Ryman buys Mulgrave development site

The Mulgrave site (marked) is Ryman’s 12th Victorian land purchase.

Ryman Healthcare has picked up a development site opposite Mirvac’s master-planned Waverley Park.

The 4.7 hectare tract – between 1962-2017 with buildings once occupied by St Mary’s Seminary – is expected to be replaced with over 80 villa units, 110 independent and serviced apartments and a 60-bed aged care complex.

The redundant proposal included mid-rise buildings.

It would be the New Zealand buyer’s first predominantly single-storey Melbourne community since entering the local market nine years ago.

The purchase comes two months since Ryman acquired a 1.8ha former Lions Club retirement home, in Essendon, with redevelopment plans.

In 2019, the operator snapped up the ex-Highett Bowls Club; on 1.2ha it came permit-ready for a complex containing 90 beds, 15 assisted living units and a 122-bed retirement home.

New plan for 62-94 Jacksons Road

Ryman is paying $30.08 million for 62-94 Jacksons Rd.

The vendor held it six years – and obtained a permit for an aged care community with four buildings – the highest of eight storeys – with a total of 216 units and a 128-bed home.

That proposal also included an integrated medical centre.

Ryman Australia chief executive officer Cameron Holland said its replacement village mix will give the investment a point of difference in the company’s Melbourne offerings.

“If we’ve learned anything in almost 40 years of doing this, it’s that you can’t be one-size fits all,” he added.

“People want choice and, while we’ve seen really strong demand for our apartment-living options, a lot of older Melburnians are keen to downsize to something that provides a different kind of lifestyle,” according to the executive.

“Our integrated model offering aged care on site has proved extremely popular with people who want the peace of mind knowing their healthcare needs can be met in one village community (story continues below).

“When we’re looking for a site for a Ryman village location is everything, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better location than this one,” Mr Holland said of the site.

“It boasts spectacular views of the Dandenongs from its hilltop position, while enjoying easy access to shopping centres and key transport links,” he added.

As well as the accommodation, the proposal will include a cafe, bar, cinema, gym, hair and beauty salons and an all-weather bowling green.

Thirteen offers

Colliers’ Shalain Singh, Hamish Burgess, Joe Kairouz and Chris O’Driscoll, who marketed 62-94 Jacksons Rd, said 13 offers were received from a mix of aged care, retirement living and residential developers.

“The evolution of healthcare in Australia means sites such as these, where integrated healthcare can be made available are very much in demand, especially with entrants looking to take on more established players,” Mr Singh added.

“Healthcare is fast becoming the alternate investment class of choice both locally and internationally,” according to the executive.

“As a result, development sites that provide an avenue for healthcare assets are finally seeing investors, developers and owner operators competing strongly with the traditional highest payers being residential”.

Mr Burgess said escalating prices and strong clearance rates in established suburbs “are driving demand from townhouse developers, while the aged care retirement living players continue to compete to secure a limited amount of infill sites that are suitable for their use”.

The Jacksons Rd site is near shopping centre Waverley Gardens.

Mulgrave is 21 kilometres south east of the CBD.

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Marc Pallisco

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