IT felt more like stepping into a cruise ship or boutique hotel than a retirement village when greeted by concierge at Mark Moran’s new retirement, aged care and wellness precinct in Sydney’s exclusive Vaucluse.
The Wentworth Courier has gained an exclusive first peek at the luxury $115 million development set to open its doors officially on Thursday night.
The expansive 12,000sq precinct located on the site of the old Vaucluse High School, is in stark contrast to the old perception of retirement homes with pokey shoe-boxed sized rooms, where the elderly spend their last days in isolation.
The four-storey atrium resembles a cruise ship and is light-filled with an impressive spiral staircase.
Mark Moran, son of late healthcare mogul Doug Moran, and his wife Evette have clearly gone to great lengths to ensure the luxurious complex lacks for nothing and are confident “there is nothing else like this in the world”.
This was no exaggeration, with features like a 1500sq m rooftop garden, indoor cinema, rehabilitation centre, luxury spa, infra-red sauna, providore, state-of-the-art gyms, bar and a restaurant offering gluten-free meals.
The lift is framed by the original two-tonne doors of a bank which stood at 367 George St where the Apple store is now located.
Mr Moran said the facility represented a whole new model of aged care which was not about removing elders from society but rather celebrating them.
“It is a wellness and lifestyle precinct, not a retirement village, based on community engagement and integration, celebrating life and that prevention is certainly the best cure,” Mr Moran said.
“Our culture is about removing the stigma around ageing by allowing people to celebrate and enjoy and share the best time of their lives in what really is an ageless community.”
The restaurant offers gluten-free meals.
An indoor garden is a feature of the rehabilitation unit.
The development - which spreads over three buildings with floor space below as well as above ground - includes 91 aged care units, 14 rehabilitation units and 82 independent living units.
There is also a supersized penthouse with a jaw-dropping panoramic view that takes in Sydney Harbour from the city to Manly.
The slice of luxury inevitably costs a pretty penny — upwards of $850,000 for the smaller apartments and between $2.5m and $4m for larger apartments while the Morans were staying mum on the penthouse’s price tag.
The 25m lap pool has a long ramp for easy access.
The rooftop garden has panoramic views of the harbour from the city across to Manly.
Mr Moran said 60 per cent had already been snapped up, with the majority of buyers hailing from Sydney and a handful coming from an eclectic mix of countries including South Africa and Japan.
The couple has stamped their personality on the decor, which has been designed with painstaking attention-to-detail by wife Evette and based on the couple’s travels abroad.
The grand “atrium” is based on a melting pot of cultures, with strong Moroccan and Turkish influences as well as a German-inspired spiral staircase and chandeliers made in a far-flung African village.
The spiral staircase was inspired from a trip to Germany
One could be forgiven for thinking they had stepped into a museum, with a 1920s rug sourced from the monarchs of Persia gracing the entrance, prehistoric bluebottle fossil paintings hanging on the walls and the original two-tonne doors of a bank which once stood at 367 George St, now the Apple store, framing the elevator.
The fully-licensed bar has a British Colonial feel and is named after Mrs Moran’s ancestor James Bull, an instigator of the Rum Rebellion in 1808.
The view of the harbour from the penthouse and rootop garden
Gin served in the bar has been named after Robert Cooper, a gin distiller and descendant of Mr Moran’s who built Paddington’s famed Juniper Hall in 1824.
Mr Moran assured there would be no wild parties after residents raised concerns the new development could disturb the quiet neighbourhood. The liquor license has also been reduced from 400 to 250 people as a result of community concerns.
“In essence, it means we can no longer provide alcohol as part of the room service at this point but there is a good bottle shop in the village,” Mr Moran said.
The development will officially open on Thursday night, August 18
Extra parking was included above requirements, he said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will attend the official opening tonight from 6.30pm.
MARK MORAN VAUCLUSE FACT FILE
• Designed and Constructed to be Australia’s leading and most innovative Retirement and Aged Care Facility
• Heart of the building features a 4-story atrium
• Every level of the building excitingly different, but all feature expansive light wells and Member interaction lounge areas
• Built on a 12,030 m² land parcel that used to house the Vaucluse High School
• Excavation in excess of 12 metres and 65,000 m³ of rock and sand removed
• Site features 32,600 m² GFA over three buildings all linked by underground walkways, services and lifts
• Construction has taken 85 weeks and was completed 6 weeks ahead of programme
• Construction Worker numbers peaked at 416 workers per day mid 2016 but averaged 250 per day at other times
• The project has had approximately 750,000 man-hours worked which is the equivalent to approximately 85 years of labour time
• Spectacular 1,550m² roof top garden featuring an orangery and sweeping harbour and ocean views
• Lifestyle facilities including bespoke clubs, rooftop areas, standalone restaurant, rehabilitation spa, 25m swimming pool, ½ hectare piazza and themed gardens, cinema/conference facility and a luxurious private dining room
Read more at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/wentworth-courier/doors-set-to-open-to-mark-morans-new-retirement-aged-care-and-wellness-precinct-in-vaucluse/news-story/fd868c33ddef991186432d3ee4b1e022