Victoria Uni to expand with 32-storey vertical campus

ISPT has been awarded the tender to partner with Victoria University and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

Superannuation fund-backed property house ISPT has won a tender to develop a 32-storey vertical campus in the heart of Melbourne as property companies seek to ride the booming higher education sector.

Developers are moving into the area as universities seek out new premises to draw in students in major centres and, potentially, capture new tenants that can benefit from being close to technology precincts.

Just last month Charter Hall unveiled a deal with two Sydney universities that will see a $280 million engineering innovation hub developed in Parramatta.

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Last year, a Lendlease consortium was also tapped to redevelop the former site of the Royal Women’s Hospital, in Melbourne’s Carlton, into an innovation precinct.

The new ISPT tower will have a similar flavour as it will partner with Victoria University and the Victorian Department of Education and Training to develop the property that will be leased back to VU under a 30-year agreement.

After a tender run by Flagstaff Partners, ISPT will acquire three separate properties from VU: the Former Records Office at 287-295 Queen St; the Victoria University Tower at 364-378 Little Lonsdale St; and 247-283 Queen St, which is the Land Titles Office.

The new 24,000sqm vertical campus will be developed by ISPT on the 364-378 Little Lonsdale St site and will include office and teaching space.

Education is a major services export contributor, critical to the economy over the medium to long term, and this project will diversify our exposure and that of our Investors to this important sector

Approval is already in place for a striking vertical campus building designed by Daryl Jackson Architects. Construction is expected to kick off next year with completion scheduled for 2021. Both the 247-283 Queen St and 287-295 Queen St properties are heritage-listed and will be retained.

Victoria University vice-chancellor professor Peter Dawkins says the partnership with ISPT will help create a world-class precinct in the CBD, while also setting up an infrastructure fund to back opportunities in its campuses across Melbourne’s west.

ISPT chief executive Daryl Browning said the company would create an architectural statement befitting the prominence of the site and spruiked the sector’s benefits.

“Education is a major services export contributor, critical to the economy over the medium to long term, and this project will diversify our exposure and that of our Investors to this important sector,” he says.

The Victoria University Precinct will be the fourth development that ISPT has under way in Melbourne. It has projects including 271 Spring St, Australian Unity’s new headquarters, 447 Collins St, in joint venture with Cbus Property, and 405 Bourke St, leased to NAB and being developed in joint venture with Brookfield.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.