Hobart convent's $30m aged care rebirth

One of Hobart's most historic sites, the former convent at Mt St Canice in Sandy Bay, will be transformed into aged care accommodation.

The Mercury reports on the Archdiocesan annoucement yesterday that it is selling the site to Southern Cross Care, and building is expected to begin by the middle of the year.

Under the $30 million plan, the landmark site will be developed into more than 70 independent living apartments and villas.

The majestic 1890s convent, which has a 1930s addition, will be retained but industrial buildings at the rear will be demolished.

The main building will be converted into apartments, with some key meeting rooms maintained. But the bulk of the villas will be built at the back of the site.

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle said he is encouraged by the sensitivity the Southern Cross Board had shown towards the project.

"This complex has been acknowledged over many years as one of the most dominant and attractive elements in Hobart's townscape because of its uniqueness and style," he told Online Catholics. "Over the past year or so, Southern Cross Care has been working through processes to ensure that what I have announced today can become a very real project of significance for Tasmania, enhancing the facility and making the best use of the site."

Leading Hobart architect Robert Morris Nunn, who has been appointed to design the redevelopment, said it was one of his most challenging projects.

He said the next chapter of Mt St Canice was about "valuing the past, adding to it and giving it a new direction".

The site has not been used as a convent since the 1980s, and in later years has been used for office space and as a home to retired priests.

Southern Cross Care board chairman Peter Patmore said the development would accommodate about 200 people.

He said there was an enormous waiting list for aged care facilities in Hobart and he expected the accommodation to be keenly sought.

Convent's $30m aged care rebirth (The Mercury 1/3/06)
$30 million make-over (Online Catholics 1/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Hobart
Southern Cross Care (Tas) Inc.

1 Mar 2006