Approval for VMCH’s retirement living project in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs

Kew retirement living project by VMCH

The City of Boroondara has issued a permit for VMCH’s premium retirement living precinct at its 1.6ha site in Studley Park, Kew.

The Woods Bagot design, will comprise 108 luxury apartments and see the restoration of three existing heritage buildings, amenities and expansive green spaces.

The apartments will feature house-like proportions with sweeping views over Studley Park and residents will enjoy a high level of services and amenities unlike anything currently on offer in the area.


The Landscape Masterplan, by award-winning Oculus Studios – also responsible for the development of the Barangaroo South Public Domain (Sydney) – considered a number of high-value trees, centring them as part of large green spaces for residents and the public.

Describing his team’s process, Woods Bagot principal and regional design leader (Australia/New Zealand) Peter Miglis said, “we wanted to create a soulful community by layering design’s past, present and future.”

At the 2016 Census, 36 per cent of Kew’s population was listed as over 50, but limited retirement living options currently exist to support the area’s ageing population.

In its 2021 review of the permit, the City of Boroondara’s Principal Planner Seuna Byrne noted, “Council’s municipal strategic statement identifies interrelated key issues of the municipality’s aging population, a desire to age in place and a lack of housing diversity.”

VMCH CEO, Sonya Smart said she was excited to commence work on the project, after two years of planning and community consultation.

“ We are so pleased that the City of Boroondara has endorsed this project. This site has long been a part of our history, and this permit will allow us to bring it back to life.

“ Everything from the precinct’s design through to the way we take it to market and the facilities and services we’ll deliver to residents will push the envelope for retirement living in Australia.

“ We know from our research that people aged over 60 are not ‘retiring’ in the traditional sense. They are entering a thrilling new phase in life where they have more time to focus on themselves – they’re more active, more engaged and even more indulgent than generations before them.”

VMCH Chief Property Officer Jason Uzice added, “The design will achieve high environmental performance targeting a 7.0-star NatHERS rating average for all apartments with 100% renewable energy (gas-free), on-site power generation through rooftop solar, rainwater capture and re-use, Electric Vehicle enabled and incorporation of passive solar design principles.

This project is set to add to VMCH’s retirement portfolio such as those in Camberwell and Hawthorn, with others planned in Ivanhoe East, Box Hill, Wantirna and Bundoora.

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