Construction of a $250 million retirement village on the edge of Weston has started with a sod-turning ceremony on Thursday (9 February).
The LDK Seniors’ Living development will boast 55 villas and 272 apartments, with a range of amenities including a café, bar, restaurant, wellness centre, on-site grocer, barber, salon, gym, theatre, and dog and walking parks.
LDK, which already operates its Greenway Views complex in Tuggeranong, offers ageing in place and access to all levels of care as part of its continuity of care model.
The new development on 5.4 hectares off Cotter Road next to the horse paddocks has been named Amberfield Village.
The entire project will take five years over four stages to complete, but LDK expects the first residents to move in early next year, with 52 of the single-storey, two to three-bedroom villas already sold pre-market.
The apartments will be spread across four buildings up to five storeys high with basement-level car parking, 11 high-care rooms and a Care Hub.
The National Capital Authority approved the proposal after LDK submitted revised plans in response to requests for more information about traffic and bushfire concerns and design changes, mainly to do with the boundary treatment.
The ACT Equestrian Association, in particular, has been concerned about the development’s impact on the horse paddocks.
LDK CEO Byron Cannon said the company would continue to liaise with the NCA and the association during construction.
Weston Creek Community Council did not oppose the development but raised concerns about the traffic implications for Cotter Road, the main feeder from Weston Creek and the new suburbs of the Molonglo Valley to Adelaide Avenue, and the need for traffic lights to manage vehicles turning into and out of the site, particularly in peak times.
It also believed a bus stop would be advantageous to give workers and visitors a public transport option, which would require a safe crossing.
But the NCA disagreed, citing the traffic report, which said the development would have a minimal impact on the intersection of the site access road at Cotter Road during the PM peak and generate a slight increase in daily traffic volumes when considered in the context of existing conditions.
Council chair Bill Gemmell said the WCCC would still lobby Transport Canberra and City Services to install lights and a bus stop.
Mr Cannon said there had been strong demand for what the development was offering, similar to that for its Greenway complex.
“We have sold out Stage 1 from our existing database with no advertising,” he said. “We will be releasing Stage 2 in May 2023 and will have pricing finalised for that stage before it is released.”
He said Canberra retirees were very much attracted to the LDK model.
“Our seniors are increasingly more astute and discerning when looking for a community where they can maintain their independence, remain engaged and lead a purposeful life throughout all stages of ageing,” he said.
“We plan on continuing to invest and grow here. Canberra has been voted the happiest city, the best city to live in and the best city to visit – it could well be the best city to retire in as well.”