Herston Quarter is an approximately five-hectare site located right next to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane’s largest hospital. Herston Quarter become a redevelopment opportunity as a result of the children health services being relocated to the new Lady Cilento Hospital in South Brisbane.
Australian Unity has won the bid to develop the project (starting 2017), which will support 700 jobs over the 10-year construction period. Here is what Australian Unity have planned for the site:
- the 132 bed public Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre with an estimated cost of $275 million, which will provide specialised care for long stay acute rehabilitation patients and will efficiently deliver elective surgery to further cut waiting times for Queenslanders
- a new private hospital incorporating medical suites, commercial space and potential for biomedical space
- a multi-million dollar investment in the adaptive re-use of the heritage buildings including returning the historic Lady Lamington buildings to student accommodation, consistent with their original use
- aged care and retirement living and an active seniors’ and wellbeing precinct providing community services and facilities
- residential accommodation
- potential for further research and commercial space
- childcare facilities, including a publicly operated facility that will double the number of childcare places currently available on site for staff, and a private facility serving the broader user base of the Herston Health Precinct
- retail and restaurant facilities to support the new mixed-use community
- triple the number of carparks currently available on the site
- a multi-million dollar investment in the public realm to create a variety of attractive, accessible and comfortable new public spaces for visitors and residents to enjoy, and to improve the connectivity of the Herston Quarter with the Herston Health Precinct and surrounds.
Australian Unity’s masterplan includes 12 buildings on the site, including a number of heritage buildings.
Australian Unity estimates ‘hundreds of jobs’ to be created once the project is complete.
So what does this mean from a property investment perspective?
Hopsitals and medical facilities attract people, and lots of people. Whether it is staff working in the facilities, patients or family visiting, even sales rep’s, Herston Quarter will attract a lot more people to the suburb of Herston and the neighbouring suburbs of Kelvin Grove, Bowen Hills. Newmarket, Wilston, Windsor and the City.
In our view the opportunities will be in increased entry to mid-level investment apartments and increased short term accomodation primarily. One of the factors limiting the attractiveness of the wider Herston area to increased levels of premium apartments for owner occupiers will be the difficulty and seemly unwillingness to integrate these precincts with each other and the suburb at large. Looking at the plan for Herston Quarter, it is very reminiscent of what Kelvin Grove Village has become. A lovely and vibrant location that has been a real success for student accomodation and young professionals, but effectively a self contained precinct that has little wider integration into the Kelvin Grove suburb.