Green light for $350m Westmead iQ

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CHARTER Hall and Western Sydney University have received development approval for stages 1 and 2 of their $350 million Westmead Innovation Quarter (iQ) precinct.

Development approval has been received for two mixed-use towers which will provide 28,000 sqm of health, research, education and commercial space, facilitating significant opportunities for collaboration across the public and private sectors. In addition, the development will include 2,000 sqm of retail space for food and beverage, a proposed supermarket, fitness centre, parking and childcare.

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover, said the development approval is important for the public-private sector.

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.

“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,” Professor Glover said.

“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,” Professor Glover added.

Charter Hall’s managing director David Harrison said the DA 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,” he added.

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).

Richard Crookes Constructions has been appointed as the construction partner to deliver the project. Practical completion of the project is scheduled for Q4 2021.

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