vmch kew
Impression of the new development in Kew. Image supplied.
  • The 1.6-hectare site will be home to 108 apartments upon completion
  • Woods Bagot have designed the precinct
  • Comes as over 36% of Kew's population is above 50

A permit has been issued for not-for-profit VMCH’s premium retirement living precinct in Studley Park, Kew by the City of Boroondara.

Woods Bagot has designed the 1.6-hectare site at 6 and 14 Studley Park Road, which will be home to 108 apartments and involve the restoration of three existing heritage buildings.

Peter Miglis, Woods Bagot principal and regional design leader (Australia/New Zealand), said the team aimed to “create a soulful community by layering design’s past, present and future”.

“Nestled in this precinct is our vision for the contemporary direction of retirement living, as a space for wellness that remains deeply embedded within its context and community.

Peter Miglis, Woods Bagot

“This is a site that carefully balances privacy and community, protection and connection,”

Oculus Studios has designed the Landscape Masterplan which will include a range of high-value trees in large green spaces to be used by both residents and the public.

Ageing population

According to the 2016 Census, 36% of Kew’s population was listed as being over 50. Despite this, limited retirement options exist to support this aeing population.

In the 2021 review of the permit, City of Boroondara’s Principal Planner Seuna Byrne noted “ Council’s municipal strategic statement identifies interrelated key issues of the municipality’s aging population, a desire to age in place and a lack of housing diversity.”

Sonya Smart, VMCH CEO, said that after two years her and the team are excited to commence work on the project.

“We are so pleased that the City of Boroondara has endorsed this project. This site has long been a part of our history, and this permit will allow us to bring it back to life.

“Everything from the precinct’s design through to the way we take it to market and the facilities and services we’ll deliver to residents will push the envelope for retirement living in Australia.

“We know from our research that people aged over 60 are not ‘retiring’ in the traditional sense. They are entering a thrilling new phase in life where they have more time to focus on themselves – they’re more active, more engaged and even more indulgent than generations before them.”

Sonya Smart, VMCH CEO

sonya smart
Sonya Smart. Image supplied.

Jason Uzice, VMCH Chief Property Officer, added that downsizing doesn’t mean resdients have to compromise.

“It’s not just about the architecture. Every aspect of the design is geared towards an active, social and low-maintenance lifestyle, while delivering the sense of community that is the hallmark of all VMCH projects.”

VMCH said around 410 were expected to be created during the construction phase, then 35 jobs through management components when under operation.

VMCH has built a retirement portfolio across Camberwell and Hawthorn,  with others planned in Ivanhoe East, Box Hill, Wantirna and Bundoora.

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