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Contractors handed over an additional 20 care beds to management on Friday, boosting the total number to 61, while earthworks for the construction of 10 apartments, the first phase of stage 2 of the apartment project, is also under way.
Observatory Village Lifecare Trust director and trustee Ian Hurst said the first of the new care beds would be occupied from July 23, and half of them were already allocated. Mr Hurst said full care-bed occupancy would come significantly sooner than originally planned.
``We had originally forecast it was going to take a year to fill that next 20 beds, but I think the reality is it could be two to four months. There is a build-up of people who are assessed as needing rest-home or hospital care that obviously don't want to move out of town and are finding the delivery of what's being offered meets their requirements.''
There were 12 apartments in the village at present and when stage 2 was complete, that number would rise to 30.
The 10 being prepared for construction were set to be completed and ready for occupancy in the second half of 2019, Mr Hurst said.
The two-storey apartments would overlook the town and Oamaru Harbour.
Mr Hurst said a ``lengthy'' list of more than 30 people had registered an interest in owning an apartment at the village.
All of the current apartments had been sold and three villas were on the market.
In 2015, the council loaned the trust $8million to build the $22million stage 1 of Observatory Village, which was followed by an additional loan of $3.5million in August last year to allow the construction of stage 2 to start.