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Contract awarded to deliver Curtin’s new industry and innovation precinct

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Curtin University has awarded the contract to deliver the first stage of the University’s new industry-connected innovation precinct called Exchange, a transformative hub that will serve as a catalyst for innovation benefiting students, industry and the broader community.

A private sector consortium, led by InfraRed Capital Partners, has entered into a 35-year partnership with Curtin University to design, finance, construct and operate the new developments located in the heart of Curtin’s Perth Campus, which have a total capital value of A$300 million. InfraRed Capital Partners is the principal equity investor in the project.

The new developments include about 1,000 new student accommodation beds operated by St Catherine’s College and UniLodge Australia, a 60-room boutique hotel operated by Waldorf Australia Group, 38 apartments (one, two and three-bedroom), 3,000m2 of commercial space, and 15 specialty retail shops including a grocery store and food and beverage outlets. Programmed Facility Management will provide asset management services.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said construction would start in August 2019, with the first stage of the Exchange development set to officially open in January 2022.

“Exchange has been designed to transform Curtin’s main Perth Campus into a major innovation hub where research, industry and the wider community will be able to come together to drive real-world solutions to tomorrow’s challenges in one convenient location, so I am absolutely delighted that this important milestone has been achieved,” Professor Terry said.

Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable Mark McGowan MLA, said: “Congratulations to Curtin University on making this new industry and innovation precinct a reality and continuing to provide a world class education to students.

“This new precinct will be integral in encouraging more international students to come and study at Curtin University. My Government looks forward to continuing to work with the education sector on important projects, such as the new innovation hub, to encourage more international students to Western Australia, create local jobs and diversify the economy.”

Professor Terry said Exchange was a unique higher education development because it is a genuine mixed-use development that brings many industry sectors into a community destination.

“Our new student accommodation will be located in the heart of our main Perth Campus, and has been designed to complement our current 1,150 student accommodation beds,” Professor Terry said. “The new development will target 5-Star Green Star Design and As Built, which includes water recycling, energy minimisation initiatives and is situated close to Curtin’s bus interchange.”

InfraRed Capital Partners’ Chief Executive Werner von Guionneau said: “We are delighted to partner with a leading organisation such as Curtin University to work on this unique project to deliver and manage world class facilities which will enhance the learning experience of students for decades to come.”

“The project incorporates various sustainable initiatives and alternative energy generation sources to ensure long-term sustainability and reduce the overall impact of the development on the environment. Our involvement in this project is a further example of InfraRed’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure.”

Probuild has been appointed to construct the three new buildings, which will be delivered simultaneously and completed in time for the official opening. The integration of sustainability initiatives are equally important to the InfraRed Capital Partners’ lenders group which includes Clean Energy Finance Corporation and National Australia Bank.

In April, Curtin announced the contract to deliver the new School of Design and the Built Environment designed by John Wardle Architects had been awarded to Lendlease, which is part of Curtin’s commitment to the development of the Exchange precinct. Integrated industry spaces spanning 2,500sqm have been allocated in the new School of Design and the Built Environment facility and are available for lease by commercial tenants.

For more information about Exchange, visit here.

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