Cane fields to retirement: Blue Care snaps up Fraser Shores for more than $70m

May 9, 2016

Non-profit service provider Blue Care has snapped up the Fraser Shores Retirement Villages at Hervey Bay in Queensland from property developer Torrisi for a price between $70 million and $80 million.

The two Fraser Shores Retirement Villages – Fraser Shores 1 and Fraser Shores 2 – are home to more than 600 people in 427  units.

With forecasts that the proportion of Australians over 65 will double by 2050 and with key legislation for the sector due to come in next year, such retirement assets are being competitively sought after.  

The Fraser Shores Retirement Villages were developed by David and Anita Torrisi on cane fields over two decades ago.

"This has been our life's work, and we are proud of what we have achieved for the community," Mr Torrisi said. "From cane fields to this."

Blue Care executive director Robyn Batten said the purchase was strategically important for Blue Care as it moves to strengthen its presence throughout regional Queensland.    

"Blue Care is committed to providing quality retirement living, residential and community care services in local and regional communities," Ms Batten said.

Blue Care, which is affiliated with the Uniting Church, owns and operates more than 4000 aged-care beds across Queensland and northern NSW. Blue Care began in 1953 and operates in more than 260 centres.

The undeveloped land at Fraser Shores gives Blue Care the opportunity to consolidate its services in Hervey Bay as well as provide additional services such as aged care on site.

"We plan to build a new residential aged-care facility on the vacant land, along with a wellness centre to offer a choice of health, lifestyle and reablement options," Ms Batten said.

"We hope with the necessary planning approvals to have these new services established in the next few years."

Mr Torrisi will partner with Blue Care to help develop the remaining areas. 

"A smooth transition of operations is really important to both parties, and I am pleased to stay on at Fraser Shores and work with Blue Care for several months after they resume operations on  July 1," Mr Torrisi said.

Ms Batten said: "Minimising the impact on residents and staff during the transition is a priority, so we are delighted that David Torrisi is partnering with us in a smooth transition for staff and residents.

"We are offering Fraser Shores' staff equivalent positions with Blue Care, which will further ease that transition."

PPB's head of real estate advisory, Garry McLean, advised Blue Care on the deal. 

"Fraser Shores is a significant acquisition for BlueCare and allows BlueCare to now offer a full integrated aged-care, retirement and home-care service to all its residents in the Wide Bay region," Mr McLean said.  

Knight Frank's health, aged care and retirement  specialist Russell Allison and Gordon Price negotiated the transaction.



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