Era of growth: Upmarket development for the retirement boom
A MAJOR retirement and aged care development that's proposed for Park Beach would further cement Coffs Harbour's standing as one of New South Wales' leading retirement hotspots.
The Bachrach Naumburger Group, which owns Park Beach Plaza and Park Beach HomeBase, proposes to build the $100 million multi-storey retirement village on a vacant parcel of land fronting Arthur and York Sts that the company has owned since the 1950s.
The seven-storey development - modelled on leading retirement communities around Australia - would include a 120-bed residential aged care facility and 183 self-contained units with upper storey apartments taking in ocean views.
Bachrach Naumburger Group General Manager Steve Gooley said the retirement village, closely situated to Park Beach Plaza and Macauleys Headland, would be constructed in three stages over a four to five-year period.
"Coffs Harbour and the North Coast in general is yet to experience an upmarket retirement development of this nature and size," Mr Gooley said.
"Our research has revealed there is a definite need in the market for greater retirement options and there is a defined shortage of active over 55s, apartment-style living that offers entertainment precincts that appeal to early baby boomers.
"This development would create employment for 200 to 250 construction workers and then following construction employment opportunities for 150 staff who would be employed in our aged care facility.
The development, which the Coffs Harbour City Council has placed on exhibition, could proceed for development consent before the Northern Joint Regional Planning around September.
Mr Gooley said it was hoped construction could start around June/July next year.
The Bachrach Naumburger Group, holds a vast commercial property portfolio, and is currently constructing the Seashells Park Beach luxury unit complex off Park Beach Rd.
"Construction on the $20 million Seashells development should be completed by April next year and from Seashells we would look to roll straight into the construction of the retirement village," he said.
"We are engaging with a focus group to develop the name, marketing, advertising and brand of the retirement village - ideally we are looking for something iconic to Coffs Harbour and the North Coast.
"It's a development that would serve as an enormous economic driver creating several hundred jobs over a four to five year construction period.
"We hold a strong reputation in the market in Coffs Harbour of using local tradesmen and the same would apply with the retirement village, which would create a significant uplift in local employment as a positive effect of this development.
Housing in the retirement complex including coffee shops, a community centre, entertainment areas and a pool, would be sold off plan.
"We have a waiting list of prospective purchases from a series of focus group meetings that have been staged," Mr Gooley said.
"Local people have told us they wish to downsize and sell their homes but the retirement housing options suited to their needs haven't been available in Coffs Harbour.
He said the company's research showed there was strong interest amongst seachanging retirees further afield.
"That interest has particularly come from Armidale and Tamworth, and places across the range, people who have holidayed here in Coffs Harbour for some 20 years and are super excited by the prospect of this development.
"There's great benefit for Coffs Harbour with retirees potentially moving from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane selling property in the capitals and retiring to Coffs Harbour with high net wealth, bringing a lot of money into the community and from there often their families follow."