Unique and individual lifestyle village living BY RENÉE LANG PHOTOGRAPHY DOMINIQUE WHITEF
or Kristin Nimmo and her family, their development of the Olive Estate Lifestyle Village is very much about honouring the heritage of the land. Over just a few short years a large tract of semi-rural land in Richmond has sprouted an attractive low-rise lifestyle village development comprising individual streets studded with trees designed to attract birdlife and architecturallydesigned homes that allow their occupants to display their individuality. Welcome to Olive Estate, the lifestyle village that likes to do things a little bit differently and where the residents are a healthy mix of singles and couples, men and women, many still working and some retired. The range of housing reflects this diversity: two and three bedroom villas, terrace houses and, in the not too distant future, apartments. Anyone contemplating a move to Olive Estate is actually getting much more than a home. Olive Estate offers a caring and active community that general manager Kristin Nimmo, of the Integrity Care Group, has worked hard to establish. It’s paid off, too, as the development 36
which comprised just 12 units three short years ago has now evolved into 85 completed units, with 26 currently under construction, and it’s still growing. Kristin’s family has been in the care industry since 1992, which adds up to many years of experience between them. “We really enjoy the excitement of developing something new, challenging ourselves and challenging the market as well.” So what are the differences between the Olive and some of the other independent villages in the Nelson region? “We wanted to create a village that’s more like a residential subdivision, more individualised, so that moving through its streets you could appreciate its differences, unlike being in a gated community at the end of a road, where everything looks the same,” Kristin explains, adding that while they would like to encourage people from neighbouring communities to visit the development, she and her team are equally keen that the village’s residents themselves go out and about as much as possible. As well as designing attractive homes,
there’s an emphasis on making the street frontages look equally beautiful so that even though the development is only a few years old, the number of trees and shrubs and the amount of green spaces is truly impressive. Then there’s the community garden with its three large vegetable plots, all of which were established early on so that they are already producing bountiful harvests for the residents to share and enjoy. There’s no shortage of willing gardeners to tend the plots, either, and Kristin notes that whenever a harvest of vegetables is announced, people tend to linger after collecting their vegetables to chat so that a harvest has become something of a social event as well. Kristin notes that she’s become aware of a high level of communication between neighbouring residents. “We’ve got back to that old-fashioned neighbourhood community where everyone is looking out for each other, not in a nosy way but in a genuine caring way.” There is no shortage of interest groups, too – book clubs, mah-jong groups, cycling and walking groups among others.