Australia | Ryman Expands with New Victorian Retirement Village

Ryman Healthcare’s rapid growth in Victoria has gone up another gear, with the company announcing it has purchased an operational retirement complex in Melbourne and is expanding its existing village in Ocean Grove. Ryman Healthcare's new investment is set to surpass $2.5 billion.

The retirement living and aged care provider, which has five operational villages in the state and seven more in the pipeline, has purchased Essendon Terrace retirement apartments in Essendon. The purchase of Essendon Terrace marks a significant shift for the New Zealand-based company, which has designed and built all its other Victorian villages as new developments.

Essendon Terrace, indicated in blue, neighbours the 1.8 ha site Ryman purchased in May, where it plans to build a new $165 million retirement village.

Essendon Terrace, indicated in blue, neighbours the 1.8 ha site Ryman purchased in May, where it plans to build a new $165 million retirement village.

The retirement apartments complex, at 262-270 Pascoe Vale Rd, neighbours the 1.8 hectare site Ryman purchased in May, where it plans to build a new $165 million retirement village. Essendon Terrace, which is home to 22 existing residents, will become part of that bigger development, offering retirement living and aged care in one village community.  

Since opening its first Australian village in Melbourne in 2014, Ryman has invested more than $1 billion in Victoria and created more than 2400 jobs. Its five operational villages are home to  almost 1000 residents. Ryman’s current pipeline of seven new villages will inject another $1.4b into the Victorian  economy. 

With plans to purchase more sites beyond that, the company is on track to be the biggest operator in the retirement living and aged care sectors in just a few years. 

As well as acquiring Essendon Terrace, Ryman has also announced the purchase of the 2.35ha  block of land next to its operational Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village in Ocean Grove,  with plans to build a further 66 villas on the site. The planned expansion will see the completed village offering a total of 148 two- and three bedroom independent villas, as well as 53 assisted living suites and a 120-bed care centre.  

Ryman Healthcare Australia CEO Cameron Holland said the two purchases marked another significant stride forward in the company’s ambitious growth plans.  

“Buying what is now our sixth operational village at Essendon Terrace is really exciting for us,  but it’s also an important signal that we’re looking for opportunities to grow wherever they  might be. 

“Acquiring sites for new, purpose-built village communities underpins our growth strategy but  we’re also actively looking to adapt our development model to bring our retirement living and  care offering to new settings.” 

All Ryman Healthcare’s villages include retirement living, assisted living in serviced apartments,  and an aged care centre, making it unique in the Victorian market.  

“For us it’s not whether we grow, it’s whether we can find enough suitable sites in great  locations to grow as fast as we want to. To do that we need to be creative, strategic, and open to partnering with all kinds of different  organisations who might be looking to sell property to the right kind of buyer.” 

Holland said the planned expansion of the Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village in Ocean  Grove was evidence of the strong demand for Ryman’s full continuum of care offering.  

“All the available stages of retirement villas at Deborah Cheetham sold out faster than we ever  imagined they would, and we have a long waiting list of people wanting to get in. When the neighbouring property became available for sale, it presented an opportunity to  meet that extra demand. It’s just further confirmation for us that there’s an incredibly strong appetite in the Victorian  market for world class retirement living communities that also offer aged care on site.”