Ryman cuts down Mount Eliza retirement village plan


Inside the mansion, when it was functioning as a school.

Ryman Healthcare has significantly downscaled a community elder care and retirement project in the Moondah Estate of Mount Eliza.

The Moondah gatehouse recently underwent a $ 800,000 restoration.

The new plan – worth $ 85 million – covers 35 assisted living units, 104 apartments and 82 elderly care beds.

He would again conserve and restore the historic mansion, which has local heritage significance (only the property’s gatehouse enjoys state heritage protection).

The listed New Zealand owner entered the local market 11 years ago.

It has only invested in Victoria by holding five established assets, five planned, including recently acquired sites in Essendon and Mulgrave, and two under construction; including his pipeline, he will have paid $ 2.2 billion here.

Ryman is also the only major operator in Australia to adopt a model where elderly care and retirement living exist in all of its villages.

Lack of care for the elderly

Mount Eliza’s revised application comes a year after the Mornington Peninsula Shire rejected a $ 200 million proposal with 48 assisted living units and 181 apartments.

Ryman then filed a claim with the Victoria Civil and Administrative Court which last month supported the use of the site as elderly care, but not the size.

A little more than a fifth of the inhabitants of the municipality are over 65 years old.

According to a statement of evidence before the court, in the Mornington Peninsula area there are 38 sites with 3,672 Commonwealth-funded elderly care operational allocations.

There is currently a shortage of 195 residential care allowances for the elderly, he added.

Without new construction, this would increase to 787 spaces within five years, 1,395 within a decade and 1,512 by 2032.

The revised plan

Ryman said his new app directly meets VCAT guidelines.

“The VCAT issued a decision last month supporting the use of the site for the elderly and the elderly, highlighting the clear benefits to the community that Ryman’s proposal would bring,” said the operator’s development director. , David Laing.

“The court refused to issue a permit, citing concerns about the magnitude of certain components… but gave clear indications of what would be an appropriate outcome,” he added (story continues below). below).

Elsewhere in the suburb, Hengyi asked late last year to replace a 3.4-hectare waterfront block at 33 Jackson Road with a $ 160 million elderly care facility containing 104 housing units spread over eight buildings.

Save Moondah

At 70-80 Kunyung Rd, Moondah was developed by former president of the Australian Mutual Provident Society and Melbourne Benevolent Society, businessman James Grice.

The 8.9 ha estate originally included a croquet court, golf course, polo field and tennis court; the main mansion contains 42 rooms.

Between 1947 and 1957 the property was owned by Sir Reginald Ansett who ran it as a 5 star hotel.

It was then sold to the Australian Administrative Staff College and operated as Mt Eliza Business School, which merged with the University of Melbourne in 2004.

The school has built numerous outbuildings during its six decades of occupation.

Ryman acquired the asset in 2016.

His proposal would transform the historic house into the centerpiece of the facility – with shared amenities including a beauty salon, cafe, cinema, gymnasium, library and living room.

Jane Cook, the great-granddaughter of Mr Grice – who married Moondah and last lived in 2019 – supports the plan to restore the retirement home and village.

“In a perfect world, the property would be bought by the council or an individual, but who has that kind of money to restore and maintain it? she said.

“It has to be a business, to be shared with the community, so that everyone benefits,” she added, saying the university “has kept it flawless.”

Since taking possession of it, Ryman has said the accommodation has been the target of vandals and squatters, resulting in the installation of motion sensor cameras and regular security checks.

All the doors and windows on the ground floor have also been barricaded.

The group recently spent $ 800,000 to restore the gatehouse.

Moondah (center, left) and Sir Reg Ansett’s former estate in Gunyong (right).

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