South Yarra strip goes upmarket for elderly

An aged-care provider will demolish several buildings in a sought-after South Yarra street and replace them with Australia's first six-star care facility.

An aged-care provider will demolish several buildings in a sought-after South Yarra street and replace them with Australia's first six-star care facility.

Australian Aged Care Group plans to build a luxurious 79-suite Kensington Gardens aged care residency on a hill overlooking a bend in the Yarra River next to Alexandra Avenue and opposite Herring Island.

The $80 million project would cover a large portion of the 0.8 hectare site now occupied by several small apartment buildings and townhouses. Each suite would be more than 60 square metres and aimed at elderly residents with an average age of 85.

Residents would have a bedroom, dining, kitchenette and sitting rooms as well as a balcony, Aged Care Group director John Matthies said.

There would be a small cinema, hydrotherapy pool, gym, chapel, cafe, wine cellar and terrace gardens for residents in buildings and grounds designed by architecture firm Bates Smart.

The six-level facility would require the demolition of 61 Kensington Road, No.2 and No.3 at 52 Rockley Road, 135 and 141 Alexandra Avenue .

Numerous residents have complained about the proposal, with 169 objections lodged so far, Stonnington's mayor Matthew Koce said.

Aged Care Group has listed the case at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal because the council failed to make a decision within the prescribed 60-day period. But Cr Koce said complex planning applications involving community consultation required more time.

The aged-care centre replaces another five-storey apartment proposed for the site, originally approved in 2010.

Bates Smart director Roger Poole said the new facility was "less monolithic" than the previous proposal.

Australian Aged Care Group operates the 100-bed Kew Gardens Aged Care and Canterbury Nursing Home.