Bupa adds site to expand its Melbourne aged-care network
Global healthcare group Bupa has pounced on the former Oakleigh South primary school site, paying $23 million for the vacant block which it plans to turn into an aged-care facility.
The UK-headquartered group joins a growing list of aged care providers establishing a foothold in Melbourne's wealthy bayside and eastern suburbs to cater for a marked demographic shift in ageing baby boomers.
Bupa has 65 aged care centres. Photo: Pat Scala
Bupa confirmed it had purchased 1 Beryl Avenue from a Chinese development group, Oakleigh Garden, which is midway through seeking approval for a townhouse project from the local council.
The $23 million paid by Bupa includes GST.
The 67-dwelling, low-rise development proposed for the site was a whittled-down version of the group's first attempt to get a planning permit.
The first proposal, rejected by the local council, envisaged building 115 dwellings on the block, a move that attracted more than 1100 objections from local residents.
"We've purchased the Oakleigh South site with a view to continued growth in our aged care business," a Bupa spokesman said.
The healthcare group said it would not necessarily go ahead with the existing development proposal which the local council is expected to decide on later this month.
Bupa has an extensive portfolio of residential aged care homes, at least 65 centres, catering for 6,500 residents, including respite and specialised dementia care.
Chinese businessman Bo Jiang, who controls Oakleigh Garden, has made a tidy profit from flipping the site which he purchased from the state government in 2014 for $14.6 million.
The land sale was part of an extensive, and ongoing, sell-off of crown land initiated by the former Liberal Napthine government.
A triangular corner of the primary school site was sold around the same time to the neighbouring Metropolitan Golf Club for $880,000.
If Bupa does decide to press ahead with the current development proposal, the decision will ultimately rest with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal which has taken control of the planning process.