UrbanGrowth NSW has sold the Australian Technology Park in Redfern, Sydney, to a Mirvac-led consortium for $263 million.

Comprising Mirvac, AMP Capital and Sunsuper, the consortium plans to “expand the park’s technology focus, upgrade public areas and community facilities, and maintain the heritage of the site”.

The consortium was chosen by the state government over a rival bid from the Walker Corporation (which had secured a tenancy commitment with technology company Atlassian), despite the support of 2413 signatories to a Sydney Startups petition. The petition centred on fears that ATP would be redeveloped and lose its identify as a technology hub if sold to anyone else.

However, the NSW Government has said that the winning bid was assessed using “ financial and non-financial criteria”, including “a vision to expand the park’s technology focus, a commitment to upgrade public areas and community facilities, and to maintain the heritage of the site”.

Artist’s impression of the Mirvac consortium’s ATP development

It is thought that the size of the winning bid’s $1 billion development – spanning three complexes – its Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Sydney to support digital and creative industries and accommodate other tech companies within the campus, and its decision to consider using a new $2.1 million Tech Incubation Fund (to be established by Mirvac, the Commonwealth Bank and Centuria) to encourage technology startups to locate to the park helped secure the decision.

Mirvac has said that the Tech Incubation Fund will enable “appropriately qualified technology focused companies and start-up businesses to occupy space within the Locomotive Workshop on subsidised rents”.

As part of the ATP renewal project, AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund, Sunsuper and Mirvac Property Trust will co-invest one-third interest each to fund the development of approximately 93,000 square metres of office-lettable area to be leased to the Commonwealth Bank for a term of 15 years.

It added that it will also “revitalise” the existing technology precinct through the development of office space over three buildings in addition to 3000 square metres of amenity, including a gymnasium, retail outlets, two childcare centres and a multipurpose community space.

Work on the development is expected to commence in 2016, with the office buildings due for completion in 2019.

Creating “a world-class, technology-focused employment hub”

Announcing the news today, NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes said: “Our aspiration for this site is to continue the transformation from dilapidated railway buildings to a growing technology hub.

“Mirvac and its partners have made a commitment to revitalise the existing technology precinct, and the NSW Government has secured ongoing environmental, heritage and access commitments.”

He added that as well as creating more community areas, the consortium has agreed to “maintain and manage the site’s heritage buildings”, and ensure “continued and safe public access” through the site to important destinations like Redfern Railway Station.

Mr Stokes said proceeds from the sale of ATP would be invested in the local area, helping finance major infrastructure investments in the Central to Eveleigh corridor.

Commenting on the group’s successful tender, Mirvac chief executive and managing director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said: “We are thrilled to have been selected by UrbanGrowth NSW in this exciting opportunity to transform the Australian Technology Park, in collaboration with our partners, into a world-class, technology-focused employment hub with substantial community facilities.

“Our vision for this precinct extends beyond the bricks and mortar; we are wholly committed to unlocking the potential in this site to create a vibrant, sustainable place to work and socialise that provides a long-term legacy for those who work there, as well as those who live in the local area.

“We are committed to making a substantial investment in activating the Australian Technology Park to ensure it becomes part of the local village, with a local supermarket, cafés, a community building and upgrades to the public domain to be delivered.”

AMP Capital wholesale office fund manager Nick McGrath added: “This is a landmark deal in NSW and we are delighted to be involved in the Mirvac-led consortium. The mandate of the AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund is to focus on core, well-located office buildings and investing in the Australian Technology Park presents a great opportunity for the fund and our investors.”

Sunsuper manager, private markets Michael Weaver said the move “offers excellent prospects” for its members and represents “a fantastic development opportunity for the Redfern community”.

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation – the park’s current owner – and ATP Management will host information sessions on the development project next week.

Tuesday 17 November                           Thursday 19 November

12 – 2 pm                                                          5 – 7 pm

Meeting Room 6A                                           Meeting Room 6A

6A is located on Level 1, Bay 6 of the Locomotive Workshop and is best accessed through the Bay 8 entry.

If you have queries about the information sessions, contact communications@atp.com.au or call 02 9209 4220.