Watermark Residences Castle Cove is a premier retirement village on Sydney’s North Shore. It was designed by award-winning architects, and includes a wide selection of apartment sizes and floor plans – all tailored to the local market. The residences are spacious, elegant and low-maintenance, and the environment is vibrant, secure and caring. A host of recreational activities are within easy reach.
“In general, Castle Cove offers the ultimate in comfort and convenience in retirement villages,” says Director Enzo Marchione.
The origins of the village go back to 2006, when the plan first started to come together. At that time, the Directors at Watermark – including Enzo, an experienced residential developer – came upon a parcel of land owned by the Catholic Church, which had been vacant for many years.
Enzo and his partners recognised that the location “ticked all the boxes when it came to a seniors development,” he says. It was only a short distance from nearby medical services, was in reach of various shopping centres, and was accessible by bus.
“We set out to develop a boutique village that really stood out from the rest,” Enzo recalls. “And the product we have today speaks for itself.”
Taking the extra step
Enzo personally comes from a long career in the development industry, having spent over 15 years successfully carrying out high end residential projects. In 2002, he was recognised by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects with an award for Multiple Housing, for a joint-development he did with Tony Olding – who’s also a Director at Watermark. Enzo first started developing retirement villages in 2001, beginning with a village in Wagga Wagga.
The third Director of Watermark is Dr. Christopher Watt, who was “a driving force for the project, and brought a wealth of knowledge,” according to Enzo. Prior to helping find Watermark Castle Cove, Dr. Watt had a longstanding vision to create a premier seniors lifestyle development for the area.
Together, along with their team of architects at Marchese + Partners, the Directors brought Castle Cove to life in 2009. Two years later, the village was fully occupied – despite the challenge of rising interest rates and the global financial crisis.
Enzo credits the village’s success – which was against all odds – to the team’s commitment to quality across many different aspects of the project.
“There’s no one single aspect that sets us apart,” he explains. “What sets us apart is a combination of many things. It’s our focus on just trying to be the best at everything we do. That ranges from our design, to our service provisions, to our facilities, and to how we deal with our people.”
“We have a really strong culture at Castle Cove,” he adds. “And that culture is filtered down from top level management right through to our staff on the ground, and it’s adopted by our residents as well.”
In general, Enzo says they “go the extra step” at Castle Cove.
“We genuinely make an effort to take care for our residents,” he explains. “We want the best for them. Often an operator will look at things strictly in commercial terms. We look beyond that.”
Watermark Castle Cove also went the extra step years ago, when they designed and built the village. At that time, they created residences with spacious kitchens stocked with quality appliances, which connected to “oversized living areas” – areas which, in turn, flowed into “generous balconies or courtyards, with either Sydney district or garden views.”
They also designed the village to have intercom and security access located throughout the buildings, and direct lift access from the basement parking area. They also thought to include numerous convenient recreational facilities – including a movie theatre; dedicated card room and bridge club; gymnasium; putting green; billiard room; and a hair and beauty salon.
In a unique touch, Watermark at Castle Cove is also integrated with a community library, which was built for Willoughby Council and is part of their network branch of libraries. That facility has more than 6000 books, offers internet access, reading groups and guest speakers. It also has a “community room,” which adjoins it and hosts various community groups.
“It’s fantastic, because it integrates our village with the community,” Enzo says. “Retirement villages are often insulated and isolated places, but that facility really defeats that.”
The right balance
Enzo and his team are committed to delivering a retirement experience that is above and beyond the industry standard. That commitment has not gone unrecognised.
In 2011, Watermark at Castle Cove was a winner at the prestigious Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Awards. The village won in the category for best Senior’s Independent Living project in New South Wales – a victory that Enzo is personally proud of.
“It’s always nice to have an accolade of that kind,” he says. “We went to great lengths to create an exceptional village, and we go to great lengths for our residents, and that award reflects that.”
The UDIA judges commented that Watermark provides “an immediate sense of well-being from the outset, with high quality fittings and furnishings throughout.” They went on to compliment the integration of the Castle Cove Public Library on the premises, saying it provided a unique opportunity for residents to interact with the surrounding community.
“The developer has achieved a fine balance between liveability, security and privacy,” the judges also said in their write-up.
Moving forward, Enzo says they want to maintain that careful balance, and generally continue to live up to that accolade. That means always improving, and never “resting on their laurels.”
“We’re always trying to move forward and innovate,” Enzo says.
One aspect of moving forward is growth, he adds, and they are currently looking at doing that for Castle Cove. He says they have been very open with their residents about it, but clarifies that any and all expansion efforts would be conducted carefully and with the utmost sensitivity to their people.
“We would like to grow our numbers to about 75 apartments,” he says. “And then that would be it. We don’t want to grow any further than that. We want to continue to be a boutique village, continue to offer strong service, and continue to have a strong culture. That sets us apart from a lot of others.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Watermark Residences Castle Cove
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