NEW VILLAS: The Rise sales manager Sharon Manson and Settlers Gladstone manager Cheryl Lindell on site as clearing work starts at the South Gladstone development.
NEW VILLAS: The Rise sales manager Sharon Manson and Settlers Gladstone manager Cheryl Lindell on site as clearing work starts at the South Gladstone development. Luka Kauzlaric GLARISE

Developers prepare site for extension to Settlers village

DEVELOPERS behind Gladstone's newest retirement village began clearing the site yesterday - and they're hoping the new development will help convince former Gladstone residents to come back home.

Bulldozers have arrived at the Marten St, South Gladstone, ahead of a September start date of the Rise development, which is an extension of the existing Settlers Gladstone village.

The three-storey complex, worth $15 million, will consist of 53 apartments and is due for completion in 2014.

Sales manager Sharon Manson said the development has attracted a dozen expressions of interest.

While most were from Gladstone, former Gladstone residents were also considering coming back, Ms Manson said.

"We're hearing from people who have sold up and moved to Bundaberg or other places for the lifestyle - but they're realising the best lifestyle is back here with their families," she said.

Of the existing 56 Settlers Gladstone villas, 90% have already sold.

Ms Manson said the switch to apartment-style living was driven by retirees who wanted a "jet-setting lifestyle".

"They want to be able to lock up and go," she said.

Earlier this week, the company rang alarm bells about limited retirement accommodation options in Gladstone, describing a "significant under-investment" in that housing sector.

The acting general manager of Settlers Gladstone's parent company, Ingenia Communities, Corrie Milne said The Rise would help fill the gap.

"Gladstone is experiencing a real shortage of living options for residents aged over 55 years, with Settlers Gladstone the only lifestyle retirement community in the Gladstone region right now," Mr Milne said.

However, in April, the Gladstone Regional Council approved a 144-unit Tannum Sands retirement village.