Charter Hall and Western Sydney University to build $350 million Innovation Quarter, with three mixed-use towers

Charter Hall has entered into a development agreement with Western Sydney University to build Innovation Quarter – promising to be a world class, health-focused ecosystem of services.

The $350 million development will comprise of three mixed-use towers, with more than 38,000 square metres of area, to be occupied as research, health, education and commercial space.

Innovation Quarter will also contain 4000 sqm of retail, with a supermarket, a fitness centre, childcare and car park.

Western Sydney University has signed an initial 15-year lease agreement with Charter Hall.

Western Sydney University’s Science Building.

The school’s vice-chancellor and president, Professor Barney Glover AO, said Innovation Quarter will be a pioneering health and medical precinct showcasing the University’s world-leading research.

“This is an important joint venture for our University,” Professor Glover said. “Our Westmead campus, home to our MARCS BabyLab and the NICM Health Research Institute, will be at the forefront of this future global centre for excellence and will play a vital role in addressing some of the most pressing healthcare challenges that Australia faces, both now and into the future”.

“Furthermore, it will create greater opportunities for collaboration across industry, government and healthcare, and contribute significant economic and social benefits for communities in Western Sydney, to our nation, and to the world at large.

The joint-venture is Charter Hall’s third with Western Sydney University.

The pair have also partnered for the Engineering Innovation Hub at 6 Hassall St, Parramatta – in collaboration also with the University of New South Wales. The Parramatta City campus at 1 Parramatta Square is the other.

“Over the next 10 years, more than $5.8 billion of investments is planned for Westmead with jobs and economic growth boosted by a population of highly skilled and talented labour market,” a joint statement about the development, said.

Charter Hall’s Head of Office Development, Andrew Borger said the company “is excited to… deliver what will become Australia’s leading research, health and commercial precinct, in the heart of western Sydney”.

“With one third of Sydney’s labour market in science, health, engineering, mathematics and IT in Westmead, this new visionary development is the catalyst to transform Westmead into Australia’s most advanced innovation district.”

Industry partners will now be sought “to showcase how research, health, education, commercial offices and retail uses can co-habit to deliver a smarter, efficient and more immersive precinct experience,” the partners said.

“Combined with the planned Government works, Innovation Quarter will attract industry, residents and visitors to use a range of precinct facilities.” Mr Borger added.

Artist’s impression of the VU Tower foyer.

The Innovation Quarter is part of Western Sydney University’s ‘Western Growth’ strategy – which creates education infrastructure in partnership with industry, government and higher education providers.

Construction of Innovation Quarter is expected to begin in the second half of 2019, subject to all approvals.

Last November we reported that Industry Superannuation Property Trust (ISPT) entered into a joint venture with Victoria University, which will result in the school renting a 32-level, 24,000 sqm “vertical campus” to be known as VU Tower (artist’s impression, right) – for 30 years.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco
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