Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort Finances and Fees

Financing and fees at retirement villages can seem complicated. Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort is owned by Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust (Prime Trust). Prime Trust (PTN) is a public Property Trust formed in 2001 and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in July 2007.

Entry Fee

A potential resident of Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village pays a substantial ingoing contribution as a loan to the property trust. Any incoming accommodation payments made by a resident to the legal owner (Carlyle Gardens Pty Ltd) of the applicable Property will be fully on-lent to Prime Trust. This loan is approximately the value of the house and land, plus a proportion of the communal facilities. In short, entering a retirement resort isn't any cheaper than buying a home. In return you receive a long term lease which gives the resident a licence to occupy an individual accommodation unit and use of communal facilities. In general, you do not receive any increase in value from the property.

Exit Fee

On termination of the lease, the Carlyle Gardens resident is repaid the ingoing contribution (the loan) less deferred management and exit fees. These exit fees currently range between 7.5% for one year and 35% for nine years. In short, you may receive only 65% of what you paid.

When a unit is vacated, upgrading of the unit is undertaken to ensure that the standard of the units continues to meet market expectations.

Monthly Fee

The Carlyle Gardens resident is required to pay monthly fees to cover the communal operating costs and some capital repair and replacement items. Fee increases are generally limited to CPI figures.

Who Is Who

Prime Trust, or the entity within Prime Trust which is the legal owner (Carlyle Gardens Pty Ltd, is a subsidiary of Australian Property Custodian Holdings Limited, founded by managing director Bill Lewski, a major shareholder who sold control to corporate advisor Kidder Williams in April 2008 for under A$100M and was replaced by Philip Powell of Kidder Williams) leases each applicable Property (this is all of Carlyle Gardens) to an entity (Tenant) who have resort management rights. The Tenant entity was ultimately owned by the Retirement Guide Group (actually the people who took it over in 2007, Babcock & Brown Pty Ltd's subsidiary, Retirement Management Pty Ltd). In January 2009, Lend Lease Primelife took over management rights. This is what is meant when Prime Trust say its properties are operated by experienced parties under long-term arrangements. Prime Trust annual reports have been troubling during the global financial crisis.

The Tenant is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Property and is the effective interface with the residents and ensures that all legislative and other matters are properly attended to.

The Tenant will pay rent to Prime Trust which has two components: a fixed amount (around $100) per annum per Resident Agreement and a variable amount being a percentage of the deferred management fee resulting from every rollover of an accommodation unit.

Expansion Plans at Carlyle Gardens

Prime Trust bought the Carlyle Gardens retirement village in 2007 for $49.5 million. It was part of the former Green retirement assets (HQ in Bundaberg). Prime Trust has built a 500-seat auditorium, bar, restaurant and gym.

New homes were expected in Carlyle Gardens commencing April 2008. The first 70 or so homes were expected to expand to 344 by 2011.

In mid 2008, Prime Trust expected to expand Carlyle Gardens to make a A$170 million expansion in the retirement area. Doubling the number of independent living units to 720, according to former project manager Peter Kirkham.

Mr Kirkham said Prime was targeting two distinct markets among the baby boomers, those over 65 looking for a resort lifestyle and younger baby boomers aged around 55 seeking the latest digital and environmental technologies.

Prime was responding with plans for fibre optic connections as well as environmental features including a suite of energy innovations and options for roof-top solar photovoltaic panels.