Villa Maria to rebuild prominent Kew site

The development will contain six storey buildings.

VMCH – also known as Villa Maria Catholic Homes – has won approval to replace a prominent Kew site held since 1957 with a retirement living community.

The facility, from Fenhurst Grove.

The 1.6 hectare parcel, part of which until 2019 accommodated St Paul’s College, will make way for 108 dwellings in several multi-level structures.

Three historic buildings will be restored.

A café and community garden also forms part of the project.

VMCH has used the property, 6 and 14 Studley Park Road, at the north west corner of Fenhurst Grove, for mission-based services.

Its proposal was penned by Woods Bagot following a design competition.

The announcement comes 19 months since the not for profit paid the Association of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor $8.2 million for a Box Hill site abutting the RHL Sparks Reserve with plans for an aged care complex focused on dementia and palliative care.

Also last year the group acquired a former nursing home at Ivanhoe East from Benetas.

VMCH’s substantial seniors accommodation portfolio also includes, in Victoria, sites at Bundoora, Camberwell, Greenvale, Wantirna and Kyneton – the latter which has just made way for Marcellin Village.

About 36 per cent of Kew’s population is aged over 50 according to the 2016 Census.

Uber-green proposal planned at Kew

VMHC said its Studley Park Rd apartments will be premium grade and offer house-like proportions (story continues below).

Three historic buildings would be restored.

The dwellings are aiming to have a 7-star NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) classification.

Residents will also have access to a concierge for things like deliveries and pet washing.

The Kew proposal contains 108 dwellings.

The community will be carbon efficient – being gas free, with onsite power generation, rooftop solar and rainwater capture and reuse infrastructure.

The complex will be fit with electric vehicle charging stations too.

“We have a long history with this site and the Kew community,” VMCH chief executive officer Sonya Smart said.

“This project will form the next part of our history in allowing the people of Kew and surrounds to age-in-place at the centre of the community they know and love,” she added.

“We believe this project will be unlike anything delivered in the retirement living space in Australia,” according to the executive.

“Not only will this project continue VMCH’s legacy with our Kew site, but the proceeds will financially support the continued delivery of mission-based activities including our specialist aged care services, disability accommodation and affordable housing portfolios”.

The property is near the ex-Cotham Private Hospital, now owned by Centuria Healthcare and used as a short-stay medical facility.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of