Ryman acquires Essendon site for $165m village

The Essendon site (outlined) is about nine kilometres north of Melbourne.

Ryman Healthcare has picked up a small Essendon retirement village with plans for a full-service one.

The sizeable 1.8 hectare site at the north east corner of Moreland and Pascoe Vale roads was sold by the Lions Club of Essendon.

The block from Moreland Road. Image: Google Street View.

It contains dwellings and a hostel which the charitable organisation has used for aged care accommodation – and a large tract facing Moonee Ponds Creek.

The Coburg site – which was 11 years ago earmarked for a 520-unit student accommodation complex – has sold for c$21m.

The New Zealand buyer is intending a vertical village with dementia care – a project estimated to have an end value of about $165 million.

Since 2014, Ryman has completed five Victorian facilities with plans for six more – including one under construction at nearby Aberfeldie, which is replacing a Josh Sady Honda service centre.

The purchaser also announced today that it has divested a property – the former Coburg High School at 81A Bell Street, which it acquired in 2016.

Strong appetite to buy: Ryman

Ryman Healthcare Australia chief executive Cameron Holland described the Essendon property as “the perfect site for an integrated retirement village”.

He added the company is eager to work with government agencies or non-profits for building blocks.

“There are a lot of charitable and religious organisations, sports clubs, and education and health providers out there looking to offload some of their portfolio, and we have a strong appetite to buy,” according to the executive (story continues below).

Lionsville Board chairman Peter Gilbertson said selling the site to Ryman aligns with its charitable vision, values and objectives.

“The Lions Club of Essendon is excited about what this revitalisation project means, not only for our residents but also for the broader seniors community,” he added.

Seven years ago it constructed a four-floor complex known as Essendon Terraces at 262-270 Pascoe Vale Road – abutting the land it has just sold.

Ryman spreading wings

Ryman has been voted Most Trusted Brand in the aged care and retirement village sector in New Zealand seven times.

Its first local facility, at south east Wheelers Hill, houses c400 residents.

The group also operates homes at Brandon Park, Burwood East and Highton (one of Geelong’s priciest suburbs).

Its development pipeline includes addresses at Mt Martha, Ocean Grove and Ringwood East.

The Aberfeldie proposal at 2 Vida Street is replacing a Josh Sady Honda service centre.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.