by Alison Houston
TOOWOOMBA Golf Club's new general manager Johanthan Zirkler has taken up the job at a pretty exciting time.
The club is planning a 78-apartment retirement village on club-owned land with retirement village operator Aura Holdings.
Accountancy trained, Johnathan's not exactly a new face at the club.
Having done his golf traineeship there from 2002-2005 and worked in the pro shop in 2008, he said the new job "felt like coming home".
He said the partnership with Aura was a "unique fit" and was simply an offer too good to let pass.
The proposed development will comprise three separate buildings and cover the existing overflow car park and golf buggy storage area, adjacent to the ninth green; close to the clubhouse and pro-shop, without impacting on the course itself.
The village will include an indoor pool, gym, private dining room, wine room, billiards room, consulting suites and a hairdresser. A large lounge and library will spill out onto a deck and community gardens area.
The club will benefit from development of a new chipping and putting green, which Johnathan said would very closely reflect shots you play on the golf course itself, as well as profiting from enhanced patronage for the clubhouse and functions.
"The members have been very positive about this, and see it as an opportunity for the club to settle its future and embrace more members," he said.
Internationally awarded architectects Cox Architecture has designed the proposed village to be sympathetic to, and make the best of, its surroundings.
Aura Holdings director Mark Taylor said the village was aimed primarily at over-70s, and would be offered first to golf club members.
Plans are currently before council, but it's hoped that, if all goes smoothly, works could be underway in September, and the one, two and three-bedroom apartments available from mid-2019.
Mark and partner Tim Russell have been involved in retirement developments for 30 years, and currently have eight projects at various stages from the Sunshine to the Gold Coast.
Mark is confident that their more personal approach, putting the emphasis on creating homes rather than houses, in a beautiful environment, with an existing community and the opportunity to take up a popular pastime will prove popular.
To find out more, go to www.auraholdings.com.au or, for the golf club, go to www.toowoombagolfclub.com.au