Halcyon’s Flagship Project Shows Us The Future of Seniors Living


Australia is currently home to over 3.72 million retirees and projections from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that one in every four adults is set to be 65 or over by 2056. These statistics alone show us how crucial it is to begin looking at the future of seniors living in Australia.

The current market shift demonstrates how essential it is to understand that retirement isn’t about creating more bingo halls. Instead, the modern retirement village is all about fun, activity and flexible lifestyles that allow retirees to plan and enjoy their new lifestyle.

Even with strict planning restrictions and red tape, the industry is seeing a steady growth in the need for over 50’s and retirement communities – due to older Australians beginning to choose this style of accommodation over staying in their family homes. This typically stems from the ability to realise their financial capital previously locked up in the key family asset.

Looking toward the future, over 50s community developer Halcyon has a new flagship project that acts as a window into the future of seniors living across the country: a 500+ home community within Mirvac’s masterplanned Gainsborough Greens on the northern Gold Coast.

Working to expand on their tried and true approach to seniors living, Halcyon’s master plan – created in collaboration with design studio

ML Design – has an emphasis on four main seniors living trends: open spaces, state-of-the-art facilities, creating a lifestyle and community living.

“The seniors living market is currently expanding as the wave of baby boomers is coming through. This is resulting a sizable shift towards the lifestyle community sector to extend on the existing retirement village offer” Dr Bevan Geissmann, Joint Managing Director at Halcyon said.

“This shift is based on what we’ve seen in the past and new research into the ageing population and their housing requirements. Traditional approaches to seniors living now need to be updated to meet the needs of home owners. What worked yesterday will not inspire tomorrow”.

Open Spaces & A Place To Call Home

According to the Productivity Commission’s research into Housing Decisions of Older Australians, Australia’s older generation are happiest in low-maintenance, easily customisable, freestanding homes that are in close proximity to open spaces.

Halcyon’s community within the Gainsborough Greens estate – at over 29 hectares in size – embraces the concept of open spaces and features a large open parkland and leisure precinct in the centre of the site. The master plan also strategically places every house only a two-minute walk away from a major open space.

The project has land for over 500 freestanding dwellings, allowing home owners the freedom that comes with home ownership. Over 75 per cent of older Australians would prefer to have a home with at least one spare bedroom – and this is what Halcyon has on offer.

Facilities & Lifestyle 
Studies have also shown that the quality of a seniors living development can have a remarkable impact on home owners’ physical and psychological health, which is a factor that has new retirement precincts focusing on state-of-the-art facilities and group activities.

“The expectation of potential residents moving into a retirement community such as a Halcyon is that it will have a range of high quality facilities with low maintenance lifestyle housing choices, much like the lifestyle of the eternal cruise liner that never leaves the dock” Mr Brent O’Neill, Director and Studio Lead at ML Design said.

The Productivity Commission’s report also uncovered that an increasing portion of older Australian’s are choosing housing that reflect their lifestyle preferences, and younger seniors are attracted to village amenities and lifestyle offerings.

Keeping this active lifestyle in mind, the team behind Halcyon’s project came up with a master plan that offers some of the most comprehensive and expansive facilities of any over 50s community.

With two multi-purpose halls, an indoor pool, gym, cinema, library, games rooms, craft rooms, kitchens and bars – and that’s just the indoor facilities. Outside, home owners can get involved with a number of activities from tennis all the way through to bocce.

A Sense of Community 
The Productivity Commission’s report shows that being involved in the local community is a common reason older Australians are attached to their homes – that’s why future seniors communities need to have a sense of community at their core.

To address this, the strategic team behind Halcyon’s project came up with a number of themed centers for residents to congregate at including; ‘The Country Club’, ‘The Summerhouse’ and ‘The Lodge’. These allow home owners to get together and forge a sense of community.

“In the planning phase of the project, we were engaged to work through a number of strategic sessions. These sessions ultimately led us to create the design for the village that would harness a sense of community, cohesiveness and togetherness,” Mr O’Neill said.

Mature Australians are looking for more than just a place to live. They’re looking for a home where they can age-in-place securely and in a high quality community – and the seniors living market is shifting to accommodate this change.

ML Design have been creating exceptional living and lifestyle opportunities for over 30 years and have joined with The Urban Developer to help the development industry keep up with changing retirement living.

To learn more about the future of retirement living and to be a part of a crucial industry discussion, be sure to join us on the 28th of September, where we invite an expert panel including - Lord Mayor Graham Quirk/Brisbane City Council, Reja Bakh/Bakh Architecture, Alison Quinn/Retire Australia and Brent O'Niell/ML Design. 

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