La Trobe chooses partner for $5b university development

Artist’s impression of part of the project’s next stage, released at tender last April.

La Trobe University has chosen Plenary – a partner it has worked with before – to deliver mixed-use product and infrastructure worth up to $5 billion at its 235 hectare Bundoora campus.

The 235 hectare Bundoora campus is set to become a major activity centre.

Part of the University City of the Future initiative, in the works since 2018 – the tender, launched last April, is expected to deliver apartments, offices, shops, sports facilities and a wellbeing hub – alongside a new research and innovation precinct.

It is set to take up to 10 years to complete.

The development would be the Melbourne group’s first pure play property project.

JLL represented the university.

Development to date

Construction funding is expected to come from a variety of sources, while Plenary will own some of the assets upon completion.

The proposed buildings and infrastructure would accompany a 624-bed student accommodation complex and sports field, home to the Matilda’s women’s soccer team, which La Trobe recently completed.

Two research facilities, the Digital Innovation Hub and Bio Innovation Hub, are also being constructed by the school.

In 2009, La Trobe and Plenary unveiled the AgriBio Centre for AgriBioscience research and development facility at the campus, with 30,000 sqm of laboratories, glasshouses and offices now accommodating more than 400 science support staff and students (story continues below).

La Trobe recently completed a student accommodation complex (left) at Bundoora.

Next COTF stages

A future stage of the COTF initiative, includes a hospital and super-clinics, some which will be operated by Healthscope, as well as an aged care complex and child care centre.

Another sports field able to accommodate more than 10,000 is planned too, as is food sciences hub, to be managed with RMIT.

The announcement comes three weeks since we reported the University of Melbourne was replacing part of its Parkville campus with a New Student Centre, containing commercial, retail and community space.

That school also recently sold its former Hawthorn college, to developer Hampton, for a speculated $50m.

Bundoora is about 16 kilometres north of Melbourne.

More to come.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of