many of the people in Lansdowne Park come from the wider Wairarapa area or moved back to it to be close to their families in retirement.

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