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Village still on the cards

Thursday, 9th April, 2009

Progress is being made on plans for a retirement village on the former Excelsior Oval site, according to City Council. Adelaide company RA Macdonald and Associates won the right to build the village almost four years ago but work has still not started. The private company, which owns a number of retirement villages in South Australia, has Council consent to construct 78 one-bedroom units. The supported living model would see residents pay a deposit to live at the village where they would be able to receive meals and limited care.

Last year, after speaking to prospective tenants, the company said it wanted to increase the size of the development to include two and three-bedroom units. But almost 12 months later, the company, which has exclusive access to build on the site, has yet to submit a master plan to Council. This week Council's Group Manager of Sustainability, Peter Oldsen, said that "things are progressing" on the multi-million dollar project. He said the company had submitted "concept plans" for its project in January and he expected a development application to be submitted soon.

"I'd be surprised if we didn't receive something in the next month." While not privy to Macdonald's affairs, Mr Oldsen said he wouldn't be surprised if the company was still trying to secure funding, given the difficult economic environment. But he said the company had not put the project in the too hard basket. "I think it's more likely a case of trying to get it in the front burner." Meanwhile, the former Rugby League Park site, where a Mildura developer is planning to build a 100 house residential estate, has not yet changed hands.

The developer, who also owns the BH Golf and Country Club, negotiated to buy the land off Silverlea Incorporated last year. Silverlea CEO Brian Slater said that a contract had been signed but the sale would not be finalised until the owner had development approval for his project. He said the matter would be discussed at a board meeting next week. "We're just waiting," he said. Mr Slater said the proceeds from the sale will be used to support the organisation which employs over 30 local people with disabilities.

"It's always difficult to run community services like ours, you're always chasing you're tail. This would have set us up."

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