The $350 million Innovation Quarter, or iQ, at Westmead is a step closer, after Charter Hall and Western Sydney University secured development approval for stages 1 and 2.
The new hub for innovation in health, education, research and business, promises to elevate 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 sqm of health, research, education and commercial space.
An additional 2,000 sqm of retail space, lifestyle facilities and amenity will include food and beverage outlets, a proposed supermarket, fitness centre, parking and childcare.
Western Sydney University vice-chancellor and president, Professor Barney Glover AO, says “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.”
Glover believes “innovative public-private initiatives like Innovation Quarter are well placed to navigate the challenging terrain ahead”.
The Westmead collaboration with Charter Hall, is part of a wider program of infrastructure stimulus initiatives the university is pursing at Bankstown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Werrington.
According to Charter Hall’s managing director and group CEO David Harrison “there’s never been a more important time to focus on health research and innovation”.
“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,” Harrison says.
More than 1,000 jobs will be created by the project.
The Western Sydney University has committed to an initial 15-year lease term for two research institutions, the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development and the Translational Health Research Institute.
Andrew Borger, Charter Hall’s head of office development, says Charter Hall’s vision is to “work with both public sector and industry to make Westmead a sought-after research epicentre”.
Richard Crookes Constructions has been appointed as the construction partner and practical completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.