Ryman snaps up three more sites

Ryman has acquired Essendon Terraces at 262-270 Pascoe Vale Road.

Ryman Healthcare is on track to becoming Victoria’s biggest aged care and retirement living provider after snapping up two more sites in Melbourne’s north west and another on the Bellarine Peninsula.

In the biggest deal, the group is paying $35 million for the former Kealba Secondary College at 27 Driscolls Road (outlined, image, top).

With the purchase of Essendon Terraces (outlined, blue) and 1 Moreland Road (orange), Ryman’s Essendon holding now spreads 2.2 hectares.

The vendor acquired the 6.1 hectare block from the state government in 2017, later winning approval to replace it with 194 townhouses.

Ryman will instead apply for a $155m integrated retirement village with independent living units and a full aged care complex offering specialist dementia care.

A bar, bowling green, café, cinema, gym, hair and beauty salons and indoor pool is also planned.

The site abuts the Bellara Crescent Reserve allowing some dwellings to have north facing park views.

It is near Keilor Central shopping centre too.

“There is a particularly acute shortage of retirement living and aged care options in the Kealba area so we’re keen to help meet that pressing need in the community,” Ryman Australia chief executive officer Cameron Holland said.

“We know that retirees looking to downsize don’t want to go just anywhere,” he added.

“They want to be in a great location and remain connected to the family, friends and social networks in their community,” according to the executive.

“This village will give people who’ve lived in Kealba for decades that opportunity”.

Colliers’ Hamish Burgess and Joe Kairouz brokered the off-market Driscolls Rd deal.

Ryman expands Essendon, Ocean Grove holdings

Meanwhile, Ryman has purchased an operational retirement complex – Essendon Terraces – at 262-270 Pascoe Vale Rd.

With 36 units and 22 residents, this property neighbours a 1.8ha parcel, 1 Moreland Rd, which the operator acquired in May with plans for a $165m village.

The new site will become part of that development – allowing the operator to again offer retirement living and aged care in the one community (story continues below).

The vendor of both Essendon properties, Lionsville, was represented by PwC’s Alan Herrman, Jonathan Lee and Ross Hamilton.

“Lionsville is pleased to have a single specialist operator across the entire Essendon site that shares their values of comfort, care and security, and that would provide residents the quality care they need and deserve,” Mr Herrman said.

“Creating a community legacy was really important for Lionsville and working with an international player like Ryman Healthcare which has the capital and capability to deliver on the vision was crucial,” he added.

“Lionsville’s main objective to provide benevolent relief to people in need will remain, hence it will continue to explore initiatives that would support people in the community that are suffering from poverty or distress”.

In a third deal, at Ocean Grove, Ryman has purchased a 2.35ha farm next to its operational Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village which is designed with 82 two and three bedroom dwellings, 53 assisted living suites and a 120-bed aged care centre.

The new site is expected to accommodate 66 villas.

On track to be the biggest

Ryman now holds seven operational Victorian villages – all up an investment of over $1 billion.

Six more are in the development phase, including at Highett, Mt Eliza, Mt Martha and Ringwood East.

“Since opening our first village in Melbourne seven years ago we’ve seen a huge appetite for high quality retirement living communities that also offer aged care on site,” Mr Holland said.

“Older Australians want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if their health needs change, they’ll be able to access world-class aged care right where they are,” he added.

The New Zealand listed company is expected to be the biggest operator in the Victorian retirement living and aged care sectors within a few years.

“The sector is attracting significant interest from both local and institutional investors, driven by strong market fundamentals and expected growth in the sector,” Mr Lee said.

As a result of Australia’s ageing population, he added, demand for high quality aged care and retirement living is growing.

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Marc Pallisco

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