A 150-unit retirement village will be built on the former Urambi Primary School site in Kambah.
Hindmarsh has been selected as the tender for the development and has purchased the 3.6-hectare site from the ACT government for $6.05 million.
It is one of two sites in Tuggeranong that the Land Development Agency planned to release for aged care and retirement villages in the 2014-15 financial year.
Hindmarsh plans to own and operate the new community development and will build a mixture of single-storey villas and apartments.
Work is expected to start in 2016 and will be completed in stages. Hindmarsh national retirement manager Erik Boddeus said there was significant demand for retirement living options in the area. ‘‘We are focused on creating a new community that breathes new life into the existing area,’’ he said.
A development application for the site, on the corner of Snodgrass Circuit and O’Halloran Circuit, is expected to be lodged mid-2015.
The Urambi Primary School closed at the end of 2010 and students moved to the brand new Kambah P-10 school when it opened at the start of 2011.
The site was on the Land Development Agency’s indicative land release program for 2014-15.
LDA chief executive officer David Dawes said Tuggeranong was an area of Canberra that was ‘‘grossly undersupplied’’ when it came to retirement living options for an ageing population.
The latest land release program says ACT demographic estimates show the number of people living in the territory aged more than 60 increased by nearly 50 per cent in the decade to 2012.
Based on demographic projections between 2012 and 2022 the number of people living in the ACT over 60 is predicted to increase by 37 per cent. Belconnen and Tuggeranong are expected to have the largest increase in people over 60 years of age.
The land release program identifies sites for aged care and retirement living developments in Chapman, Higgins, Monash, Curtin, Throsby and Gungahlin over the next four years.
Negotiations are still continuing on the second Kambah site, the former Village Creek School, which was offered for tender at the same time as the larger Urambi site. Jones Lang La Salle agent Greg Lyons said there had been quite a lot of interest in both sites, but the larger site had been marketed towards national companies in the retirement field. He expected strong interest in the developments.
The Land Development Agency sold two sites for childcare facilities – one adjacent to each Kambah site – in February.
Canberra Times, Canberra; 25 Mar 2015, by Meredith Clisby
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