Sensible density for seniors in Willagee

ALCHERA LIVING has just launched its latest apartment development for retirees – the surprisingly spacious Reserve in Willagee.

Having been through a myriad of retirement homes for the obligatory 100th birthday interview, this was the first time I’ve ever walked into one and thought; ‘Ooh, I’d live here’.

Maybe it’s because I’m now in my 50s and have one eye on the future, but I wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised during a tour of this three-bedroom display unit at Alchera’s Weeronga complex.

Arts & crafts

“What do they need all these rooms for?” pondered housing minister Peter Tinley, whose electorate of Willagee encompasses Weeronga.

He’s an ex-SASR man, so maybe he was temporarily thinking of soldiers sleeping in bunks at a nuclear base.

After being assured retirees often need a spare room for arts and crafts projects, and somewhere for visiting rellies to stay, he was suitably impressed.

“It’s great to be here at Weeronga Village to look at the units overlooking the park in the centre of Willage,” Mr Tinley said.

“It’s really an example of thoughtful density in the suburbs. Whilst the design’s outstanding, the concept we are really looking at here is that good community is more than just the box you sleep in – it’s the community you walk out and live in.

“This is really an example of being able to nest some thoughtful density inside the middle of a suburb that takes advantage of the shops and the village, the park, the schools, the library and the rec centre, and I really look forward to it opening.”

For me, the outstanding feature was the park – there’s nothing but a pedestrian pathway between these units and all that glorious greenery.

Even the ground floor units have been elevated, so the porch at the front is at eye level with a canopy of mature trees framing Winnacott Reserve. If you’re a casual twitcher like me, that’s absolute gold.

Why there’s not more park-side housing in Perth like this is simply beyond me.

For those whose eyesight is a bit more far-reaching than mine, there’s views across to the city and the river from the fourth-floor apartments.

The Reserve features a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments, with the larger ones taking up the corner sites.

There’s a heated indoor pool (sadly under covers while construction is completed, otherwise I was up for a dip) and gymnasium, and even electric car-charging stations to show that retiring doesn’t mean falling behind the times.

The apartments have also been cleverly designed for older people, which can mean something as simple as making sure the doorways are flush to the ground, so if you or your bridge partner are in a wheelchair, access is a breeze.

All the appliances are also at a suitable height, while corridors connect discretely to each unit, so help is never going to be far away.

Alchera is a non-profit organisation that runs four retirement villages in Melville. It used to be part of Melville council’s Aged Persons Homes Trust, before becoming independent and opening its first village in 1975.

By STEVE GRANT

The Reserve
Worley Street, Willage
2 Bedrooms from $465,000
3 Bedrooms from $580,000
David Gibbons 0434 650 866
David.Gibbons@colliers.com

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