Charter Hall and Western Sydney University have secured approval for the first stage of their $350 million Innovation Quarter precinct at Westmead in Western Sydney.
The development will comprise two mixed-use towers with more than 28,000sq m of research, health, education and commercial space.
Another 2,000sq m of retail space will also be built including a supermarket, food and beverage retail, lifestyle fitness centre, childcare and car parking.
WSU has committed to an initial 15-year lease term across around half the proposed research and commercial office space in the first stage of the project.
The joint-venture development, the third of its kind between Charter Hall and WSU, will also be targeting a five star Green Star and NABERS energy targets.
The Innovation Quarter will sit at the heart of the $5.8 billion Westmead precinct set to become one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia.
Spanning 75 hectares, the precinct will comprises over 400,000sq m of new projects, including four hospitals, four medical research institutes, and the largest research intensive pathology service in NSW.
More than $3 billion has been committed by the state government, universities and the private sector to upgrade and expand the precinct over the next 10 years,.
Charter Hall chief executive David Harrison said the approval meant the fast-tracked delivery of a critical piece of infrastructure, not just for the success of the broader Westmead precinct, but in driving the Covid-19 mitigation and recovery phases ahead.
“There’s never been a more important time to focus on health research and innovation, and this project collaboration with Western Sydney University will deliver critical infrastructure to support this,” Harrison said.
For WSU, the Innovation Quarter is part of its “Western Growth” strategy, an ambitious program of works that will recycle the university’s campus network.
WSU, which is based at Parramatta in Sydney's west, has been using income from the redevelopment of old campuses across its 1,800-hectare land holding to finance long-term rental contracts in new locations close to transport.
WSU vice-chancellor Professor Barney said the Westmead collaboration, would support the University's wider program of infrastructure stimulus initiatives with other public-private partners at Bankstown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Werrington.
At Liverpool, in Sydney's south west, the university has taken a long-term lease on a building for a social science and nursing campus.
At Bankstown WSU is working with the local council to find a developer for a community, health and education campus which the university will lease.
Now approval is secured, Charter Hall and WSU will press ahead with construction and expect practical completion of the Innovation Quarter by late 2021.