Your home is your castle, so Lendlease’s Renewal Program ensures it will be all that and more, for decades to come.
There’s no denying that relaxed, happy feeling you get when you walk into a resort and take stock of its modern facilities, beautifully appointed amenities and general gleaming surrounds. Fresh, plush carpets? Check. New, improved swimming pool? Check. Freshly laid bowling green? Check, check and check. Now, imagine what it’s like to feel that way every day – about your very own home. This is the reality for many of the residents who live in Lendlease retirement communities around Australia.
For the past five years, Lendlease Retirement Living’s Renewal Program has been turning dreams into reality – breathing a new lease of life into many of its community facilities and living areas. Yet each upgrade is about so much more than maintaining a successful business model. Satisfying the wants and needs of its residents is at the forefront. It’s a unique approach, which not only reinvigorates the physical surrounds, but also enhances the already tight sense of community within.
This is something that Little Bay Apartments resident Laura Murphy experienced firsthand when Lendlease bought the site from its previous operator in 2012. “Many of the residents were apprehensive of the sale, not knowing what the consequences would be for our monthly maintenance charges which were already far too high,” she says. “It was generally felt that we would be a very small cog in a very large wheel. As it transpired, when Lendlease became the official operator of Little Bay Apartments in July 2012, the village began its transformation from the very first day. The residents soon recognised the attributes of a top-class operator and were most impressed with their overall professionalism and management style.”
Since then, Little Bay Apartments has seen the lounge room extended and transformed into a community centre, which forms the social hub of the village. There’s now a separate dining-room and theatre, plus an indoor heated swimming-pool and gymnasium. But if that wasn’t enough, there was more good news for the residents.
“Our monthly charges have been frozen for five years until 2018. This gesture alone will always be gratefully remembered by the residents,” says Murphy. “With numerous other changes that have since been implemented, we are very proud of our village and feel that it’s one of the best in Australia.”
All renewal projects are driven by the wants and needs of the residents – what they would like to see changed or upgraded, and how things can continually be improved. The collaborative, residents-first approach is perhaps one of the reasons so many residents not only love where they live – but wished they’d made the move sooner.
Recently, the more than 20-year-old Keperra Sanctuary in Brisbane was subject to the Renewal Program treatment. It was a project that cost in excess of $1.5 million and took six months to complete, but the associated sense of pride enjoyed by residents since the renovations are priceless.
Today, Keperra Sanctuary is a gleaming, vibrant hub with an invigorated sense of community spirit. It’s had more than a bit of a face life. The swimming pool was relined, the bowling green replaced and all the carpets re-laid. The entire Community Centre was completely upgraded to include new furniture, a sparkling kitchen and bar, LED lighting and solar panels to offset the air conditioning running costs. It’s hardly surprising it has won awards for sustainability, including an International Green Interiors Award for the Community Centre’s sustainable expansion and refurbishment.
Since the Renewal Program began almost five years ago, more than 45 renewal projects have been completed to date. It’s a slick operation that puts the needs of its communities first. Every project has its own solutions: first, Lendlease works through these with residents as well as the investors who provide the capital to make these projects a reality. Then the vision is professionally executed, while the needs of many are balanced along the way. The ultimate goal is to deliver a product which will stand the test of the next 40 years, while maintaining the vibrancy that these retirement communities are famous for.
When Little Bay Apartments resident, Roger Byrnes, moved into the village with his wife Patricia, he was impressed by the lifestyle and community atmosphere it offered. But it was during the upgrades and refurbishments that the Renewal Program truly came into its own.
“Following a survey of residents and consultation with the Residents’ Committee, a development proposal was drafted, which provided for an upgrade of community facilities including a theatre, lounge, kitchen and dining facilities, a heated swimming pool, gymnasium and hairdressing salon,” says Byrnes.
“The result has been remarkable with a very positive outcome for residents. We enjoy first class facilities and participate in various activities including theme nights, bus trips, theatre sessions and group gatherings. Patricia and I have found a friendly and invigorating community in which we have expanded our personal horizons.”
One of the advantages of the refurbishments is the fact that the new, modern facilities provide immediate benefits to residents, as well as increasing the overall value of the village and residents’ properties in the long term. And key to the success of the Renewal Program is the pleasure residents feel when they see the results of the renovations. It re-energises the community and inspires a renewed affirmation about their decision to immerse themselves in village life.For more information connect with our Customer Support Team on 1800 550 550.
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