$150 million seniors' village secures green grant

LDK Greenway Seniors' Living: From office block to 'green' retirement village

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$60 million loan to reduce retirement homes' carbon footprint.


A big development of apartments for older people in Canberra has secured a $60 million loan to make it more environmentally friendly.

The 15-acre Department of Social Services complex on Lake Tuggeranong is being converted to more than 350 apartments for retired people at a cost of more than $150 million.

It will be known as the LDK Greenway Seniors' Living Village. Construction has started, with the complex due to be opened next year.

LDK Healthcare, one of the companies behind the conversion of offices to apartments, said: "Residents will enjoy sweeping views across to the Brindabella Ranges from the outdoor areas, which will be completely refurbished into a relaxing outdoor area."

It promised "24-hour reception, corner store, town hall, bar (with happy hour every afternoon), barbershop, hair-and-beauty salon, 130-seat private theatre and dining areas".

"It also includes a library, learning centre, gymnasium, men's shed, chapel, off leash dog park, parking and activity rooms," it said.

Recycling existing buildings avoids the carbon and financial cost of demolition. - Chris Wade, CEFC

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation which is funded by the federal government has agreed to lend the developers the $60 million. It expects to make a profit on the loan which will be used for solar panels, energy efficient lighting, more efficient air-conditioning and insulation.

It said the loan was good for the tax-payer. "Recycling existing buildings avoids the carbon and financial cost of demolition," said Chris Wade from CEFC's property section.

The whole development is pioneering a new financial model for retirement homes. It's a joint venture between LDK Healthcare (which the company says stands for Love, Decency and Kindness) and developers, Cromwell Property Group.

Marketing pitch for the development

Under the scheme, residents rent an apartment for the duration of their lives or until they want to leave, but the sum estimated at $650,000 is returned with the departure of the resident.

The resident also pays a membership fee for taking part in activities. In the Tuggeranong complex, that would be a one-off $175,000 (slightly more if it's paid in instalments, and 25 per cent more for a couple).

In addition, there's a weekly fee which pays for rates and management. LDK Healthcare chief executive, Byron Cannon, said the weekly fee was capped.

Tuggeranong Community Council said: "The village will support residents with low, medium and high care needs, including purpose-built high care support units and secure Dementia support rooms."

The Cromwell Property Group told the stock market: "Construction has commenced converting office buildings to seniors' living, with 35,000 square metre capacity for further development."

Canberra Times