University snaps up two sites near campuses

The outgoing CSIRO laboratory at 343 Royal Parade.

Monash University has outlaid about $80 million on sites near campuses.

The CSIRO banked $90 million from a Highett laboratory in 2021.

In the biggest deal, the group is spending c$50m, sources say, for an outgoing CSIRO laboratory at 343 Royal Parade – about 100 metres from its Parkville campus (399 Royal Pde), home to the Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical faculty.

Covering 4986 square metres, the school’s latest acquisition contains a 1960s L-shaped four level building backing onto Mile Lane where it has garage access.

It also includes a single storey historic dwelling extended and fit out as offices.

The Melbourne Biomedical Precinct (centre), around the Haymarket roundabout.

CSIRO has occupied the property for over 70 years.

The sale comes three years since the government body sold a 9.4ha Highett property for $90m ex-GST to Sunkin Property Group, an arm of Wolf Group, which is now proposing a major medium and high-density residential complex.

In Geelong’s Highett, meanwhile, Up Property in 2019 acquired a 9.3ha ex-laboratory, also with plans for a housing project.

Monash secures presence at Parkville

The Royal Pde property is about two kilometres north of the heart of Melbourne’s Biomedical Precinct, around the Haymarket roundabout and Parkville train station, taking shape as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

There, PDG Corporation recently completed a headquarters for CSL and tenancies for the Royal Melbourne Hospital at #611 Elizabeth Street.

Monash University is expected to repurpose improvements at 343 Royal Pde as classrooms

Given nearby planning precedents, it could also consider extending into the airspace or build a new mid-rise tower; the property is two holdings from an 11 level office, 369 Royal Pde, owned by Riverlee.

The acquisition comes two years since Dexus, for its Healthcare Property Fund, acquired the Monash Parkville campus, on c9700 sqm, for $138.7m (story continues below).

Monash University is buying the L-shaped 762-766 Blackburn Road.

Monash invests again in Monash

Meanwhile, Monash University is paying a speculated $30 million for an L-shaped site (pictured, top) opposite its Clayton campus.

The 2.38 hectare Special Use zoned tract, 762-768 Blackburn Rd, was part of a 6.443ha holding listed by Telstra last November; also with an office offered, the global operations centre, offered with a leaseback, the amalgamation carried c$80m price hopes.

In the heart of the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster – the city’s biggest employment hub outside of the CBD – the parcel is also in a growing biomedical precinct, opposite the recently completed Victorian Heart Hospital on Monash’s Clayton campus.

The deal comes 11 months since the university paid Toyota $66m for an ex-research facility and an undeveloped tract on 3.63ha, also zoned Special Use, at 611-633 Blackburn Rd, opposite the school’s northern boundary.

JLL’s Josh Rutman, Jesse Radisich and MingXuan Li brokered that deal.

Mr Rutman and Mr Radisich also represented Telstra.

The agent are still marketing the balance of the property – an 11,757 sqm office on 4.14ha at 30 Henderson Rd, leased to the telco for five years.

“The [762-766 Blackburn Rd] campaign resulted in…five formal offers with more than $130m of capital…from local developers, institutions, universities, data centres and medical operators,” Mr Radisich said.

“The Victorian and Commonwealth governments are providing ongoing investment into the precinct, which is home to 130,000 businesses and medical and research facilities including the CSIRO, BrainPark, Monash Health and the Australian Synchrotron and the proposed…[Moderna] mRNA manufacturing facility,” Mr Rutman added.

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Marc Pallisco

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