Warrnambool seniors units resuscitated after $1.76 million purchase 

A WARRNAMBOOL rental retirement village has been plucked from receivership and will be given a new lease of life by a national chain.

The former Sunnycove complex in Caroville Drive has been purchased for about $1.76 million by Ingenia Communities as part of a $9.9 million package including Shepparton, Mildura, Bathurst and Launceston.

Contracts were exchanged on Friday and settlement will be finalised by late January.

The site has had several owners since the village was built.

Ingenia’s chief executive Simon Owen said the company saw Warrnambool and the south-west as a growth area, with potential for further investment.

“We aim to put a significant revitalisation into the village in the next three years to get it up from its current occupancy of only 48 per cent to about 90 per cent,”  he said.

“There are 44 single units and four double units plus vacant land,  with scope for up to 20 more units if there is demand for expansion.

“We believe our investment will increase confidence for the residents and provide more certainty for their future.

“This will be the last name change for that venue for many years.

“It is quite likely we will be looking at further investment in the region.”

The Warrnambool complex will be renamed Garden Villages, in line with the company’s other sites in Geelong, Ballarat, Melton and Horsham.

It is described as affordable,  independent living, with an on-site manager and chef.

In a national media statement yesterday, Mr Owen said the five villages containing a total of 274 units were bought from receivers at $36,000 a unit, which was about a quarter of the replacement cost.

“This acquisition consolidates Ingenia’s position as the largest owner and manager of seniors rental villages and we expect to strongly grow occupancy rates,”  he said.

The deal was funded partly by the sale of the company’s USA operations.

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