St Laurence Park redevelopment focuses Lara investment

Lara’s St Laurence Park retirement village will more than double in size under major redevelopment plans by genU.

The project follows genU’s review of its services and business portfolios and strategic decision to focus on its specialty areas of disability, community aged care, training, and employment services.

The St Laurence Park redevelopment will increase the number of homes within the village to approximately 230. The homes will be mostly single storey, with some apartments included in the plans.

genU CEO Clare Amies said the redevelopment would provide Lara with a highly engaging and inclusive community that people will be glad to call home.

“With its specially designed, state-of-the-art homes that will be adaptable to residents’ changing needs, together with even better access to facilities and support, we believe St Laurence Park will be a model for what it means to age in place safely, comfortably and independently,” Clare said.

Over the progressive development, all existing residences will be replaced with brand new homes equipped with modern fixtures and fittings and built to seven-star energy-efficient standards.

The homes will also meet Gold+ Liveable Housing Australia guidelines. This means they will be designed and built to meet the changing needs of occupants across their lifetimes with features including step-free entrances, wider internal doors and corridors, accessible heights for light switches and power points, ground floor toilet access, and hobless shower recesses.

Importantly, current residents will feel no cost impact, with genU investing significantly in the redevelopment. Any increase in services fees or rent will be in line with CPI as stipulated in the Retirement Village Act.

The project also includes new facilities and support services including:

  • A Central Community Hub with cinema, games room, and library
  • Indoor and outdoor activity areas including craft spaces, lawn bowl greens, picnic areas and pickleball courts
  • Community gardens, wetlands, and reflection spaces.

St Laurence Park residents will not be the only ones to enjoy the upgraded amenities, with a new dedicated Health Hub providing allied health services such as physiotherapy, dietitian, exercise physiology, and social support to the wider Lara community.

The redevelopment also considers safety concerns, with a secondary entrance and exit route to the village, as well as improved vehicle and pedestrian links throughout the site.

Clare Amies said the St Laurence Park redevelopment was part of a strategic decision by the Board and Executive to focus on genU’s core business areas to ensure they remain sustainable and can grow nationally.

“Expansion of our retirement living and community aged care service is an important part of our mission to create and deliver innovative services and support that empower people to reach their full potential,” Clare said.

“This project will bring positive changes for existing and future St Laurence Park residents and for the entire Lara community as we invest in expanding the high-quality services that we are best at.”

Following consultation with residents, plans for the redevelopment will shortly be submitted to the City of Greater Geelong for planning approval. Once approved, the staged development is expected to be complete within eight years.