Harvest reaps the benefits from technology deal

by / Thursday, 01 July 2010 / Published in News

Date: 29 July 2010

Publication: Australian Financial Review

Private syndicate Harvest Property is backing a $90 million rollout of four technology precincts in Australia over the next five years. The project is a joint venture will Holland-based technology company Zernike Group, which manages six science parks in Europe and Australia including Brisbane Technology Park.

The first joint project is a $13.5 million development in Brisbane Technology Park, which will offer a mix of commercial and serviced offices to 20 companies. Talks are taking place regarding sites in Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria with the aim to of starting work on four precincts within the next three to five years.

Zernike was appointed manager of the Brisbane Technology Park in 2002. It has since worked with the Queensland government to grow the park from 24 to 90 plus tenants, ranging from multinationals like Smith Medical to star-ups. The joint venture, Zernike Precincts, call on Harvest’s property knowledge to create commercial and office suites that offer short-term leases and low start-up costs geared towards incubating new technology businesses.

Zernike Precincts director Chris Slack, who jointly founded Harvest Property in May 2008, said the joint venture partners were targeting businesses that began with a good idea and a handful of staff, then expanded rapidly. “Zernike Precincts is about providing a holistic accommodation solution that is a mix of property transaction, business support and a long-term environment,” Mr Slack said. “It aims to enhance collaboration between occupants of the precinct and larger community stakeholders like universities and medical institutions.”

The first building in Brisbane Technology Park will have strong green credentials and serviced offices ranging from 50 to 750 square metres, allowing firms to expand on site.

The medium-term plan was to build similar developments in India and south-east Asia, Mr Slack said. Since its founding Harvest has bought $60 million of assets and now has a workbook of $150 million in development activity. They are typically properties that offer immediate opportunities, such as the $9.25 million purchase of a 6.97 hectare caravan pack in Tingalpa, Queensland, last year