Developers Seek to Transform Retirement Community in Manly into Modern Oasis

Retirement Community
Photo credit: O'Neil Architecture

A retirement community in Manly could soon enter a new era of modern luxury and amenities if an extensive masterplan for upgrades and expansions is approved.


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Designed by O’Neil Architecture, the proposal at 162 Oceana Terrace in Manly would replace seven outdated independent living units across two new buildings, numbered 5 and 6, adding 87 contemporary residences.


This transformation would build upon previously approved plans for 100 high-quality units in four buildings at the southern end of the sprawling grounds. Those approved plans call for two four-story and two six-story buildings, connected by a porte cochere entrance and anchored by over 1,500 square meters of communal facilities. The first stage would focus on the six-story buildings paired with shared amenities.

Photo credit: O’Neil Architecture

The proposed community facilities will include a dining hall and cafĂ©, a cinema, gym, and library for entertainment and activity spaces. Medical suites will provide on-site healthcare services. For social gatherings, plans call for a club, lounge, and bar. Recreational amenities will include a swimming pool and bowling green for residents to enjoy. 

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Photo credit: O’Neil Architecture

The new proposal would take the total number of residential units to 287 within a nearly 28,000 sqm development. It would modify the previously approved buildings by lowering their base to the ground level, removing the porte cochere, and relocating community facilities to the new proposed buildings 5 and 6. An internal road with southern drop off would improve access and circulation.

The positioning of new construction on the exterior of the grounds allows Lota House, classified as a Queensland Heritage Place, to remain undisturbed at the heart of the community. Careful heritage assessments could enable approval for necessary demolition and maintenance work on the surrounding non-protected areas, if the plans are greenlit.


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Drawing inspiration from Lota House’s architecture, the design incorporates rendered masonry walls, metal cladding, glass balustrades, and color banding that lightens towards the upper floors. This would help blend the modern forms into the landscape and heritage context if approved as envisioned. The end result could be a seamlessly integrated expansion with all the amenities today’s residents expect.


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The multi-phase project would ensure continuous comfortable living for all residents at the retirement community during construction, if given the go-ahead. When complete, the new Lota House could provide premium senior living options and uphold the site’s rich 135-year history.

Published 10-November-2023