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UniSuper and ISPT join forces on $4bn logistics precinct deal

By Rhea Nath
3 minute read

The off-market transaction has led to the acquisition of a 280-hectare greenfield logistics development site adjacent to the new Western Sydney International Airport.

UniSuper has bolstered its $8 billion unlisted property portfolio through a 50/50 joint venture with ISPT.

The firms have acquired a 280-hectare greenfield logistics development site, Burra Park, located adjacent to the entrance of the new Western Sydney International Airport.

It was negotiated on behalf of the purchasers by real estate investment management firm Richmond Bridge, which will manage UniSuper’s investment in the joint venture while ISPT’s interest will be self-managed.

According to UniSuper, as the largest parcel of enterprise zoned land within the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, the site is primed to benefit from the region’s demographic and economic expansion.

Nick Stephens, senior manager for property at the $130 billion fund, described the site as “a super prime institutional grade industrial property asset in Sydney’s tightly held western industrial precinct”.

“It is distinguished not only by its scale but by its strategic positioning within the Northern Gateway precinct of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Once developed, the property will be well positioned to leverage its prime location and maximise value for UniSuper members,” he said.

The airport, currently under construction, will begin 24/7 operations in 2026 and aims to eventually become Sydney’s largest airport.

UniSuper and ISPT have highlighted their intentions to develop Burra Park with the first stages delivering a super prime manufacturing, warehouse, and logistics estate of over 400,000 square metres of gross floor area (GFA) over the next seven years, and an expected value on-completion of over $3.9 billion.

Over the long-term, the site could deliver over 800,000 square metres of GFA subject to planning approval, UniSuper said, with occupier demand supported by population growth, e-commerce, and growth in the airport precinct.

The site will aim to achieve carbon neutrality upon completion.

“The transaction highlights UniSuper’s ability to secure premium, unique investments off-market that help our members grow their retirement savings. It is a testament to UniSuper’s in-house capability and position that we are amongst only a handful of investors in Australia with the scale and execution capability to do a deal such as this,” Stephens added.

Meanwhile, ISPT chief investment and development officer Will Walker noted that Burra Park “will be sought after by organisations looking to invest and operate in this region that is set for major economic growth”.

“Alongside our partners UniSuper and Richmond Bridge, we are committed to delivering a world-class industrial precinct with tier-one sustainability credentials that will support the ongoing development of Western Sydney over the long term,” Walker said.

“This transaction demonstrates ISPT’s strong conviction in the industrial sector driven by the ongoing demand for prime-grade stock and our capability to transact on strategic assets for the benefit of our investors and their members.”

Earlier this year, UniSuper announced a $260 million deal to acquire a 66-hectare development site west of the Melbourne CBD, citing its potential to accommodate over 330,000 square metres of “prime” logistics and warehouse space once fully developed.

The site will be able to deliver modern industrial accommodation within the “increasingly constrained West Melbourne industrial precinct”, it said, while targeting a five-star NABERS Energy rating upon completion.

The purchase was negotiated together with UniSuper’s adviser, GPT, as part of an approximately $3 billion separate account direct property mandate with UniSuper.

UniSuper further confirmed that, together with GPT and developer HB+B Property, it will progressively develop the site over the coming years with a forecast end value upwards of $1 billion.