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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

New $120m Hunter Region retirement living project to begin construction following planning approval

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Construction of a $120m retirement living resort project at Merewether Golf Club could start as early as mid-next year following its approval by the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel.

The joint venture between ThirdAge, a division of Sydney-based developer Third.i, and the club will be known as ‘The Merewether’. It will be home to 148 luxury one, two, and three bedroom apartments in four, six-storey complexes, and includes 16 penthouses with rooftop spa terraces overlooking the golf course.

ThirdAge director, Luke Berry, welcomed the decision, which will benefit the club and community, and explained that the project will bring a new style of much needed retirement living to inner Newcastle.

“The project will create more than 1000 construction jobs and close to 100 ongoing jobs, which is great news for the local economy as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Berry said.

“The Merewether is all about enjoying the best of Newcastle’s great lifestyle and community, with a concierge, resident events such as gala dinners, and classes in cooking, yoga and pilates, and, of course, the beautiful championship Merewether Golf Course is on residents’ doorsteps.”

The resort style community will feature a lap pool, cinema, gym, workshop, communal kitchen, and craft rooms.

The golf club and community members will benefit from a new clubhouse, restaurant facilities, sports bar, and a wellness centre for its members and apartment residents.

ThirdAge will soon call for construction tenders and hopes to have residents in their new homes by mid-2024.

Merewether Golf Club is providing a 99-year lease of the development land, with club president, Phil Merrigan explaining that the project will help secure the club’s long-term financial future, and allows Merewether Golf Course to remain accessible for members, community golfers, and visitors to the region to enjoy.

“This project delivers funding to support significant investment in the golf course and the Club’s infrastructure and facilities,” Merrigan said.

“We have been able to realise our vision of a world class golfing facility and retirement living precinct without having to reduce the size of the course.”

The panel approved concept plans and issued a site compatibility certificate for the project in May 2020 and this allowed ThirdAge to submit a development application (DA) to the City of Newcastle, where council reviewed the DA and recommended the project be approved by the panel.

Club members endorsed the project back in 2018.

On October 20, ThirdAge hosted a ‘Future of Retirement in the Hunter’ webinar.

Targeted to over 55s, the webinar was a first of its kind and was attended by 600 participants.

The session covered topical themes such as the costs involved in moving into an over 55s development, DMF, pension, investment, the comparison of upgrading an existing home, non-invasive technology and how it’s evolved, everything you need to know regarding the process of buying and selling, how to harness brand trust in community, and the connection to community.

“The perception of the over 55s category is no longer a nursing home environment,” Berry explained.

“People expect more, they want more and they’re searching for better lifestyle options, resort-style living, non-invasive technology, and a sense of community.”

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