Ryman Healthcare, the Kiwi-listed aged care and retirement giant, expects to finalise design changes for a 230-resident facility on the Mornington Peninsula within months, its 14th Victorian project in less than a decade.
The centrepiece of the $317-million retirement village will be a heritage-listed, 42-room mansion on 8.9ha at 60-70 Kunyung Road, Mt Eliza, about 40km south of Melbourne.
Planning approval came late last year but only after a drawn-out legal battle ending in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal agreeing to revisions involving building sizes and setbacks.
“Our design team has been working to incorporate those conditions and we’re planning to lodge the plans with the council for endorsement in September,” Ryman Healthcare Australia general manager of development David Laing said.
Under the approved plans, the 135-year-old Moondah Mansion will become the centre of the village. Part of it will be demolished to make way for a new extension, while six buildings of up to four storeys will house 104 independent apartments, 27 assisted-living suites and a 60-bed aged-care centre.
“There’s some demolition of buildings on the site to be done, then construction is scheduled to start mid-to-late next year,” Laing said.
He said the Moondah Mansion would be restored and become the heart of the Mt Eliza village community.
“It will be where all the communal facilities will be located, including dining areas, a bar, cafe, cinema, indoor pool and gym.”
He expected to confirm the construction schedule in the coming weeks.
The mansion began life in 1888 as a home for pastoralist and racehorse owner James Grice.
Domestic airline entrepreneur Sir Reginald Ansett bought the site in 1947 and turned it into an hotel, but most recently it has served as home to the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Business School.
It still includes an historic gatehouse, servants’ quarters, meeting and office spaces, several dining areas and storage facilities.
Online documents show Ryman acquired the site in September 2016, paying $37.5 million.
It expects to create 250 jobs during construction and about 200 permanent jobs once the village opens.
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