Pharma giant Roche sells up after Barangaroo move

The former Roche site at 100 South Creek Rd, Cromer.

The iconic former headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Roche have been sold for more than $60 million.

And the new owner — Sydney-based property funds management company EG who bought it through Perpetual Corporate Trust — is planning to develop a ‘multi-tenanted business park’ on the prime 7.46ha Cromer site.

The $60.5 million deal, which includes $5.5 million in GST, is EG’s first purchase on the northern beaches.

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Sean Fleming, the company’s associate director of capital transactions, says EG saw the northern beaches as a key market with the development of infrastructure projects like the $500 million B-Line express city bus service, the soon-to-be-opened $1 billion Northern Beaches Hospital and the State Government’s recently announced Beaches Link Tunnel project to relieve pressure on The Spit Bridge.

It is also near to the Dee Why Town Centre, which is undergoing significant urban renewal.

“The proximity to new and upgraded infrastructure enhances the long-term value of the site,” he says.

“There’s significant potential to reposition the asset into a multi-tenanted business park in the heart of the northern beaches. It can capitalise on the high levels of demand for quality industrial accommodation.”

Roche pharmaceutical Cromer Sydney

The former Roche site at 100 South Creek Rd, Cromer.

 

It is understood there are some heritage restrictions on the site and there has been speculation the company was considering trying to have it rezoned for a combined residential and commercial development. Fleming says there are “no residential plans on this at this point in time.”

The site at 100 South Creek Rd has been owned by Roche Products Australia for more than half a century.

The pharmaceutical and healthcare company first distributed its products from premises in central Sydney before moving to the Cromer site in 1964.

Recently, the company relocated its headquarters to the Sydney CBD, on the edge of the city’s waterfront precinct of Barangaroo.

Founded by property funds veteran Michael Easson and led by Adam Geha, EG has more than $2.4 billion of funds under management across eight funds as well as a $2 billion development pipeline, including residential projects in Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle. Last year, EG sold a Pitt St office complex to private group City Freeholds for $52.17 million.

There’s significant potential to reposition the asset into a multi-tenanted business park in the heart of the northern beaches

It is known for its development of the Flour Mill mixed-use site in Summer Hill.

The sale of the Roche site was brokered by Charles Gonzalez of Cushman and Wakefield, and settled just before Christmas.

A spokesman for Roche says the company has operated office, manufacturing, warehouse and distribution activities from the South Creek Rd site from 1964 until mid-2017.

Roche ceased manufacturing operations in Australia in 2007.

“Warehouse and distribution employees remain on-site in Dee Why, and will continue to do so while the company investigates a new long-term solution for operating its supply chain,” he says.

The spokesman says about 300 staff members were employed at the site, with the “vast majority” of Sydney-based office employees transitioned to the new Barangaroo headquarters.

“Some employees have left the company due to their personal situation or site-specific roles that were no longer required,” he says.

This article from the Manly Daily originally appeared as “Roche sells former headquarters and moves to Barangaroo”.