Living the high life

A move to a city apartment can unlock a low-maintenance lifestyle offering plenty of convenience and interest, as older South Australians are discovering.

Forget the sea change or rural retreat – older South Australians are being drawn to the bright city lights. Larry and Noni Ferguson are among those who have sold their family home for apartment living, attracted by the convenience and opportunities on offer in the heart of Adelaide.

The pair – both retired medicos – last year sold up their “lovely big house” in Netherby for a three-bedroom penthouse on the 22nd floor of the new One Apartment development on Flinders St. And they couldn’t be happier.

“We’re very pleased with it,” 73-year-old former surgeon Larry says. “We were in our house in Netherby for 20 years, but we found the big garden and the pool and the tennis court were just getting a bit too much to maintain. We also travel a lot so the idea of having an apartment which we can just lock up and leave was attractive.”

From its combination of shopping and restaurants through to its accessibility to other inner-city attractions such as the Adelaide Oval and Festival Theatre, the city centre is proving an ideal location for people to live the high life.

According to ABS data, 24,794 people called the City of Adelaide home in 2018, with that number tipped to swell to 46,700 by 2036 as further apartment buildings are added to Adelaide’s ever-evolving skyline.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor, below, says more retirees are looking to downsize and buy a low-maintenance city apartment because of the many benefits of city life. “It’s one of the best lifestyle decisions you could ever make, with world-class food and wine, quality shopping, cultural institutions, events and our beautiful parklands at your fingertips,” she says. “And the city is only becoming an even more attractive option, with exciting projects such as the Central Market Arcade redevelopment on the horizon.

“We welcome everyone to the city but we love seeing retirees as residents as we know they contribute strongly to their local community. They often get engaged in civic life and are active volunteers.” The Fergusons moved into their apartment in the Flinders St tower – developed by award-winning architect Loucas Zahos – last October, getting the keys just before leaving for a fiveweek European cycling holiday. The location is convenient for Noni, 63, a retired GP, in her role as a part-time guide at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

“We decided we wanted to live in the city and looked at several places ... but we just thought this corner of the city is extremely quiet,” Larry says. “There’s not much through traffic. We can walk to the parklands, we can walk to the Art Gallery or to the markets. What we’ve been really pleased about is that the parklands are just one block away – we walked the dog this morning and there’s just miles to walk in.

“We also wanted something on just one level, rather than one with steps as we did have in Netherby.” The couple also delight in the almost 360-degree views over the city and beyond from the balconies of their 22nd-floor property. “We’re enjoying life and we’ve made quite a lot of new friends ... we’re organising a regular happy hour so folk can get to know one another better,” Larry says.

Among the other buildings adding to the city skyline in recent years is Uniting Communities’ U City complex, a 20-storey mix of retirement homes, specialist disability accommodation, accessible serviced apartments and commercial tenancies on Franklin St.

Sales manager for U City’s retirement residences Robert Maiolo says the diversity within the U City building – together with its central location – have proven a winning mix. Of the 41 retirement apartments available on the top six floors, 26 have so “We had a lovely 1952-built, three-bedroom home located on 1800sq m where we’d been for the last 13 years,” Chris says from the couple’s new two-bedroom, 16th-floor apartment. “But we were noticing our limitations in that it was getting
far been sold. “The mixed use of the building is certainly a huge drawcard, along with its location, pretty well smack-bang in the middle of the city,” Maiolo says.

“I think the sense of community is very strong here. Residents are able to stay in and mix with others or they can head to the lift, press ‘ground’ and find themselves with another whole world to explore.” says U City Sales Manager, Robert Maiolo.

Chris and Pam Luscombe, aged 70 and “slightly older” respectively, moved in – and up – 12 months ago from their home in Strathalbyn. harder and harder to dig in the garden, for example, and I really shouldn’t have been climbing that ladder to clean the gutters at my age. There were those sorts of issues for both of us to varying degrees.” After deciding on a move to the city to be closer to family, the couple then assessed several options – and decided U City would be the perfect fit.

“Particularly important to us is its location,” Chris says. “We’re absolutely in the heart of the city. It’s a short walk to Victoria Sq or the Central Market and the supermarket, and there is ample public transport in many directions.” The couple was among the first residents to move in to the building and felt comfortable from the get-go.

“I think our settling-in went better than we might have hoped,” Chris says. “There’s a very, very strong emphasis on community here – and it is a very, very open and welcoming community.” With a whole city to explore just beyond the front door – and a fabulous view from the 16th floor to take in – the move is offering the couple a fresh perspective. “We’re on the northwest corner so we get the most wonderful sunsets,” Chris says.“We thought we would eventually tire of the cityscape, but it’s endlessly fascinating and changing.

“We also do quite a bit of walking and it’s an intriguing town to walk around in. You see all sorts of interesting and fascinating things – it’s been lovely.”

"We welcome everyone to the city but we love seeing retirees as residents as we know they contribute strongly to their local
community. They often get engaged in civic life and are active volunteers" says Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor.

Living the high life by David Goldsmith originally seen in The Sunday Mail, 23 August 2020. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.