Further work on the Oaks on Neville retirement village will start in earnest in the coming weeks and will involve the refurbishment of the historic Warkworth Hotel.
Real Living Group director Chris Murphy says the refurbishment will require the hotel to be lifted so that its foundations can be replaced.
Once new foundations are in place, the building will be resited, but will be about 400mm higher to meet Council requirements.
The ground floor will be fitted out as a restaurant and bar, and the upper level will be predominantly open space for Oaks village communal use and possibly community functions.
The ground floor will be expanded to the rear and eastern side to provide more space for the kitchen and for diners.
The street frontage and western façade will be kept more or less intact. It’s hoped the building will be open for public use early next year.
Meanwhile, Real Living is pressing ahead with plans for additional facilities.
The group has been granted a resource consent and is working on securing a building consent for a further 48 apartments and 28 rest home/hospital level care suites on the former Four Square site on Neville Street. This phase of the project will include an underground car park for about 50 vehicles, three retail spaces along the Neville Street frontage and a small 50-seat cinema and wine bar for use by residents and guests.
Mr Murphy said the group hopes to lodge the building consent application in June or July, but the construction start date will depend on progress on selling existing apartments, and is not expected to start before 2020.
Mr Murphy said after eight months, more than a third of the apartments in the Hoteo and Mahurangi buildings in the village were sold.
A government decision to ditch a proposed capital gains tax had led to an upsurge in interest.
“Sales at the Oaks are progressing well but are often dependent upon the ability of incoming residents to achieve an acceptable sale price for their homes, and, at this time, the general real estate market is difficult,” he said.
“We do not take a hard sell approach. Moving to a retirement village is a big step and people need to take time when making this decision. It is not uncommon for future residents to come and view apartments three or four times before making a decision.”
Oaks on Neville also has plans for a third site on the corner of Whitaker Road and Mill Lane, which could accommodate up to 70 two and three-bedroom apartments. Construction is likely to be several years away.
The Oaks on Neville is the largest structure in Warkworth’s CBD. Currently, it comprises the Mahurangi and Hoteo buildings, which accommodate 62 apartments, a café, swimming pool, spa, gym, library, reception, offices, gaming room and lounge.