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Strong interest in the quality end of the retirement market

Interest in quality retirement apartments in Hutt City is high, going by the turn-out at the marketing launch of the Woburn Apartments on Wednesday.

More than 180 guests packed The Dowse function room to hear Mayor Ray Wallace describe the apartments as the city’s highest quality retirement development. It is also the largest building development in the city in recent years.

The apartments, in Woburn’s Wai-iti Crescent, are being built in two stages with the first stage due for completion in late 2014 and the second in 2016.

Masonic Villages Trust chief executive Warick Dunn said the Trust had gone to great lengths to design a retirement community that would be attractive to retirees who were ready to move from the homes where they had raised their families, in favour of something smaller but of high quality.

“Too often we have seen people who have lived and worked in Hutt City all their lives, having to move away as there was no suitable step-down accommodation,” he said.

“When both stages are completed there will be 86 apartments of high quality and finish that have been designed to offer a superb environment for living and enjoying life.”

Mr Dunn said early buyer interest had been “amazingly strong”, with many apartments in stage one, and even in stage two, having registrations of interest against them already.

Mr Wallace said that by 2036 residents aged 55 and older would grow to 30% of the Hutt population – up from 21% in 2006. To cater for their needs, the City Council estimated the city would need between five and 10 purpose-built retirement communities in the next two decades.

“That’s a lot, especially when you consider that each one of them needs at least 1 hectare of land. As an approximate guide, one in five new houses built in Hutt City in the next decade is likely to be a retirement unit.

“The Masonic Villages Trust believes its $35 million development will set the benchmark for quality retirement living in the Hutt Valley and I see no reason to doubt that. It is setting a very high standard for those that will follow.”

Photo: Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace and Trust chief executive Warick Dunn cut the cake to mark the marketing launch of Woburn Apartments

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