WITH POPULATION RESEARCH projecting that more than five million Australians will be over the age of 65 by 2025, luxury lifestyle communities for over 50s are coming into their own and development has accelerated in recent years.

Many developers are so confident of growth in the sector that they are taking a more creative approach, changing the face of the retirement sector. One developer with runs on the board is Seachange Lifestyle Resorts – a brand of Queensland design and construction company Pradella – and its approach is paying off in terms of sales.

“Baby Boomers are much more demanding than the last generation,” Pradella Property Ventures sales and marketing director Alex McMahon said. “ The push toward functional specialisation in the over 50s sector, has crucially directed homes be designed to meet the demand for low-maintenance homes with a high-level of technological connectivity and security to better suit the generational change of today’s buyers. 

“If you think the new Toowoomba Seachange Lifestyle resort is a magnet for buyers wanting to relax, catch up on all those years of lost sleep while you raising a family or pursuing your career, then you would be correct.

“This modern staged development has been planned as a dynamic 162 home boutique community delivering state-of-the-art facilities and bearing all of the hallmarks of a 5-star resort.

“The success story of this Harristown development is our careful planning and our commitment to ensuring the development responds to the greater community objectives.  An example of this would be the provision of larger allotments and space for residents to have their own garden beds,” he said.

“The focus being on choice, if you’re not a gardener or want no maintenance then you can have that, but if you enjoy gardening then Seachange Toowoomba offers an enviable northerly aspect and lots of space to continue this hobby. It is intended as a community within a wider community, homes are consciously designed to smooth the transition from larger home to a more luxurious, secure environment where home owners can take on as much or as little as they want from this new lifestyle,” Mr McMahon said.

Mr McMahon said he took note of a recent study that revealed today’s purchaser was younger than their years would suggest. He said the evidence was that they were living longer, active later, using technology more and even working later in life than previous generations of retirees.

“More than one in seven of our past Seachange lifestyle resort owners in South East Queensland are still in paid employment and based on these trends we will see increasing numbers of our home buyers for our luxury lifestyle communities who are not in fact retired,” Mr McMahon said.

“As a developer of over 50s communities, our focus weighs heavily on these aspects. It’s why we invest a lot of time into researching market trends, finding the right sites, developing masterplans and creating homes that respond to the needs of modern over 50s.”

Mr McMahon said Seachange Toowoomba had responded to the baby boomers' desire to downsize their financial commitments while upsizing their lifestyles with homes available from $379,000.

Local builder Nick Ruhle said the modern and spacious floorplans had been designed to enhance natural light and safeguard practicality allowing for a comfortable and convenient home design.

He said the various home styles on offer had been specifically created to maximise the liveable space in each home in an effort to overturn the common misconception that a smaller scale home is not suitable for comfortable living.

www.seachangelifestyleresorts.com.au/locations/toowoomba

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WITH OVER five million Australians expected to be over the age of 65 by 2025, luxury lifestyle communities have exploded over the past few years – and many developers are taking the opportunity to change the face of the retirement sector.

Pradella’s Seachange Lifestyle Resorts is one developer that has expanded its range of residential projects by releasing architecturally designed homes in prime unique locations, exclusively for the over 50s market to explore creative life choices in a secure environment.

"We brought this approach to both our current Upper Coomera and Toowoomba projects and made modifications to the masterplans to create designs that will grow with the community and help create a truly better place to live,” Pradella’s director of sales and marketing Alex McMahon said.

“Today's baby boomers have high expectations for their retirement lifestyle, so location and design of the home are both vitally important.

“As a developer of over 50s communities our focus weighs heavily on these aspects, it's why we invest a lot of time into researching market trends, finding the right sites, developing masterplans and creating homes that respond to the needs of modern seniors. 

“With a north-easterly orientation, positioned overlooking a grove of stately pine trees atop rolling green lawns flowing gently down to the Upper Coomera River, Seachange Riverside Coomera is fast becoming a premium lifestyle choice that offers downsizing with style,” Mr McMahon said.

The strong connection to both the river and the hinterland that surrounds Seachange Riverside Coomera has driven buyer demand from within a 10km radius. 

According to Mr McMahon, Seachange has a staged construction approach “with quality resort style facilities offering a diversity of activities and community social elements for wonderful community engagement”.

“Our philosophy is to create a welcoming community to allow residents to enjoy our great Gold Coast climate,” he said.

Seachange Riverside Coomera has responded to the baby boomers’ desire to downsize their financial commitments while upsizing their lifestyles, with homes available from $449,000.

Alex McMahon said, “People have more time and want to enjoy their lifestyle, to take advantage of a full range of activities and facilities to reconnect with friends and extended family.  Manicured lawns, fully equipped clubhouses, gym and swimming pools, everything tailored to maximise the resident’s lifestyle.  

“Everyone is inherently social, in additional to traditional facilities Seachange Riverside Coomera has a Bocce court and community garden recognising our owner’s diverse interests" Mr McMahon said.

