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Hills housing estate sells 10ha slice for retirement 'resort'

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Adelaide-based company Axiom Properties Limited will sell a 10ha slice of a major Mt Barker housing estate to retirement village developer Living Choice.

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The $5.5 million sale of land at the 50ha Glenlea Mt Barker site is expected to reduce the number of allotments at the broadacre subdivision from an initial 600.

But in a statement to the ASX, Axiom said the proposed sale would still leave the project “with a pipeline of over 250 allotments to construct, which it will continue to bring to market.

Glenlea Mt Barker is a joint venture between Axiom and the Gilbert family, which owned the former Glenlea Farm site about 3km south-east of Mt Barker for 40 years.

The partnership commenced in 2015 and the first allotments at the $100 million development were launched in September 2017 with about 100 in total so far released.

The housing development boasts 7ha of open space along with 5.6ha of existing trees and vegetation

Axiom recently received finance approval to commence construction of Stage 1c, which incorporates a further 14 allotments with the civil contract awarded to South Coast Sand & Civil.

“Eleven of these allotments have already been contracted and the Joint Venture Parties expect further interest now that construction has started,” the publicly-listed company said in its statement to the ASX this morning.

It comes at a time when house and land packages are in hot demand as a result of government incentives such as the HomeBuilder grant.

Adelaide businessmen, Graham Hobbs and Ian Tregoning own Living Choice,  which currently has 10 retirement villages in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland including Adelaide villages in Woodcroft, Flagstaff Hill and Fullarton.

The Mt Barker development will be their first “Over 55’s Lifestyle Resort” under a residential land lease model.

“While not a retirement village, our new proposed Lifestyle Community at Mt Barker will offer another quality living option for those aged 55 and over,” Hobbs said.

“Many in this demographic are still working or engaged in community activities. They are looking to live in a vibrant community with like-minded neighbours.”

Hobbs said lifestyle communities had a lot of similarities to retirement villages, but there were some differences in the financial model.

“Residents sign a lease which gives them the right to occupy the land.

“They buy their home from us, which they own and maintain. There are no exit fees, however they pay a weekly site rental fee which is used to maintain the facilities and communal areas, as well as the onsite management fees.”

Axiom said the Living Choice development would offer Glenlea residents “additional product and amenity” within the estate’s preserved open space, natural woodlands, reserves, walking trails and play areas.

“Contract settlement is conditional on the parties agreeing to an infrastructure agreement and receiving development approval for the lifestyle village to the parties satisfaction, which is expected to occur towards the end of 2021.”

Axiom’s other projects include the Churchill Centre, Gepps X Home HQ and the proposed 25-storey Sixty2 Currie developments in Adelaide as well as developments in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

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