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Retirement village deal a step closer

By Christine Nikiel

Friday 21st March 2003

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Plans for what will be the country's biggest retirement village shuffled closer to reality this week as Calan Healthcare Properties Trust and Metlifecare settled on a conditional deal for a site on Auckland's North Shore.

The 1.8323 ha site in Takapuna will be sold for $12.825 million ­ provided Metlifecare gets resource consent for the proposed 250 luxury apartments.

Calan bought the site from the Waitemata District Health Board four years ago, planning to build a private hospital there. It canned the idea, saying that while tenant commitment was good the risk profile of a new start-up was too great at that time.

Metlifecare is banking on Takapuna's pulling power as an attractive place to invest and retire.

Chief executive Gavin Aleksich said market demographics for the North Shore were very attractive and the Takapuna area was "prime real estate and highly sought after."

The sale will boost Metlifecare's already hefty portfolio of retirement villages and care facilities.

In its latest annual report released last week Metlifecare reported sales of new villas and apartments increased 54.5% to $28.9 million, compared to $18.7 million in 2001. Meanwhile, resales of villas and apartments collected $36.9 million, compared with $31.1 million in 2001.

The number of resales also increased from 177 in 2001 to 193 for 2002, with an increased average resale price of 8.6%.

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