A MASSIVE $250m redevelopment of Sundale Aged Care was set to underpin the foundations of Nambour's economic revival with the project likely to bring $1.5 billion in benefit to the hinterland town.
The 10-year development program would completely replace facilities built over the past 54 years with a fresh approach to aged care which mirrors and exceeds global best practice.
Work was scheduled to start early next year to demolish the oldest, and now unoccupied, sections of the Sundale site located on Petrie Creek and between Carter Road and Doolan Street.
It would immediately be followed by construction of a 74-unit apartment and village heart incorporating coffee shops, medical centres and rehabilitation facilities that would be open to the public.
Sundale CEO Glenn Bunney unveiled the plans at its annual general meeting last night, the culmination of a decade-long planning exercise which gained pace in 2014.
Mr Bunney said the 30 per cent building footprint had been achieved through additional height and would result in nearly nine hectares of open space.
Architect Thomson-Adsett had delivered a design that encouraged broader use of common facilities and would draw the aged back into the community.
Mr Bunney said the landscape design by Dunn + Moran introduced a range of native plants across the site which flowered in season to ensure an abundance of birdlife.
He said the project would employ 150 construction workers a year for the next 10 years to complete the village heart and ultimately about 700 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
Designed as apartments for life, the units have been built to easily adapt to changed circumstance over time and to accommodate different levels of care.
Careful attention has also been paid to containing living costs through solar power, storm water management systems and massive underground rainwater tanks.
"Things had to change," Mr Bunney said. "You can't keep building to 1950s design. What we plan will provide better care particularly for dementia patients.
"Technology will help people stay in their own homes."
When complete the Sundale complex resident population would grow from 300 to 1200 with staff across the organisation expanding from 518 to 750 across the organisation.
Mr Bunney said what was planned was a fresh approach to aged care.
Facilities would also provide affordable apartments for people on the verge of homelessness and also a sanctuary for women escaping domestic violence.
"This can be the foundation for Nambour's economic revival," Mr Bunney said.
"It's the spiritual heart of Sundale. We want to make something special that honours that connection.
Sundale Aged care was born in Nambour in 1963, the product of a prosperous farming community that wanted to look after its own in their later years.
It has grown into a massive not-for-profit operation functioning across retirement communities, rehabilitation services, caravan parks, in-home care, child care, affordable housing, care centres, Telecare and corporate services.
Sundale's footprint now reaches beyond Burnside and Nambour to include Palmwoods, Coolum, Kunda Park, Woombye, Boyne island, Kilcoy, Cannon Hill and Hervey Bay.
Planning was now also well advanced for a retirement-aged care facility at Tewantin.