Wentworth, University of Sydney strike life sciences campus deal

Part of Charter Hall and Western Sydney University’s Westmead innovation precinct.

Wentworth Capital has struck a 99 year lease for the University of Sydney’s Medical Foundation building, which will be rebuilt as a $500 million life sciences hub (artist’s impression, top).

Monash University just bought a CSIRO laboratory to expand its Parkville campus.

The proposed 30,000 square metre Biomed, Science and Innovation Campus, as it will be known, will be developed at 92 Parramatta Road, Camperdown, opposite the school’s main campus but connected to it via walkway.

“[The site] will complement the state of the art Sydney Biomedical Accelerator…a partnership between the University, the Sydney Local Health District and NSW government in collaboration with the Centenary Institute,” a Wentworth spokesperson said.

“On completion in 2027, it will be home to over 1200 biomedical researchers and clinician scientists, including over 800 University of Sydney laboratory researchers and PhD students, over 300 clinical researchers from Sydney Local Health District, and 100 industry researchers,” they added.

“Wentworth Capital’s campus will…provide space for leading private sector companies, scaleups and startups to co-locate, providing direct access to a unique global concentration of biomedical research talent and a dedicated science and innovation community,” according to the developer.

“Both the campus and the SBA will join other leading  facilities in the Tech Central Innovation District.

“It will enjoy close collaboration with the Westmead Innovation District, connecting Sydney’s innovation ecosystem of world class universities, industry partners, start-ups, research institutes, and premier hospital and health services”.

Wentworth’s project will also include retail.

Strong conviction in sector: Wentworth

The Camperdown agreement comes four years since Charter Hall and Western Sydney University struck a deal to develop an innovation precinct in stages at Westmead.

The first building constructed as part of that project, opposite Westmead Hospital, was last year slotted into the fund manager’s Social Infrastructure REIT (story continues below).

PDG’s Elizabeth North precinct in Melbourne attracted CSL as a tenant in 2019.

Charter Hall and WSU have previously partnered for innovation hubs at Parramatta.

In Melbourne, meanwhile, a biotechnology precinct is taking shape around the Haymarket roundabout, the University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Monash University’s Parkville campus which contains the Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty.

Last week, we reported Monash was purchasing an ex-CSIRO laboratory to expand its campus – a part of which Dexus acquired in mid-2021 for $138.7m for its Healthcare Property Fund.

“We have strong conviction in the life sciences sector and have been working with the University for over two and a half years to bring this exciting project to fruition,” Wentworth chief executive, Alastair Nash, an ex-Blackstone and Mirvac executive, said.

“We identified early on that Australia’s Science and Innovation community needed purpose-built infrastructure and the logic was the create a campus directly opposite one of Australia’s best universities and hospitals,” he added.

“The scale of the site has allowed the design team to incorporate space for small start ups as well as large private sector companies creating a campus environment that promotes collaboration and idea sharing which is so powerful in this sector,” according to the executive.

“This investment is consistent with the opportunities that Wentworth Capital identifies for its investors and we are excited to progress the design and planning over the coming year”.

University of Sydney deputy vice chancellor, Research, Emma Johnston, added “the discoveries of the future will happen at the junction of where universities, industry and government connect, and it is exciting to see industry invest significant resources and capital into our vision for Sydney as a global leader in biomedical and science research, development and commercialisation”.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.