Village gives hope for oldies

First peek: An artist's impression of the Arrowtown Lifestyle Retirement Village

Approval’s been given for a $130 million retirement complex beside The Hills golf course.

Developers of the Arrowtown Lifestyle Retirement Village, who received resource consent this week, hope to finish the first stage late next year.

It’ll be the Wakatipu’s first large-scale, full-service home.

However, another – the larger Queenstown Country Club along Ladies Mile – might not be far away.

The lack of retirement living in the Wakatipu has long been a bone of contention, with many elderly forced to leave the district.

The 12-hectare Arrowtown village on McDonnell Road is a joint venture between the land-owning Monk family and the Anderson and Armstrong families, who are both experienced retirement village operators.

These two families are part of the team who’ve developed a Wanaka retirement village which has 150 residents and a just-opened care hospital.

Managing director Aaron Armstrong is delighted they’ve got the go-ahead for another one.

“Our location, just outside Arrowtown, is spectacular and the village we have planned will be equally spectacular.”

The Arrowtown complex’s first stage, including 28 villas and initial lifestyle facilities, is due to open late next year.

Ultimately it will comprise 120 villas, 75 apartments and a 100-bed care home including hospital and dementia-level care.

Armstrong says the project was initiated in response to strong local demand.

Like Queenstown Country Club, the local council and, in turn, the government approved the Arrowtown development as a fast-tracked special housing area.

Armstrong says the council was very accommodating – “they did their end of things pretty quickly”.

A resource consent hearing for the second retirement village will be held early next year.

The Arrowtown project didn’t need a consent hearing because the plans were fully supported by affected neighbours.

Armstrong says they’re aiming to launch their marketing campaign at the Lake Hayes A&P Show in mid-January.

Villas will be priced from $550,000 for the smallest two-bedroom units.

“The comparable house in the market will generally be 20 per cent more than what we’ll be selling for.”

At least 20 per cent will be “affordable” housing – “certainly some of the apartments and the smaller villas”.

Armstrong says tenders will be let soon, and he expects earthworks to start in April or May.

The 1000 square metre residential lodge will eventually include an indoor pool, spa, social lounges, gym, cinema, salon, art studio and cafe/restaurant.

Outside facilities will include community gardens, petanque and a croquet lawn.

There’ll also be a link through to the nearby Arrowtown golf course.

“Our project will provide employment in the region in construction, operations, nursing and care support for many years to come,” Armstrong says.

Going by the Armstrong and Anderson families’ Wanaka development, he expects the project will take about five years to complete.