Listed development giant Lendlease is set to build between 5,000 and 10,000 senior living units in China in the next five to six years.
Lendlease joins a growing number of foreign aged care operators targeting China, where the number of people aged over 60 reached 250 million last year and is expected to surpass 300 million by 2025.
Lendlease’s maiden facility, on the outskirts of Shanghai, will house 1,300 residents across 850 apartments paying transferable, long-term membership rights starting at $400,000 for a one-bedroom unit and ranging up to $650,000 for a three-bedroom unit.
The senior living development, known as Ardor Gardens, will be the first of almost $2 billion worth of new retirement villages Lendlease has planned for the Shanghai and Yangtze River Delta area over the next five years.
The 22-building retirement village, which will be located in Zhujiajiao, will offer bespoke round-the-clock service, wellbeing and concierge services and will be managed by a team of experienced professionals from the luxury hospitality industry.
Lendlease is the largest owner, operator and developer of retirement villages in Australia, where it has over 70 senior living projects providing for 17,000 residents.
The move represents a significant expansion of the company’s operations in China which have so far been focused on construction work for major foreign companies.
It has been targeting the Chinese aged care market for several years following the announcement of policies by the central government to encourage private care for the country’s rapidly ageing population.
Metropolitan Shanghai, which has a population of 25 million people, already has a high percentage of its population at the retirement age of 60 years plus accounting for 4.5 million. That number is forecast to rise to 6.1 million by 2021.
The Ardor Gardens development, scheduled to open in 2021, will connect with the newly opened Zhujiajiao station on Metro Line 17, providing direct access to Shanghai city centre and Hongqiao’s integrated transportation hub.
Lendlease chief executive Steve McCann, along with other senior executives, unveiled the $400 million project in Zhujiajiao on the outskirts of Shanghai on Monday.
Lendlease Asia chief executive Tony Lombardo said the group would combine its global experience in Senior Living with operations in China for just under 30 years, to develop new Senior Living options.
“Our quality homes will be the perfect place for Seniors to enjoy their retirement years, providing safe and healthy lifestyles with a range of services in a friendly community.”
Lombardo said the first community in Qingpu was under construction, with the new visitor and sales centre opening later this year.
There are few foreign companies setting up 100 per cent owned ventures in China, where partnering with local companies is the most common approach.
Lendlease signed a 50-year land usage contract with the Qingpu government and commenced construction at the site in January.
The developer joins a growing number of foreign aged-care operators targeting China, which is currently home to just 30,000 elderly care institutions.
Columbia China, a joint venture between Seattle-based Columbia Pacific Management and Sheares Healthcare Group of Singapore, operates three aged-care facilities in China. It plans to open a further three senior centres in the country by 2020.
Japan’s Nichii Gakkan and France’s Orpea also operate aged-care facilities in China. French aged-care giant Groupe Colisée formed a joint venture with a subsidiary of China Merchants Group, and operates a high-end nursing home facility in Guangzhou.