University of Adelaide to sell entire campus

Adelaide University’s Thebarton campus is set to be sold.
Adelaide University’s Thebarton campus is set to be sold.

Opportunities to buy an entire university campus don’t come along every day.

But that’s exactly what’s on offer at Adelaide University’s Thebarton Campus, which is up for sale in one of the commercial property market’s most unique offerings for some time.

The 3.99ha campus, about 3km north-west of the Adelaide CBD, is to be sold in four “super lots”, with the university to lease back many of the site’s 28 buildings and other facilities from the buyer.

The site will be sold via an expressions of interest campaign, and comes after the sale was first mooted last year as a way to pay for the university’s $130 million medical and dental building.

Colliers International’s Paul van Reesema, Alistair Mackie and Paul Tierney will steer the campaign, with van Reesema saying there is scope to redevelop the site, which was recently rezoned.

The University of Adelaide's Thebarton campus is to be sold in four lots.

The University of Adelaide’s Thebarton campus is to be sold in four lots.

“With 28 buildings providing some 22,463sqm of accommodation, the portfolio offers significant holding income opportunities for a purchaser whilst planning and implementing a redevelopment project,” he says.

“Given the magnitude of the offering, outstanding proximity to the CBD, 300m-plus River Torrens reserve frontage, abundant amenity and favourable zoning, this site represents a truly rare and highly desirable development and value-add investment opportunity.”

Almost 60% of the campus’ building area is occupied by third party tenants, including the University of Adelaide, which generate an annual gross income of $2.043 million. Among the buildings is a heritage $5 million wind tunnel.

Most of the site's buildings will be leased back to the university.

Most of the site’s buildings will be leased back to the university.

Mackie says the site lies in the middle of one of the city’s most active development areas.

“The location is characterised by a mix of commercial, residential and industrial uses, including the West End Brewery to the east and the South Australian Biomedical precinct to the west,” he says.

“Port Rd has extensive commercial development and to the north-east is the former Clipsal site at Bowden, which is now one of Adelaide’s most significant medium to high-density urban renewal projects.”

The largest of the four lots for sale measures 14,510sqm, while the smallest is 6,116sqm. The four lots can be bought individually or in one line.

“The University of Adelaide’s Thebarton Campus represents one of Adelaide’s most significant development or value-add investment opportunities,” Mackie says.