Stockland launches high-tech hub at Macquarie Park

Stockland launches high-tech hub at Macquarie Park

23 February 2018

Stockland, Australia’s biggest residential developer, is set to develop a $500 million state-of-the-art technology hub at its Macquarie Park logistics site in Sydney’s north, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The entire development, if approved, will deliver 55,000 square metres of new real estate in a campus-style project of five buildings with office and learning space.

The precinct will have indoor and outdoor breakout spaces and co-working areas around a central green space along with conference facilities.

The stage one of the development application includes 16,500 square metres of offices, retail, and co-working space rolled into a 10-storey building.

Managing director Mark Steinert told the AFR the value of Stockland’s logistics and business parks business had risen about $600 million over the past four years, from $1.5 billion to $2.1 billion.

“This development is an important part of our strategy to grow the portfolio to upwards of 20 per cent of our total assets,” he said.

The project is a major element in the $790 million pipeline of development in Stockland’s logistics and business parks arm.

Demand is also coming from Macquarie University, which is developing two new commercial buildings as part of its long-term vision to expand and enhance its 126-hectare campus.

Stockland group executive and chief executive commercial property John Schroder said Macquarie Park was already a nationally significant research and business centre that was home to a number of top companies and research and education institutions.

“As one of the largest landowners in Macquarie Park, our vision is a renewed technology, innovation and business precinct that maximises collaboration and wellbeing for workers and suits the needs of 21st century business,” he said.

It is expected the renewed precinct at Macquarie Park will have capacity for 4,000 workers in the longer term.

“We know that a key ingredient of attracting and retaining talent is the quality of work spaces where businesses are located,” Mr Schroder said.

“This precinct will ensure workers have access to first-class services, including childcare, gyms, healthy green space and all the latest technology in office accommodation.”

Property Council of Australia’s office data shows the overall vacancy rate at Macquarie Park has dropped from 8.4 per cent to 6 per cent in the six months to January 2018.

Meanwhile, The Urban Developer reports Stockland has been active in developing western Sydney’s warehouse and logistics market, speculatively developing over 29,000sq m of industrial space with plans to construct a further 77,187 over the next year.

Stage two of Stockland’s $150 million Ingleburn Logistics Park, located in Sydney’s South West, is now underway following the completion of a 29,050sq m warehouse on the site.

Stockland have flagged a mid-year completion date and are planning to complete a third stage of development across 15.5 hectares of land by 2024.

Analysts predict Stockland, the country’s biggest residential developer, will report a stronger profit margin from its push into higher-density housing that could boost its under-performing share price.

Watermark Funds Management’s head of financials, Hamish Chalmers, said Stockland’s share price could rise 10-15 per cent and still look reasonable value relative to the overall Australian market.