Brisbane private equity firm Blue Sky has joined forces with Tim Russell and Mark Taylor (pictured right) to launch a new retirement village development company titled Aura.

They have acquired their first project, taking over the Kingsford Terrace village development at Corinda, 12 km south of the Brisbane CBD, from Prescare. Currently the village has 34 apartments that Aura will expand to 250 across the 3ha of land, at an end value of $130 million.

Russell states they have five additional brownfield developments in due diligence which are ‘solid’. They don’t intend to grow by acquisition. They wish to have “an intimate role in creating, developing and operating villages”.

The Corinda village will have a residential aged care facility; they are seeking a developer and operator.

Blue Sky has 50% equity in Aura Australia Management while Russell and Taylor each have 25%. Blue Sky Real Estate will be the developer of each new village. They intend concentrating on SE QLD initially.

Russell was the founder of what is now RetireAustralia and Mark Taylor joined early as CFO; over 10 years they built it into the fourth largest village operator in the country.

Blue Sky has three years’ experience in the sector, having acquired 25% of Oaktree and supporting its rapid growth from approximately 11 retirement villages to 27 villages today.

Oaktree concentrates on regional, affordable villages. Russell states they will be in the mid to premium village price range.

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