A big issue for village operators: dealing with ageing stock

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Lendlease’s Head of Development Simon Militano recently spoke at our recent LEADERS SUMMIT about how villages can be redeveloped for tomorrow’s residents.

Lendlease have 71 villages across Australia with an average age of 21 years. Currently eight or nine are in active development, while some are over 30 to 40 years.

Simon says keeping residents happy has to be front of mind when dealing with ageing stock.

Their approach is be transparent in their dealings, engaging community relations managers and consulting closely with residents and the community.

Since 2011, they have undertaken over 2,000 upgrades to individual units and approx. 20 community facilities redevelopments each between $2M and $5-6M. One example he gave was 48 serviced apartments in Meadowvale in VIC where only approx. 15 were occupied despite an award-winning village manager.

They invested $1.6M in converting the apartments from a mix of one bedroom bedsits to one and two bedrooms. Today, approx. 90% are occupied.

Simon also revealed how new technologies in the industry are minimising the impact on existing residents, namely cross-laminated timber (CLT).

This flexible timber system allows for developments to be built faster with less noise and building impact on residents.

“In villages, we want to minimise disruption to residents and take the least amount of time possible in any upgrade undertaken,” he said.