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Ryman buys Melbourne site for new village

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/09/2016 Sophie Boot

Ryman Healthcare has bought a site in Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula as part of its planned expansion into Australia.

New Zealand's biggest retirement village operator bought the 8.9-hectare Moondah Estate site in Mt Eliza from Melbourne Business School, it told the NZX on Thursday afternoon.

It intends to develop a beachside retirement village with independent living apartments and aged care, and more than 100 staff. No price was disclosed.

The company opened its first Melbourne village, Weary Dunlop Retirement Village in Melbourne's southeast, in 2014 and Moondah Estate will be its fourth site in Australia.

Ryman houses 10,000 residents at 30 villages and wants to accommodate a further 17,500 over the next five years. It has 13 more villages in the pipeline, of which four are expected to open this year. It's also looking to have five villages up and running in Australia's second-biggest city by 2020.

Ryman's operating model, where apartments, assisted living and aged care are offered on the same site, sets it apart from most Australian retirement operators, it said.

"We think our first village was a great success because Melburnians like the way our integrated model works," managing director Simon Challies said.

"We don't think it is good enough to sell someone a home and then ask them to move on when their health changes. It is early days but we believe this market acceptance, and the ageing population, provides us with a great opportunity to provide homes and care as well as sustainable jobs."

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