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Local owners John May, Aaron Nicholson and Aidan Craig have secured a 6ha site bordered by Mt Aspiring Rd and Studholme Rd.
About three months ago, they purchased 1ha of the site for about $2.8million
Mr Nicholson said this enabled them to work through development plans for the full 6ha site.
"As we get the development under way and consented, then we buy the rest.''
They were planning a "high-end village'' which would be "a short stroll'' to the town, Wanaka Station park and the lake.
The community "was in the early stages of planning for resource consent approval'' but they hoped to be able to offer presale opportunities by late next year.
The aim was for an "intimate community'' where people knew their neighbours, Mr Nicholson said.
Co-owner Aidan Craig had been involved in the retirement industry for about 12 years, owning and developing retirement communities across the country.
"I love Wanaka and I love the site.''
It was quite rare to have a site of this size close enough that residents could walk into town.
"A lot of villages have been built further and further out to get the sizes of land required.''
The numbers were yet to be finalised but there could be up to 140 homes on the site, he said.
The cost of the project was anticipated to be about $100 million over several stages.
There was a "real opportunity'' for a retirement village that was "a bit more innovative'', Mr Craig said.
The development would be "very in keeping with the environment'' with mostly single-storey homes and a focus on "ecofriendly'' planting and landscaping.
"We are not interested in building massive villages, we are interested in building a high-quality one that really suits the Wanaka town.''
The village was anticipated to include a 48-bed care facility based around a "non-institutional model''.
It would be based on the "Eden model'', an American idea that was less about long corridors and nurse-led care and instead made the facility "feel like a home and operate like a home''.
"It makes the model carer led, rather than nurse led,'' Mr Craig said.
If the development goes ahead it would be the third retirement village in Wanaka.
Aspiring Lifestyle Retirement Village director Jennie Anderson said it had consent for 46 independent living apartments at its Aspiring Apartments development.
The first 16 apartments were completed and sold in November last year, and a further 30 apartments would become available in the future.
"We haven't yet built the remaining 30.''
A Presbyterian Support Otago spokesman said there were no plans for expansion at its Wanaka Retirement Village site on Meadowstone St site.
A Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman said there were no retirement villages at present in the process of being considered for consent in Wanaka.