Australia Commercial Design Trends Series AU Commercial Design Trends Vol. 33/1C - Page 91

Below:Developers in both New Zealand and Australia are lagging behind when it comes to meeting expectations for retirement accommodation, says Blair Keenan, principal at Marchese Partners. However there have been some moves in the right direction in Australia, such as Watermark Castle Cove in North Sydney. in the marketplace. There is an underlying under- standing that we live in an aging population and the current stock of retirement villages just don’t cut the mustard anymore. The biggest difference for us is we’re yet to see a developer prepared to go out on a limb. And for us, that is the challenge. Who is going to be the first to break the mould? The reality If our aging population is not enough of an incentive for developers to stand up and be bold, a quick inventory on the existing product should do the trick. There are hundreds of rest home beds in parts of the country that lie empty, and it’s not because there is no demand. It seems odd for so many beds in such a high demand market to lie empty, but it goes a long way to show those retiring are simply not interested in giving up what they’ve got. So why are they empty? Like any other product in any other industry, it comes down to the quality of what you are producing, and whether it provides a solution to those in the target market. Residents in seniors living and aged care have never been spoilt for choice. There have been so few options for them, the sector has got used to matching the stock that’s currently in the market because they knew it would fill up. That trend is slowly dissolving, but quality solu- tions are not yet the standard practice. The retiring generation has lived a life of relative luxury compared with generations preceding them. Living post-war, designing their lives with freedom search | save | share at