Two leading Australian industry superannuation funds, HESTA and Unisuper, together with the industry superannuation fund-backed property investor, ISPT, have backed Plenary in its new A$600m (€388m) healthcare hub project in Sydney.

The Plenary-led consortium beat a wide field of contenders, including Canada’s Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT, Charter Hall and Dexus, to win rights to develop what will be known as the Health Translation Hub.

The deal will see HESTA, UniSuper and ISPT each holding a 33.3% stake in an ISPT investment vehicle. Plenary is also an investor and will act as the project’s development and asset manager

The healthcare hub will be situated on land owned by the New South Wales Health Administration Corporation and leased to the University of NSW (UNSW). The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Robert Pepicelli, ISPT’s general manager of healthcare and life sciences, said: “This partnership reflects our desire to invest in real estate for purpose in terms of health, medical research and education, allowing ISPT to play a pivotal role in one of NSW’s largest co-located healthcare-anchored precincts.”

Pepicelli said the partnership followed ISPT’s joint venture with HESTA (through its healthcare property mandate with ISPT) to acquire a 50-year ground lease from St Vincent’s Health Australia in Melbourne earlier this year.

Debby Blakey, CEO at HESTA, said: “This exciting investment in what will be a critical health, education and research precinct can help deliver strong, long-term returns for HESTA members.”

“This is the latest investment made through HESTA’s A$430m health care property mandate,” she said.

John Pearce, UniSuper’s CIO, said: “UniSuper has a strong cash position, and we continue to look for quality investments that help our members grow their retirement savings.

“We’re confident this project will provide a great return for our members and pay dividends in research outcomes for many years.”

Plenary CEO, David Lamming, said: “Plenary is delighted to be part of such an important project, one that merges our experience in life sciences projects and precinct development to help deliver health research and education outcomes.”

UNSW vice-chancellor and president, professor Attila Brungs, said both the university and the community would benefit from the long-term partnership with the Health Translation Hub and Plenary.

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