A Universe of Opportunities
A number of TPG staffers recently attended a Property Council of Australia breakfast that was moderated by our very own, David Caddy.
The theme of the event was the development opportunities that are to be a part of the future of these campuses. Each of the University’s Development Directors outlined their progress in the way of masterplanning, where the pressure points were in the delivery of facilities and amenities for staff and students, developing partnerships with industry and commerce, and integration with their surrounding urban environment, as well as the pressures on deriving a third income stream after fees and funding.
Rowan Maclean from UWA pointed out that they have a superior campus location that is currently undergoing significant redevelopment and expansion of their on-campus student accommodation. Reference was made to their various other campuses as well as some surplus land which could at a later date be redeveloped and sold to generate capital.
Brian Yearwood, Director of Facilities and Services at ECU explained that they were in the fortunate position of having recently developed their Churchlands campus (Churchlands Green) which has been very profitable and were currently seeking expressions of interest from the market with regard to the development of a commercial super site they own in central Joondalup. The income from the lease of property on this land would be used for the operations of the University.
Murdoch University had recently prepared a Masterplan and were in the process of putting more detail to their Eastern Precinct, a large area of underutilised land nearest to the Murdoch Activity Centre. Karen Schmidt from the university stated they were looking for ways to collaborate with industry to produce mutually beneficial outcomes.
It was, however, Curtin University who were most public in their ambitions to create the university of the future, one where students, staff, visitors and the general populous live and work in mixed use buildings in the heart of the campus. Andy Sharp showed an animation where Curtin is to become a major economic, employment and learning environment for the metropolitan area. Linked by light rail to the city and Canning Bridge, its future as a vibrant, integrated town centre was to provide further opportunities for the private sector to participate and invest in the partnerships with the University.
All in all, it would seem that Perth is very lucky to have 5 quality tertiary institutions, each with a point of difference and all competing for students, staff and off site investment dollars. Watch this space.
-By Andrew Howe
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