An $80 million retirement complex will be built inside Christchurch's Wigram Skies subdivision.

The complex will go on 5.7 hectares of land near the Wigram Air Force Museum and be called Lady Wigram Retirement Village. It is one of two planned for the area. Work on the project will begin in August, with the first stage of units ready a year later.

The development will include a rest home, hospital, dementia unit and individual units. There will be 154 retirement villas and apartments with one or two bedrooms, plus 100 care beds. Amenities will include a swimming pool, spa pool, gym, bowling greens, theatre and hair salon.

The developer and owner is Golden Healthcare Group, the biggest privately owned retirement village provider in New Zealand. Owner, Christchurch businessman John Tooby, said the new complex was intended to be attractive and handy to other parts of Wigram Skies. "This is a very exciting project for us, the first time we have constructed a new retirement village from scratch" he said.

Golden Healthcare Group bought the land from Ngāi Tahu Property, which has developed Wigram Skies on the former Wigram Aerodrome.

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