Kings Square funding announced
Last week First State Super and Sirona Capital announced they have signed a $190m funding package agreement for the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment, comprising construction and term debt.
First State Super is one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, managing approximately $90 billion on behalf of 800,000 public sector employees and other contributing members.
First State Super chief investment officer, Damian Graham, said the fund was pleased to be working with Sirona to secure its investment in the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment on behalf of its members,” Mr Graham said.
“This is our first major investment in Western Australia and will form a valuable part of our property investment portfolio.
“We look to invest in ways that will provide long-term sustainable returns to our members and at the same time contribute to the growth of the wider community. We believe this investment will do this.”
Kings Square Fremantle is a transformational renewal project in the heart of Western Australia’s historic port city. It will become a major employment, retail and entertainment precinct.
The project is underwritten by a 15-year lease to the WA State Government for 20,000sqm over five levels and across two buildings to accommodate some functions of the Department of Communities, mainly Housing. The project also includes Sirona's innovative food, dining and arts precinct "FOMO" and the 830 bay multi-deck Queensgate car park.
Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly said he was excited to have First State Super on board as a funding partner.
“What sets this project apart from others – and what First State Super has clearly seen – is that we have actively sought to conceptualise, plan and deliver it in ways that reset traditional thinking for projects of this type, size and scale,” Mr McNeilly said.
Construction at the project site, by Probuild, started in early January and is on schedule.
The funding announcement is the most significant milestone in the renewal of Kings Square Fremantle to date. In effect, it guarantees what is to take place over the next few years, as the City and Sirona work together to deliver a new civic precinct.
Mr McNeilly continued "Fremantle is unique. It is a world class working port, a University town, enjoys massive tourism potential, historical trade and commerce legacy and is home to a community that is almost obsessively supportive of their city.
The Fremantle Council has been highly supportive of new investment both in terms of money and ideas to drive the city’s economic future.
It has taken a massive dose of vision and significant fortitude to provide its own financial backing to ensure a fully-integrated renewal of Kings Square Fremantle, while also delivering important civic outcomes for residents.
The integrated approach to Kings Square is crucial. It generates as much economic benefit as possible for Fremantle, its ratepayers and the many visitors and tourists who want to enjoy the place.
The City’s gritty determination to grasp the opportunity at Kings Square has been integral to Sirona agreeing to buy and develop the city’s properties and invest a further $220 million into the precinct. Simply put, without the City’s commitment to civic renewal, Sirona would not be proceeding. It is also what I believe ultimately propelled the previous State Government to commit to relocating 1,500 public sector employees to Fremantle, a commitment which the McGowan Government has confirmed it will honour.
From Sirona’s perspective, the Kings Square Fremantle renewal is all about jobs, trade, tourism, arts and culture and the next chapter of Fremantle’s unique heritage.
It will be the first time in Fremantle’s history that it will have a proper town centre where people meet, eat, work, shop, play and gather for cultural and community activities.
Our vision for Kings Square is for it to resonate with its surrounds, activate streets and walkways and provide a platform for others to stimulate Fremantle with their own creative ideas. That will start with our own destinational approach to the retail component of Kings Square, more details of which we hope to share with the community in the near future."