One of the nation’s biggest aged care providers is expanding further into the ACT, proposing new centres in Aranda and Wright, as part of ambitious growth plans.
Arcare, owned by the Knowles Group, operates 40 residential aged care centres in Queensland, NSW and Victoria and has identified the ACT as a growth area with an undersupply of facilities.
The Knowles Group is working with Lend Lease on the new aged care facility in the Gold Creek Homestead Precinct, and has also been talking to the Murrumbidgee Country Club in Kambah about a retirement village development on its land, presenting to the Club in March.
Arcare purchased the Aranda site in late 2021, and the Wright site in early 2022 and has released its plans for the two sites as part of community consultation ahead of development applications.
The Wright proposal on the corner of Harriott Street and Alex Colley Crescent is for a two and a half storey building with basement parking that will provide for 98 beds plus communal facilities for residents.
A similar development is proposed for Aranda at 1 Bindel Street but for 120 beds.
The plans detail single rooms with ensuites and amenities such as private dining rooms, cafe, gym, cinema and lifestyle rooms such as a library, as well as spaces for health services including physiotherapy, and personal care such as a hairdresser.
Both buildings will feature large landscaped internal courtyards with trees, and screen planting along all boundaries.
The basement parking for staff and visitors will provide 49 spaces at Wright and 61 at Aranda, as well as spaces for, scooters, an ambulance and a shuttle bus.
Knowles CEO of Property, Mike Carnell said the company was responding to the strong demand in the ACT for more aged care services.
“We are also keen to build on our presence in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and take our high quality offering to other parts of the country. As well as the ACT, we are also looking to expand into South Australia in 2022,” he said.
Mr Carnell said the new sites were located in areas of high demand for aged care and met the company’s goal of having an even spread of Arcare aged care facilities across Canberra.
“We are making a substantial investment in aged care in the ACT with a commitment to stay and operate our facilities over the long term,” he said.
The Wright centre will have a much bigger competitor nearby on the edge of Weston next to the horse paddocks where LDK is developing its $143 million development.
The development on 5.4 hectares of land off the Cotter Road will include 55 single-storey two- to three-bedroom villas/townhouses, 261 one- to three-bedroom units across four buildings up to five-storeys high with basement level car parking, 11 high-care rooms, and a Care Hub and associated clubhouse with facilities for the community.
Arcare is providing several opportunities for the community to provide feedback on the proposals.
For Wright there will be drop-in sessions from 12pm to 2pm and 4pm to 6pm on 3 August at Denman Village Community Centre, and an online session at 7pm on 8 August via Zoom.
For Aranda there will be drop-in sessions from 12pm to 2pm and 4pm to 6pm on 4 August at the Jamison Southern Cross Club, and an online session at 7pm on 9 August via Zoom.