Westmead’s Innovation Quarter (iQ) has reached practical completion, with only one vacant suite left

29 June 2022

Stage 1 of Charter Hall’s $350 million Westmead Innovation Quarter (iQ) precinct has reached practical completion, with Western Sydney University taking occupation of their tenancy within the state-of-the-art complex.

The A-Grade development comprises mixed-use research, health, commercial and retail space across three towers. iQ will be the new home to market leading WSU medical research organisations, the MARCS Institute, NICM Health Research Institute and Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), as well as CSIRO and WentWest.

JLL’s Office Leasing NSW Senior Director, Stephen Panagiotopoulos said, “Previously a market starved of medical investment, Western Sydney is amid a medical boom. State of the art developments such as iQ are driving health related industries to the area, with private sector ‘off-shoots’ of the larger life sciences operators increasingly occupying space.

JLL together with Resonate Partners were appointed to lease 43,000 sqm of commercial space at iQ, and only one suite (650 sqm) within the building remains available for lease. This first commercial building within the iQ precinct achieved 95% commitment before reaching practical completion.

Mr Panagiotopoulos said, While still in its infancy, the Western Sydney life sciences cluster is home to synergistic occupiers including universities, hospitals, and other patient orientated medical services.

Public sector investment into research and development (R&D) facilities and simultaneous infrastructure projects has been the catalyst for growing life sciences industries in the area. The presence of high-quality healthcare assets and professionals provides a solid foundation for future growth in innovation in Western Sydney, said Mr Panagiotopoulos.

In 2018 the NSW Government released the most recent Greater Sydney Regional Plan which reaffirmed Bankstown as a priority health and education precinct, committing $1.3 billion to redevelop the Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital on a new site.

JLL’s Office Leasing NSW Associate, Maria Mangcoy said, “The Bankstown-Lidcombe precinct is an emerging hub of medical expertise, with many medical tenants agglomerating around the area. This expansion of the hospital is anticipated to further boost the activity of tenants from the medical sector.

In 2021, JLL brokered a string of leases in Bankstown. Following the opening of a new medical facility and chemist within Flinders Centre at 25 Restwell Street, Mindwise relocated their office, occupying 331 sqm on Level 6. Similarly, Macquarie Heart Specialist leased 371sqm in the same building, and have since expanded to a whole floor to meet business demand. Pysch Central occupied a 140 sqm office at 66-72 Rickard Road, Bankstown, and significantly expanded to a 960 sqm space in in a matter of months.

Ms Mangcoy said, As a result of the unprecedented investment into Western Sydney to meet the community’s healthcare needs, there is a flurry of activity in sub regions Liverpool, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Penrith, Norwest and Rouse Hill too.

Western Sydney University’s Bankstown CBD Campus is set to open this year and will establish a world-class teaching and research campus in the Bankstown strategic centre. Growth of the health and education sectors will boost the district’s skills base and economic contribution and increase opportunities for access to high-wage local employment for residents.

“‘Innovation districts’ drive collaboration between scientists, doctors, academic researchers and professional technicians, creating more education and employment opportunities for south-western Sydney communities and boosting the local workforce,” said Ms Mangcoy.

Health and education are significant contributors to Greater Sydney’s economy and were the highest growing job sectors over the 20 years from 1996 to 2016. In the South District, over the same time, health and education recorded a 73 per cent growth in jobs.