TOP-SHELF RESERVE

LAST month Alchera Living launched a new facility for seniors in Willagee that’s really pushed the boundary for aged housing.

The Reserve, as the name suggests, overlooks a popular park in the southern suburb; but if you’re a wine buff and it conjures images of the pricey bottle on the top shelf, you might be surprised to discover affordability has been one of the driving forces behind the development.

Affordability hasn’t come at the expense of quality and design, though; I took a tour of the display unit just prior to the launch and quietly said to myself; “I’d live here in an instant”. I’ve never said that about a unit in a retirement village. Ever!

I loved the interface between the apartments and the park, and could easily imagine sitting on the big balcony with friends enjoying a wine while locals walk the dog or kick the ball.

Housing minister Peter Tinley was interested enough in The Reserve to attend the launch and we both agreed our state’s planners really missed the mark by surrounding parks with roads rather than a bit of housing.

Oustanding

This was an outstanding exception, he said.

Inside, there’s emphasis on comfort, security and independence with features such as removable shower screens, wheelchair access and appliances at the right height.

Architect Ron Edenburg from Peter Hunt Architect was lead on the design and said the board of Alchera set up a strong design committee.

“There was lots of research into what is a state of the art facility,” Mr Edenburg said.

He told the crowd that providing a well-lit interior was seen as an important component that he felt they’d achieved.

“And balconies that are big enough that you can entertain guests,” he said to murmurs of appreciation.

Alchera Living CEO Alan Marshall said he’d heard nothing but praise for the development.

“I can’t recall how many residents have told me they are going to be the first to swim in the pool,” he said. Alchera completely renovated its shared residents’ facility as part of the development and included a new pool and gymnasium.

For more information head to http://www.thereserve.net.au

by STEVE GRANT

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