Australia’s Lendlease is expanding into China to take advantage of the country’s emerging retirement living sector.

The property and infrastructure group said it has signed a 50-year land usage contract with the Qingpu Government in Shanghai to develop and operate its first senior living community in China.

The expected value of the completed development is around RMB1.9bn (€246.3m).

As reported in the latest IPE Real Assets magazine, US and Australian companies, through joint ventures with Chinese partners, are making an initial push into China’s senior living market.

Lendlease said its first China senior living development will provide around 900 new independent living units and the developer said it is poised to create a new senior living business in Shanghai.

With nearly one-third of Shanghai’s population aged 60 or over as at end of 2017, there is a very large and growing demand for senior living communities, it said.

Tony Lombardo, the chief executive officer, Asia at Lendlease, said: “Our senior living focus builds off Lendlease’s proven capabilities.

“It will cater to a fast-growing demographic sector and require a combination of both local development and senior living management skills.”

Lombardo added that the company’s business model responds directly to the Chinese government’s policy supporting the development of senior living communities.

“We will focus on delivering our first new community, whilst also reviewing further opportunities to develop a portfolio of senior communities across Shanghai.”

Lendlease manages more than 70 senior living communities, containing around 12,500 retirement living units accommodating 16,500 senior residents in Australia, making it the countries largest.