Rural retirement: Plans for $200 million Putāruru Country Estate revealed – Stuff

Another major development is about to get underway in the South Waikato with Putāruru local Tim Bartells announcing plans for a $200 million, 254 villa retirement village in his home town.
Putāruru Country Estate will be modelled off Longridge Country Estate in Paeroa with construction of the facility due to start in October this year.
It will be Bartells’ third large retirement village project along with Longridge, a 420-unit village in Paeroa, and Amberley Country Estate, a 250-unit village in Christchurch.
He said the Putāruru Country Estate would include 254 mixed size villas ranging in size from 95m2 to 185m2 along with a 2000m2 “five-star resort quality” recreation and community facility with a heated swimming pool, spa, gym, picture theatre, restaurant and café, library, doctors’ rooms, snooker and pool tables, grand piano, Menz shed, bowling green, virtual golf and more.
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The 16ha site on Kennedy Dr borders the Putāruru Golf Course, rugby and football clubs, and would also feature an aged care facility providing rest home hospital and dementia care.
The investment has been described as “great news for Putāruru and for the South Waikato district” by South Waikato mayor Jenny Shattock who said it would provide real economic benefits and added more opportunities for local employment following on from the building of the South Waikato Trades Training Centre at the northern entry to Tokoroa and the Olam dairy facility just south of Tokoroa.
“Apart from creating a lovely place for retirees to live, there are a lot of work opportunities for everything from earthworks and civil engineering, building and construction and numerous subcontractors which in turn will attract new business into the area,” she said.
Bartells said his villas have more space for outside living areas, lawns and gardens, and he was “not about cramming in as many villas as we can”.
“We are about providing beautifully built high quality functional homes that people will love to live in.”
A true Putāruru local, Bartells said the development held special significance for him.
“I still know a lot of people in Putāruru and many of my schoolmates are still around, so I am looking forward to catching up with old friends.”
He met his partner Jenny Wilson at Putāruru High School, his mother worked for 30 years in a local material shop and his father worked for Taupō Totara Timber.
After leaving school at 16, Bartells worked in the bush as a crosscutter and skidder driver and then went into dairy farming in the Waikato and then in Tasmania, where he first became involved in property development.
He said the Putāruru Country Estate would complement the Putāruru-based Rangiura Hospital, Rest Home and Retirement Village’s existing 106-unit village and their intended future developments, and is in discussions with Rangiura chairperson Jos Van Loon about how the two businesses could work together.
“My mum was one of the very first residents at the Rangiura Retirement Village and was later in Rangiura Rest Home,” Bartells said.
Van Loon said Putāruru was a great spot to retire, and to develop accommodation and services for retirees, so Rangiura had anticipated that other developers would be attracted to the town.
“We appreciate the approach from Tim Bartells, and we look forward to further discussions on how can work together for the benefit of retirees and the Putāruru community,” Van Loon said.
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