Wanaka and Queenstown’s building boom is set to continue with developers committing a combined total of at least $450 million to build two new retirement villages in Wanaka in the next four years.
The separate developers both say their Wanaka villages will create hundreds of jobs in the building and other industries.
The construction industry is already the largest contributor to Queenstown Lakes district employment growth, according to Infometrics data.
Last year, the industry added 94 jobs to the district, bringing the district total to 4820 construction jobs.
Last week major New Zealand rest home provider Metlifecare bought land to build a $200 million retirement complex at Three Parks, with the first stage opening in 2025, pending design and resource consent approvals.
Metlifecare head of development Matt Wickham said last week the new village – which will offer 120 villas and 17 apartments and still needs to go through a design and resource consent process – would create 140 jobs in construction alone.
Metlifecare hopes to open the doors to stage one in 2025.
“With large-scale development projects comes multiple opportunities . . . Once underway, we’ll be looking to engage workforces from right across the development sector. Once fully complete and fully operational, the village and care home will employ around 50 people, from village managers and nurses to kitchen staff and gardeners,” Mr Wickham said.
Last year, Winton Group obtained fast track resource consent for the $250 million Northbrook Retirement Village at Northlake, comprising 92 units, 13 apartments and 32 care suites. Northbrook aims to open doors to its first stage in 2024.
Environment Minister David Parker said last year Northbrook was likely to create 700 construction jobs alone, which helped him decide it should be recommended to the fast track consenting process.
Northbrook would require 38 operating staff once operating.
There were 16,250 people living in Wanaka in 2021, according to Infometrics, up from 9270 in 2011 and 4840 in 2001.
The total district population last year was 48,300, up from 28,400 in 2021 and 17,850 in 2001.
There is strong demand for retirement living in Wanaka.
The two existing villages are fully subscribed and are developing to meet demand.
Presbyterian Support financial director Andrew Borthwick said last week Thursday April 21 plans and resource consent applications were being finalised for 10 additional dwellings at the Wanaka Retirement Village, which already has 14 villas, three cottages and 11 apartments.
The Presbyterian Support Otago/Aspiring Enliven joint venture also offers a total of 83 resthome/aged care rooms across Elmslie House in Meadowstone and Aspiring Enliven in Cardrona Valley Rd.
“The demand has always been pretty strong . . . We have one apartment available at the moment. Villas are snapped up the day they come on the market but apartments seem to be a little slower [to go] . . . But we certainly want to provide more for the community,” Mr Borthwick said.
Aspiring Lifestyle Retirement Village chief executive Aaron Armstrong confirmed plans to build another 24 luxury apartments and 24 assisted living apartments at its village on Cardrona Valley Rd.
Aspiring Lifestyle already has 124 villas and 16 apartments.
Once the new apartment projects were completed, the village would have reached its resource consent and land capacity within 13 years, he said.
Mr Armstrong said acknowledged larger centres were building 300 or more units but Aspiring Lifestyle had developed in line with expectations in 2010.
“For us, it will be about the right size village,” he said.
“Wanaka is a pretty different place to live compared to 12 years ago. There’s been huge growth around Wanaka. The village is full at the moment and when units become available there are taken up pretty quickly by a new resident,” Mr Armstrong said.