“Lifestyle decisions are very personal. That’s why we encourage prospective buyers to inspect Riverside Coomera and chat with our residents to judge first-hand the natural affinity to the over 50s environment at Riverside Coomera.” 

www.seachangelifestyleresorts.com.au/locations/coomera/

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SPRINGFIELD City Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Queensland Government to collaborate on new city technology innovations. 

In a sign of ‘things to come’, Minister Jones used the Springfield visit to sample Autonomous Vehicle Shuttle trial, operating as part of a separate test event by Easy Mile in Springfield Central, between Orion Lagoon and the University of Southern Queensland.

Ms Jones said the MoU covers areas of collaboration on innovation attraction, ecosystem development, as well as energy and big data innovation.

“Springfield City Group was delighted to get a glimpse of the future of transport and to be able to join in the experience with our community,” Mr Sinnathamby said.

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MASTER Builders Australia is seeing the commercial construction sector have its best year in more than a decade, led by new transport and logistics infrastructure and a surge in Asian investment in hotels and resorts.

It may be enough to moderate a slowdown in residential construction and a consolidation in the engineering sector, Master Builders research is suggesting.

“With forecast growth of more than 14.5 percent (equal to $5.3 billion) commercial building activity will be strong enough on its own to drag the whole industry back into positive territory for the first time in four years,” Master Builders Australia’s national manager for economics, Matthew Pollock said. 

Mr Pollock said the latest Building & Construction Industry Forecasts produced by Master Builders Australia showed total commercial construction activity was expected to contribute $42 billion to the economy in 2017-18.  

“With a small moderation expected in the value of residential construction work and another year of consolidation in the engineering sector, the timing of this surge in commercial construction couldn’t be better,” Mr Pollock said.

“Better yet, new commercial construction projects will provide job opportunities for workers who may be finishing up on major high density residential projects over the next 12 months or so.

“New retail related construction is expected to rise to $6.9 billion in 2017-18, led by the recent introduction of some big international retailers, including Amazon which recently built a large distribution centre in Melbourne’s Dandenong South and plans by Aldi to open another 30 stores across the country in the next 12 months,” Mr Pollock said.

“Asia continues to be a strong source of tourist visitor numbers, particularly from Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and China. Asian investment is following the tourists with $4 billion committed to the construction of new pipeline of resorts and hotels with Queensland’s resort sectors forecast to do particularly well,” he said.

“Looking a little further down the track, the government’s investment in major transport infrastructure is ramping up and will support a boom in transport related construction over the next five years. There are currently more than $170 billion in transport projects in the pipeline, with activity expected to peak in 2019-20.

“This work will provide jobs for years and also provide much need productivity enhancing infrastructure. Master Builders has called for a greater focus on infrastructure investment to support businesses, but also to boost new housing supply and help with housing affordability,” Mr Pollock said.

“On the residential building front, the last three years saw unprecedented growth in new housing construction. We have built more than 200,000 new dwellings per year – a feat unmatched in our history. 

“Despite the forecast showing a moderation in new dwelling construction, we expect new commencements in 2017-18 to top 195,000 and average around 185,000 thereafter. To keep pace with population growth we will need to build at least 185,000 new dwellings each year for the next five years,” Mr Pollock said.

www.masterbuilders.com.au

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SMART SOLAR lighting systems are set to illuminate public spaces Australia-wide after specialist Adelaide-based solar lighting and energy storage group Green Frog Systems won a major development grant.

Green Frog Systems was recently awarded a $760,000 commercialisation grant under the Federal Entrepreneurs' Programme to fast-track its manufacturing of smart city lighting technologies.

Set to launch in late 2018, Green Frog Systems’ new generation products for smart cities will offer pioneering solar lighting solutions with high volume, all night capability, zero maintenance and intelligent smart monitoring features. 

Green Frog Systems will match the dollar investment on its pathway to providing modular, smart solar lighting systems for use in public places.

Green Frog Systems founder and CEO David Wilson said Green Frog’s smart city lighting technologies have tested to be brighter and longer lasting than conventional existing products, and the South Australian company is aiming to deliver solutions at highly competitive prices for government, councils and mining.

“The award has come at a pivotal time for Green Frog Systems, people will be scratching their heads and wondering who is this little company in Adelaide?” Mr Wilson said.

“We have deliberately stayed under the radar, quietly scaling our business for some time and upping the ante in terms of our innovation.

“People are going to be blown away by our tech, which is going to make a real difference as Australia integrates smart city technology. We are delighted with the grant award, it’s fantastic news for South Australia and we’ll waste no time in the development of these technologies.” 

Green Frog Systems’ funding came through the Accelerating Commercialisation element of the Federal Entrepreneurs' Programme. The Entrepreneurs’ Programme, delivered through the Department of Industry and Science offers commercialisation grants to assist Australian entrepreneurs and SMEs to develop innovation, research and drive solutions for business growth and competitiveness. 

Founded by David Wilson in 2011, Green Frog Systems’s innovation capabilities were highlighted in 2017 when the company engineered the first smart city connected lighting infrastructure for an entire Australian town – Katherine in the Northern Territory. 

www.greenfrogsystems.com.au

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