InfraRed has reached financial close on Curtin University Project in Australia

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Sheebani Chothani

InfraRed Capital Partners (“InfraRed”) has reached the financial close on the Curtin University Student Accommodation Project (the "Project") to deliver the first stage of new mixed-use precinct, the Exchange, a transformative hub that will include student and private accommodation, a hotel, commercial space and retail facilities.

InfraRed-led private consortium 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$300m (c. US$209). InfraRed 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’s 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 is 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.

 

About InfraRed Capital Partners 

InfraRed Capital Partners is a global investment manager focused on infrastructure and real estate. It operates worldwide from offices in Sydney, London, Hong Kong, New York, Seoul and Mexico City. With around 150 professionals it manages US$12bn of equity capital in multiple private and listed funds, primarily for institutional investors across the globe. InfraRed Capital Partners is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

InfraRed Capital Partners has been investing in the Infrastructure market for over 20 years and is an expert in the development, financing and management of infrastructure projects from their conception, design and construction into their operating phases.

InfraRed Capital Partners was the lead sponsor responsible for the development and execution of this complex and unique transaction for Curtin University.

The Curtin University Exchange Project marks InfraRed Capital Partners’ sixth investment in Australia and New Zealand and is actively seeking further primary and secondary PPP, renewable and flexible energy opportunities in the region.

InfraRed Capital Partners implements best-in-class practices to underpin asset management and investment decisions, promotes ethical behaviour and has established community engagement initiatives to support good causes in the wider community. InfraRed Capital Partners is a signatory of the Principles of Responsible Investment.

Further details can be found on InfraRed’s website, www.ircp.com.

 

About Curtin University

Curtin University is Western Australia’s largest university, with more than 56,000 students. Of these, about 26 per cent are international students, with half of these studying at the University’s offshore campuses. The University’s main campus is in Perth. Curtin also has a major regional campus in Kalgoorlie in addition to four global campuses in Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius.

Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide, with the University placed in the top 200 globally and 9th in Australia according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2018.

The University has built a reputation around innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, being at the forefront of many high-profile research projects in astronomy, biosciences, economics, mining and information technology. It is also recognised globally for its strong connections with industry, and for its commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future.

For further information, visit curtin.edu.au.