Ryman adds Tropicana to its portfolio

11:40 AM Monday July 21, 2014 Anne Gibson

Tropicana, one of the biggest privately owned blocks of land in inner Auckland, has been sold to the retirement giant Ryman Healthcare.

The 8.92ha farm in the Lynfield/Mt Roskill area was owned by Wilfred Allen "Bill" Subritzky, now in his late 80s.

Ryman confirmed the purchase yesterday in an NZX notice.

Staff at two businesses associated with the Subritzky family also said they had left the property because it was sold. Sterling Nominees and Christian men's organisation Promise Keepers said they were now at 97 Mt Eden Rd.

QV showed title transfers on June 10 when Healthcare Shelf Company No 21 settled the purchase. Directors include Simon Challies, Ryman chief executive.

The farm was called Tropicana because of its proximity to Tropicana Drive but includes a 509sq m family home with coastal and sea views, a pool and tennis court.

The property is off Hillsborough Rd. Commodore Drive flanks one side of it.

It includes a separate wing of seven offices and a separate 118sq m house and additional storage sheds.

When Subritzky bought the property 56 years ago it was covered in gorse and scrub. Sheep are kept on 3ha and a large ecological bush area covers 2ha.

"New Zealand's largest retirement village operator has bought the Tropicana Estate, an 8.9ha block of land only 10km from the CBD with fantastic views across the Manukau Harbour," the company said. "Ryman Healthcare is planning to turn Tropicana into a resort-style retirement village which will provide much-needed retirement amenities for the nearby suburbs of Hillsborough, Lynfield and Blockhouse Bay."

Challies said the estate was a gem.

"Not only has it got some great sea views and native bush, it's also close to town and in a great neighbourhood."

Ryman owns 27 villages where more than 7500 residents live in New Zealand and Australia. Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care and the business has targeted Auckland for big growth.

The new Lynfield village will be the first integrated retirement village in the area, with independent retirement housing, a full range of aged care services including serviced apartments, rest home through to hospital and dementia care.

"There's a real shortage of retirement housing in the local area - and the care options are very limited, for dementia care in particular," Challies said. "The Tropicana village will mean that people from the area will no longer have to look elsewhere for somewhere to live in their retirement - they can stay in the place they love close to their families and friends."

The new development will free up a number of local homes for resale as people move into the village, according to the NZX notice.

The place will have independent apartments, serviced apartments and a care centre. The centre will include specialist dementia care as well as hospital-level care. Other amenities will include a gym, a bowling green, a hairdressing salon, a chapel, a movie theatre, a bar and an indoor swimming pool.

The suburbs in the immediate vicinity were home to over 6000 retirees, Challies said and work on the design and planning had begun.

"The company has no firm dates for when the resource consent will be lodged but would hope to have the village opened by mid to late 2016," the statement says.

Ryman is expanding to keep up with demand as the population ages. Statistics New Zealand estimates the number of New Zealanders aged 75 and over will almost triple to 731,000 over the next 30 years.

Tropicana's five titles
• 8 Lynfield Place
• 20 Tropicana Drive
• 21-23 Tropicana Drive
• 11 Commodore Drive
• 202 White Swan Rd
• 8.92ha Auckland property sold.

-NZ Herald