Future health: Epworth deal to create $600m precinct in Waurn Ponds

October 14, 2021 BY

The Epworth Geelong private hospital in Waurn Ponds. Photo: SUPPLIED

EPWORTH HealthCare has signed a deal with a healthcare real estate developer that will create a $600 million innovation, education and healthcare precinct next to its private hospital in Waurn Ponds.

Announced last week, the initiative has seen NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT buy half of Epworth’s interest in Epworth Geelong for $89.8 million, as well as half of Epworth’s interest in about 4.2 hectares in neighbouring land for $15 million.

Epworth, which sold the properties on a leaseback arrangement, retains control over the hospital functions at the sites and will work closely with NorthWest on development plans.

The two businesses intend to create a leading health and education precinct in Waurn Ponds that brings together health services, researchers, technology, and industry partners, which would be built in multiple stages over at least 10 years.

The site’s location next to Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus also offers extensive partnership, research and collaboration opportunities.

“The opportunity of the Epworth Geelong site aligns closely to NorthWest’s investment and development principles – providing the opportunity to develop a precinct that will enable the delivery of world-class healthcare services, innovation and education to Geelong and its surrounds,” NorthWest president and chief executive officer (Australia and New Zealand) Craig Mitchell said.

Areas of focus will include allied health and rehabilitation, medical research, industry partners and emerging technologies, aged care and retirement, childcare and health education.

The deal also included Epworth selling all of its interest in Epworth ELIM in Richmond.

Epworth Group chief executive officer Dr Lachlan Henderson said the agreement freed up capital, supporting long-term growth and innovation.

“The agreement enables Epworth to focus on targeted growth, our ambitious digital program and innovation to deliver better outcomes for our patients, now and in the future.

“Importantly, our patient services will continue as normal. The strategic alliance with long-term partner NorthWest means Epworth can further its vision of creating a health precinct in Geelong and develop the precinct in Richmond for the benefit of our community.

“Our vision, Epworth 2025, underpinned by our new strategic plan, transformation projects and this partnership, ensures we remain focused on delivering exceptional care for all Victorians.”

Mr Mitchell said the transactions created a broader and deeper partnership between Epworth and NorthWest to support the delivery of health services for all Victorians.

“All three transactions play to our core expertise, strengthening our relationship with Epworth, and unlocking an exciting pipeline of new health infrastructure at two major new precincts.

“We look forward to bringing together the best experts in healthcare planning and infrastructure to deliver world-class facilities on each site.”

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