The Arbour- “Retirement Without Compromise”
The Arbour at Berry began its planning stages in 2002, with the vision of building “a community that even its owners would like to call home in their elder years” according to Mr. John Leo; one of the directors for The Arbour. With the full support of the Berry community behind them, this vision came to fruition, when The Arbour opened its doors to their first residents in 2008. Since then, The Arbour has become home to in excess of 130 residents, who now live within its vibrant resort style facilities. With the spectacular Cambewarra Ranges as a backdrop and pristine beaches only minutes from the town centre, The Arbour at Berry has both country and coastal appeal.
All this and more is within a convenient two hour drive from Sydney, whilst the Berry Train Station is located just over a kilometre from Village, with regular daily services running to and from Sydney Central station. That being said, the community can be viewed more as an “independent living retirement village, which does not compromise quality of living, or the residents previous lifestyles” according to Mr. Leo.
Aside from convenience and independence, The Arbour also offers its residents a vast array of leisure activities and services that are readily accessible within the community grounds. Some of these activities include, social BBQ’s, gardening, exercise classes, pool facilities, as well art classes and a fully equipped workshop to name just a few. Not to mention a “full cinematic theatre available to all residents” says Mr. Leo. The Arbour is also a pet friendly facility, for those residents who are animal lovers.
This sense of community is “vital to the happiness and comfort of our residents” states Mr. Leo, as he also puts emphasis on the importance of their inhabitants being able to become a part of the village lifestyle, without forfeiting familiar privacies or lifestyle patterns. Mr. Leo is also a consistent visitor to the site himself. “I’ve built strong relationships with our people at The Arbour, and these friendships have further enriched my life as a whole” expresses Mr. Leo, as he goes on to explain that residents being able to interact socially with an owner of the property is essential to the future development of The Arbour family. In addition to this, he also explains that the homes built at The Arbour, are a culmination of “years of research and refinement” all with the aim of creating a relaxed environment, enabling residents to enjoy privacy without having to compromise their interaction with the outside community. Their homes are also built as efficiently as possible, in order to minimise the typical maintenance requirements and demands of a traditional home. Another way in which The Arbour differentiates from other villages, is the sustainable design throughout the entire facility. The Arbour utilizes such efficient practises as solar passive design, water management systems, as well as “time-of-use” electricity meters to contribute to their sustainable operations.
Aside from The Arbour being a lavish resort style community, it has also grown into a multi award winning village. These accolades include “Best Retirement Village in Australia” awarded by the Property Council of Australia in 2014, as well as the UDIA Award for “Best Project in NSW Regions and ACT in 2011”. It’s no surprise The Arbour has been able to secure a prestigious reputation within their industry. However, the importance of industry partnerships to this success cannot be overlooked. In this instance, Mr. Leo explains that having a healthy relationship with The Arbours primary builder, StrongBuild Home Builders was a key ingredient in what has become a largely successful formula.
“StrongBuild was our most key relationship in the development of The Arbour project” indicates Mr. Leo, and goes on to elaborate on their continued relationship, with a senior StrongBuild team member becoming a Residents of The Arbour in 2009. Developing relationships of this depth, are viewed by Mr. Leo as “one of the most fulfilling aspects of the journey thus far”.
Mr. Leo explains that this journey is not yet complete, as they are currently underway with the developmental stages for a second retirement village, Wivenhoe Village at Kirkham Rise which is just outside of Camden. However, Mr. Leo expresses that there are no ambition to be anything more than a smaller boutique operator” Our projects require a strong emotional investment and focus to create a family like community”. This has been cemented within the lineages of The Arbour at Berry.