The vertical VU campus. Image supplied.
  • Has been developed by ISPT in partnership with Victoria University (VU)
  • VU has signed a 30-year lease
  • Jackson Architecture and Woods Bagot designed the building

ISPT, an industry superannuation fund-backed property investor, has officially opened its new VU City Tower, in partnership with Victoria University (VU).

The 29-level building – which also features three car park levels – is located at 370 Little Lonsdale Street and spans 24,146 sqm net leasable area. The end value of the project is $385 million.

Unsurprising given it was designed and built for purpose, Victoria University has signed a 30-year lease. ISPT acquired the sites from VU back in 2018. The project involved over 160 workshop meetings and briefings to conceptualise the vertical campus.

The project represents ISPT’s first education project, as part of its plan to expand and diversify into new sectors.

VU internal
Image supplied.

The new campus consists of two buildings, the heritage-listed Former Records office at 295 Queen Street, which will now be VU’s Law Campus, and the adjacent new VU City Tower which can accommodate up to 5,400 students.

ISPT has also acquired the next-door site at 283 Queen Street, the heritage-listed Land Titles Office.

The developer has future plans to create a commercial mixed-use development at the site, which involves both restoring the heritage builder and activating the precinct.

Despite pandemic disruptions the project was delivered under budget and on program, reaching practical completion in January and opening to students in late April.

Jackson Architecture designed the building, with interiors designed by Woods Bagot.

“We are incredibly proud to announce the official opening of VU City Tower, our first education project and an industry-leading building that has been developed in collaboration with VU, and with the support of all project partners,” said ISPT Senior Development Manager, Jason Lourensz.

“Designed as a reimagined campus of the future, the building represents the forward-thinking aspirations and vision of the University, and we are looking forward to welcoming teachers and students to bring the precinct to life.”

Jason Lourensz, ISPT

“The successful completion of VU City Tower underpins ISPT’s capacity to deliver high-quality investment-grade properties, safely and as promised, regardless of the unprecedented industry challenges.

vu stairs
Image supplied.

“The vertical campus showcases our skills in the significant and growing education sector, and our ability to transfer our knowledge to a broad range of industries as we grow our portfolio across new sectors.”

“The education sector is critical to the economy and this project diversifies our exposure and that of our investors to this key sector, while ISPT seeks opportunities for future growth across the education and health industries to further expand the portfolio, leveraging the existing skills and expertise within the business.”

Long-term vision

ISPT Partnership Specialist Letita Hope added the relationship between the two entities is designed to drive new business ecosystems that support long-term precinct performance and returns.

“Our vision is focussed on acquiring and developing investment grade precincts in partnership with key tenant partners, to deliver long-term security for investors,” said Ms Hope.

“Located in the heart of the CBD, this state-of-the-art education precinct is set to support the city’s revitalisation and drive growth through its dynamic design for learning and teaching, as well as the complete integration of industry partners for experiential learning opportunities.

“We have been thrilled to work alongside VU to develop a forward-thinking building that has been designed for a new style of learning, meeting the current and future needs of staff and students as the requirements of education facilities evolve.

Letita Hope, ISPT Partnership Specialist

“The three ISPT-owned properties within this locality represent a prime example of ISPT’s approach to precinct placemaking, as we focus on creating a destination that enriches, excites and energises through an eco-system of purposeful partnerships.”

vu classroom
Image supplied.

Professor Adam Shoemaker, Victoria University Vice-Chancellor and President, said the project is a physical realisation of Victoria University’s ambitious vision to be a global leader in dual sector education and research.

“ISPT’s drive and commitment to excellence ensured we achieved a dream first conceived almost a decade ago. Our collaboration truly encompasses the University’s partnering with principle approach – together, we have created a campus of the future that embraces our unique way of teaching and learning in every corner.

“Carefully designed, purpose-built spaces maximise the VU Block Model in the best way possible and public-facing practice clinics provide invaluable experiences. No room is the same and lecture theatres are thing of the past. But they do have one thing in common: a student-centred focus that inspires brilliance.

Adam Shoemaker, Victoria University Vice-Chancellor and President

“It’s the VU Block on the city block. It’s the place to be. We are incredibly proud to be here and look forward to welcoming students, colleagues, industry partners and the community for many years to come.”

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