Charter Hall (or the Group) and Western Sydney University (the University) have announced the development approval for stages 1 and 2 of their $350 million ‘Innovation Quarter’ (iQ) precinct at Westmead.
The world-class development between Charter Hall and the University will create a visionary hub for innovation in health, education, research and business, substantially elevating Westmead’s status as one of the world’s most advanced innovation districts.
Westmead is home to more people with PhDs than anywhere else in Australia and continues to be the focus of unprecedented growth, with a planned total investment pipeline of more than $5.8 billion over the next decade.
Development approval has been received for two mixed-use towers at iQ, situated between the hospital and Westmead station. These towers will provide 28,000 square metres of health, research, education and commercial space, facilitating significant opportunities for collaboration across the public and private sectors. Additionally, 2,000 square metres of retail space, lifestyle facilities and amenity will ensure tenants and the surrounding community benefit from the development, including food and beverage, a proposed supermarket, fitness centre, parking and childcare – creating a comprehensive lifestyle and wellbeing offering for tenants and the community.
Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, noted the significance of the development approval.
“Continued research, educational and commercial investment in Westmead is critical, not just for the success of the precinct, but in driving the COVID-19 mitigation and recovery phases ahead. This approval sends a vitally important signal that innovative public-private initiatives like Innovation Quarter are well placed to navigate the challenging terrain ahead,” said Professor Glover.
“The Westmead collaboration with Charter Hall, is part of a wider program of infrastructure stimulus initiatives the University is pursing with the Group and other public-private partners at Bankstown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Werrington.
“Western Sydney will bear much of the brunt of the current challenges, and we must equally be prepared to drive recovery. The University and partners like Charter Hall are committed to that task,” added Professor Glover.
Charter Hall’s Managing Director and Group CEO, Mr David Harrison said the development approval and commencement of construction works was an exciting step forward for the project.
“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. Over 1,000 jobs are also being created by the project, which is vital for Australians and our economy at this time.
“iQ will create a truly visionary precinct that brings together the most forward-thinking research, health education and commercial sectors in the Southern Hemisphere. The project will provide an environment for some of the brightest minds in the country to innovate, create opportunities for collaboration and solve global challenges in the heart of Westmead,” said Mr Harrison.
The Western Sydney University has committed to an initial 15-year lease term for two of their research institutions, the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development and the Translational Health Research Institute (THRI).
Charter Hall’s Head of Office Development, Mr Andrew Borger said
Our vision is to work with both public sector and industry to make Westmead a sought-after research epicentre. We look forward to continuing to partner with leading health and research organisations such as MARCS and THRI for the Innovation Quarter precinct,” Mr Borger added.
Richard Crookes Constructions has been appointed as the construction partner to deliver the Innovation Quarter precinct in partnership with Charter Hall and Western Sydney University.
Practical completion of the project is scheduled for Q4 2021.
The Westmead Health Precinct will become a unique flagship for highly-specialised and integrated health, research, education and innovation for decades to come.
The more than $1 billion Westmead Redevelopment is the centrepiece of this transformation. It includes a new Central Acute Services Building (CASB), Innovation Centre, plaza, forecourt and refurbishments to the existing Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.