New life at old Tip-Top site

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 15:25 03/07/2014

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Ryman Healthcare is planning a new ''boutique retirement village'' development on the old Tip Top bread factory property in Newtown.

The 6000 square metre property, which fronts onto Adelaide Rd and Hanson St, has been bought off the Foodstuffs supermarket chain for an undisclosed price.

Ryman managing director Simon Challies said the village would include independent and serviced apartments as well as resthome, hospital and dementia care.

''Design concepts are being worked on but it is too early to say what the final scheme will look like or when a construction start date is likely.''

It was a great site with views across the city and it was close to public transport, shops and the hospital.

Wellington's southern suburbs were under-serviced for retirement village options and this development would fill a gap in the market said Challies.

A Ryman spokesman said it was too early to say how many residents the village would be designed for but the site was a lot smaller than the new Ryman village site in Petone which would have up to 400 residents.

Foodstuffs paid $8.25m for the bread factory property when it bought it five years ago for ''strategic reasons''.

It is uncertain whether Foodstuffs ever planned its own development on the site, but its purchase cramped the development of the neighbouring Newtown Countdown supermarket operated by the rival Progressive Enterprises chain.

The old bread factory buildings were repeatedly covered in graffiti and an application to demolish the buildings was filed with Wellington City Council in 2012 Foodstuffs.

However, the old buildings have still not been cleared.

Foodstuffs property development manager Angela Bull said it was sold after a review of its property portfolio found it was no longer needed.

''After investigating a range of options for the site, we are pleased to have been able to work with Ryman Healthcare to achieve a great result for both the property and the Wellington community,'' Bull said.

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- The Dominion Post

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