St. Clare in Melbourne’s inner east will offer a new standard of living for retirees within its 104 premium apartments, with innovative architecture, expansive green spaces and breath-taking views.
VMCH will invest $250 million into the development, which will breathe new life into the long-held 1.4 hectare site and meet critical demand for retirement housing options for a rapidly aging community.
Boroondara Council granted a town planning permit to redevelop the site in 2022, following the relocation of various VMCH disability services and its head office.
Construction company Hacer Group has been appointed to undertake early works, set to begin late 2023.
VMCH Retirement Living Executive General Manager Liz Hickey said St. Clare’s design will be sympathetic to the site’s unique past, led by architects Woods Bagot.
“Two historic mansions will be brought back to their former glory and re-purposed into shared spaces, including a pool, wellness centre, gym, cinema, restaurant, bar and library. Woods Bagot has also drawn inspiration from the Kew surrounds, replicating the mansard style roofing of the area’s grand homes, and offering house-sized apartment floorplans that don’t compromise on space,” said Hickey.
As an established home care provider, St. Clare will be the offering services to aid the aging community and reflect the growing demands of retirees.
A 24/7 concierge and manager, and hotel style services for those who prefer to outsource chores like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry will also be drawcards.
The Federal Government’s recent Intergenerational Report forecasted the number of Australians aged 65 and older will double in the next 40 years, and those aged 85 and older is set to triple.
It follows with a 2022 PwC/Property Council Retirement Census which found retirement villages are effectively at capacity nationwide and the supply pipeline of new stock is slowing down.
Retirement village occupancy rates have already increased from 87 per cent in 2019-20 to 90 per cent in 2020-21 (Retirement Living Census) — with waitlists across most communities.
St. Clare is scheduled to open in early 2026, also meeting a forecasted demand for senior accommodation in the local area of over 1,000 homes.
VMCH uses capital from its retirement living developments to fund its mission-based projects for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people, including affordable housing and specialist disability housing.
“This Studley Park Rd site has been instrumental in creating positive change for many vulnerable people over many decades. It means our mission has, in a way, has come full circle with St. Clare; set to bring joy not only to new residents and the local community, but those in need across Victoria,” said Hickey.
VMCH will soon release details of a sod turning event on 2 November. St. Clare is expected to be completed in 2026.