$70m retirement village for Karaka

SCOTT MORGAN
Last updated 05:00 06/02/2013
Norah Barlow
BIG PLANS: Summerset chief executive Norah Barlow.

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A new $70 million retirement village is being planned for Karaka.

Operator Summerset wants to build the village on 3.6 hectares of vacant land next to the existing Karaka Lakes development on Hingaia Rd.

It will have 160 dwellings and a 50-bed care centre. The resource consent process is about to start.

The company already has a presence in Auckland, with one facility in Flat Bush, a partially finished village in Warkworth and others planned for Hobsonville and Ellerslie.

Summerset chief executive Norah Barlow said the company had a particular focus on South Auckland because of its increasing elderly population. And she expects plenty of interest in the area.

"A retirement village attracts people from five to 10km away. Eighty per cent of people come from that area. They either live there, holiday there or their children live there."

Other residential and commercial developments are also proposed to go up nearby, she said.

"Karaka is identified as one of the key areas for Auckland growth. There are beautiful tracts of lovely land, which you don't have in many places.

"Auckland's growing like mad, people need places to live."
 
It is hoped the facility will complement what is already there, rather than dominate it.

"It's got that existing infrastructure and community feel. Hopefully the development will add to the vibrancy of it."

Summerset is expanding its presence into Auckland after focusing on the central part of the North Island.

Facilities at the new village could include a bowling green, communal gardens and a hair salon and Barlow would like to see construction at Karaka start this year.

Papakura Local Board member Michael Turner said the village would be a welcome addition to the area.

"Looking at the ageing population of Papakura, having an alternative is a good idea.  There are a number of people who have been on waiting lists for places like Longford Park."

Turner, who is also a real estate agent in the area, said he knew of older people living in family homes who would like to go somewhere smaller but wanted to maintain semi-rural living.

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