Greenwich Gardens welcomes its first residents

7 September, 2016
Greenwich Garden - its first residence

A retired couple has landed smack-bang in the middle of a retirement village boom and couldn’t be happier.

Joan and Andrew Kaye are the first residents at Metlifecare’s Greenwich Gardens retirement village in Unsworth Heights.

Surrounded by cranes, earthmovers and safety fences, the couple are looking forward to croquet and swimming pools as scores of new villas and apartments emerge.

Being first was a “nice feeling” Joan says, but their June “exclusive” lasted one day when neighbours started moving in.

“We’re looking forward to enjoying ourselves . . . even though the facilities aren’t in we’re starting to create our own little circle of people,” Joan says.

Metlifecare operations manager Ruth Scandrett says the company is relatively confident the last two villas in the 27-house precinct the Kaye’s live in will be snapped-up.

The company has started promoting soon-to-be built six-storey apartment blocks at the Unsworth Heights site.

Originally from Forrest Hill and with family in central Auckland, the Kayes “didn’t want to start again” making new lives, Joan says.

Demand for retirement facilities close to where retirees lived their lives drives village placement, Scandrett says Research shows most people choose a facility within a 16 kilometre radius, Scandrett says.

By 2033, nearly one in four of more than 5.3 million New Zealanders will be over 65 years old, Statistics New Zealand projections show.

Meanwhile, construction work on stage two of Metlifecare’s $40 million Glenfield project The Orchards apartment and assisted care complex is reaching completion.

Sitting next to Glenfield College, an 1898 farmhouse on The Orchards site was moved and repurposed into a cafe.

Ryman Healthcare is in the middle of first stage construction of its $100 million, 400 resident facility in Rangatira Rd, Birkenhead.

The company is also in the design phase of an equally expensive 300 resident village in Belmont on 4.2 hectares of land owned by Ngati Whatua O Oraeki.

In 2014, Belmont residents raised concerns Ryman’s plans would impact on already congested surrounding roads.

Meanwhile, Oceania Group’s proposed multi-level redevelopment of Browns Bay’s Maureen Plowman rest home has drawn opposition, including traffic concerns.

Both companies say congestion would be a lot less than from other developments because elderly residents drive less.

Story: North Shore Times, 6 August 2015

Author: Simon Maude

Photo: Simon Maude/FAIRFAX MEDIA