How two friends built a $150m retirement empire


After 16 years building its business in southeast Queensland over 50s lifestyle communities pioneer Halcyon will seek new growth opportunities interstate.

Since launching in 2004 they have sold 1450 home - with 200 sales waiting settlement - across six completed and three Halcyon communities at various stages of completion.

With a 10th community to be launched at Burpengary East, Halcyon expects to turnover $100m in revenue this financial year and $150m in 2021-22.

Halcyon joint managing director Dr Bevan Geissmann said they were "building up" and despite having a couple of "mega" future southeast Queensland sites on their radar it was time to expand interstate.

"When we launch that 10th community we will have an immediate pipeline of 1200 home which gives us a fair few years in SEQ," Dr Bevan Geissmann said.

"While think SEQ has been a great patch but we think there is a broader market for what we do is sitting there. We see a great opportunities in NSW and Victoria."

Halcyon joint managing directors Paul Melville and Dr Bevan Geissmann.
Halcyon joint managing directors Paul Melville and Dr Bevan Geissmann.

Based on the US land lease model, multi-award winning Halcyon develops and manages multifaceted communities exclusively for owner occupiers aged over 50 who purchase a stand-alone home and sign a lease to pay rent on the freehold land on which the home sits.

There are no entry or exit fees and homeowners take 100 per cent of their capital gains when they sell.

Dr Geissmann said they have come a long way since he and fellow managing director Paul Melville started talking at a barbecue at Beenleigh in the late 1990s about the state of the retirement sector.

"The idea was simply to make life better for seniors and provide a housing and lifestyle option that worked better for them," he said.

"When we started, every competitor in the country had steps on their houses. We were the first in the country to ramp up homes and make sure people could age in place.

"Having said that 19 per cent of our homeowners are involved in part-time or full-time work."