Preferred partner for $5 billion plan

La Trobe University has announced a preferred Master Development Partner to realise its ambitious plan to transform Melbourne’s north.

The University’s preferred partner – public infrastructure investor, developer and manager, Plenary – will accelerate the $5 billion University City of the Future Plan, transforming its 235-hectare Bundoora campus into a vibrant city.

Plenary will bring property knowledge, expertise and investment to help realise the University City of the Future.

The University City of the Future will reimagine the campus experience and include a dynamic Research and Innovation Precinct, world class sporting and sports research facilities, a major health and wellbeing hub and exciting new commercial, retail and residential developments.

La Trobe is leading a refresh of its master plan, working with Plenary and key stakeholders.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said Plenary has extensive experience in leading large-scale, complex projects and also shares the University’s cultural values.

“Plenary is a highly reputable global company that is aligned with the University on environmental sustainability, and providing long-term social and economic benefit to communities,” Professor Dewar said.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the Plenary team to accelerate this ambitious plan, bringing innumerable benefits to our staff and students, as well as industry, partners and the wider community.”

La Trobe Director Property and Economic Development, Mary Lacson, said the partnership will enable the University to deliver a truly innovative project that will revolutionise how Universities deliver education and research, while building a stronger, more resilient society.

“Our main goal is to develop a multi-purpose, sustainable and mixed-use community – and position La Trobe as a pioneering and transformative University, and the partner of choice for industry and academia,” Ms Lacson said.

Plenary Chief Executive David Lamming said Plenary is thrilled to be partnering with the University on this iconic project.

“This project will redefine how university precincts in Australia and abroad are designed, developed and delivered,” Mr Lamming said.

“It will help to cement La Trobe as a global University of choice for students and staff, increase engagement with government, industry and the community, and showcase it as a sustainability exemplar.

“Our experience in the formation of long-term partnerships to deliver complex projects here and overseas make us ideally placed to perform the role of development partner, and we look forward to delivering on the exciting vision for the University City of the Future,” Mr Lamming said.

The University City of the Future transformation has already started with:

  • A world-class Sports Park, open for teaching, research, community participation and elite sport – and soon-to-be home of the Australian women’s national soccer team, the Matildas
  • A new 624-bed modern and sustainable North and South Apartments for students
  • A commitment to enhancing and protecting La Trobe’s biodiverse waterway, Nangak Tamboree
  • A Research and Innovation Precinct ecosystem that connects businesses with research, students and infrastructure.

About University City of the Future

The University City of the Future will ultimately set La Trobe on a path of renewal, delivering revenue, social and economic growth for the University and wider community. It will:

  • Create economic and social growth in Melbourne’s north – including education facilities for over 40,000 students, more than 20,000 new jobs and 3,000 construction jobs per annum, and $3.5 billion gross regional product (GDP) over 10 years
  • Be a key anchor of the La Trobe National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC), supporting the creation of long-term jobs and driving economic growth and innovation
  • Turn the campus ‘inside out’ by welcoming the community and industry to transform the campus into a place to live, learn, socialise and stay healthy
  • Provide a platform for lifelong learning, study, research, development, innovation and sharing ideas across all La Trobe campuses
  • Build on La Trobe’s expertise in health and wellbeing, agriculture, food and environment, and digital technology and transformation, by attracting new partners and enabling opportunities for research investment and collaboration
  • Integrate La Trobe with surrounding communities, and be an inspirational place where students, academics, industry, government, community, partners and entrepreneurs can collaborate, and solve real world problems

Plenary was the development partner for La Trobe’s $288 million AgriBio project – a world-class facility for agricultural research and development, built in 2013.

About Plenary:

Plenary is a leading independent long-term investor, developer and manager of public infrastructure. Established in Melbourne, it is now an international public-private partnership specialist with a portfolio of 74 assets under management worth more than $46 billion across Australia, Canada and the US. Its Victorian portfolio includes some of the most iconic public infrastructure projects in Australia including the $1.75 billion Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and South Wharf precinct, the $1.5 billion new Footscray Hospital, and the $288 million AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience at La Trobe University’s Bundoora research and innovation precinct.

Media enquiries:

La Trobe University: Claire Bowers, M 0437 279 903 Email:
Plenary: Chris Whitefield, M 0418 530 806 Email: