Nelson retirement village to close for $18 million redevelopment

Green Gables perspective view of the proposed redevelopment of the retirement village on Bridge St, Nelson.

Green Gables perspective view of the proposed redevelopment of the retirement village on Bridge St, Nelson.

Residents of a central Nelson rest home will be moved to other facilities to make way for an $18 million redevelopment.

Oceania Healthcare announced on Wednesday that it will close Green Gables rest home and retirement village in Bridge St at the end of April.

Oceania Healthcare CEO Earl Gasparich said the new facility would include 61 care suites and 27 independent living apartments — more than double the capacity of the existing buildings.

Earl Gasparich, Oceania Healthcare CEO.

Earl Gasparich, Oceania Healthcare CEO.

The existing care facility will be removed and a new two to three-storey building constructed on the eastern portion of the site.

READ MORE: Huge Nelson retirement village green-lit against council staff advice

"It's significantly different to what's on the site at the moment," Gasparich said.

Resource consent for an $18 million redevelopment was granted in 2013, but Gasparich said the plans had changed since then.

"It's been amended and updated just to reflect the current demand for aged care in the region."

The new resource consent was issued on Monday.

Gasparich said the current facility was "outdated" and in need of a substantial revamp.

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"Unfortunately the building is well beyond its useful life and requires significant modernisation to meet the expectations of our growing elderly population.

"These sites reach the end of their natural life. Green Gables was built a long time ago, it was built around a very old villa and it's quite outdated in terms of its interior.

"With occupancy at around 68 per cent and declining, the care facility has become uneconomic to keep operating in its current state."

He said that about 30 residents, including some in hospital level care, would be affected by the closure.

They will be offered the opportunity to move to another Oceania Healthcare facility in Stoke — Whareama or Otumarama.

Residents living independently in villas at Green Gables will not be required to relocate.

Gasparich said he hoped that all Green Gables staff could be re-deployed to other centres in Nelson or Motueka during the closure.

"We're committed to making this transition a smooth one for our residents, their families and our staff," Gasparich said.

"We understand that change can be very unsettling."

Gasparich said Green Gables would remain closed during the redevelopment which was expected to take two to three years.

The resource consent application in 2013 attracted 28 public submissions — 27 in opposition and one neutral.

They objected to the height of the central building, the intensity of the development, the change in character to the area and traffic issues.

The company changed its application to reduce the height of the three-storeyed building and eaves.

In the new resource consent decision, independent commissioner Dr Rob Lieffering said the redevelopment will "improve the on-site amenity and the streetscape" of Bridge St.

He said while the building would adversely effect outlook from nearby properties, it would not be dominant or "unduly compromise" existing views.

In 2008, Qualmark Holdings proposed a four-storeyed building on the site, but withdrew its application after an angry response.

 - Stuff

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