MEDIA RELEASE: Qualitas partners with Pelligra to deliver $500M mixed-use industrial precinct on former Ford site

25 March 2021

Melbourne developer Pelligra and Australian Real Estate Fund Manager Qualitas have unveiled the masterplan for their $500m mixed-use industrial precinct, Assembly Broadmeadows, located on the former Ford site at 1727 Sydney Road, after settling the acquisition of the 60-hectare parcel earlier this week.

The project, which will be developed in a 50/50 joint venture between Pelligra and Qualitas, will see the existing 120,000sqm former Ford assembly building refurbished to provide advanced manufacturing facilities for multiple operators. Stage One of the masterplan also includes a convenience retail precinct which will commence construction mid-this year, along with future plans for further modern logistics and industrial buildings and a designated office precinct adjoining the Upfield train line.

Further site development opportunities to complement the precinct in the coming years include a 100-room hotel, supermarket, gym and on-site childcare centre. The masterplan will offer a range of industrial tenancies suitable for manufacturing, automation, logistics, warehousing, technology, trade supply, food production and largeformat retail, delivering over 305,000sqm of GLA once complete.

Pelligra and Qualitas have enlisted Citinova to undertake the development management and delivery of the five-year project across strategy, design, structure, leasing and partnerships.

The transaction continues the investment programme of the Qualitas Real Estate Opportunity Fund 2 (QREOF2) as it seeks to partner with top-tier developers across multiple sectors throughout Australia. The deal with Pelligra is the fifth investment for the Fund, with Qualitas in the process of
completing further capital raising for the vehicle which will increase its dry-powder over the coming months.

Assembly Broadmeadows offers extensive flexibility with tenancy opportunities ranging from 2,500sqm up to 118,000sqm depending on individual requirements, and given the existing infrastructure on site that will be adapted and repurposed, the first tenancies can be delivered and operational in as little as six months. Pre-leasing across the precinct has recently commenced with a number of tenancies under contract.

The precinct has been designed to set new standards for sustainability with a 14-megawatt renewable energy system currently being installed within the first stage, which will provide energy savings of up to 20 percent across the site and to operators that will call the site home.

Once complete the precinct will generate approximately 5,000 new jobs, with construction of the first stage of the project underway.

Quotes attributable to Qualitas global head of real estate and co-founder Mark Fischer:   

“The industrial market has demonstrated its resilience over  recent times in the face of changing global economies and supply chains, but that does not necessarily mean the sector represents a value opportunity.”

“Our approach is not to take a generic bet on a sector or market to deliver value and returns for our investors – we are much more focused on finding opportunities where, along with our partners, we have a competitive edge that is supported by great fundamentals.”

“This site in particular delivers on this premise in that it is underpinned by the strength of the industrial sector in the current environment yet has a strong edge through the adaptive reuse of the infill site in a core industrial location.”

“This means we have precinct that can deliver a wide range of product to tenants in warehousing and logistics through to full-scale automation and manufacturing facilities – with the added benefit of an unprecedented speed to market thanks to the existing infrastructure across the site.”

Quotes attributable to Qualitas group managing director and co-founder Andrew Schwartz:

“Pelligra has an amazing track record in this sector and we are excited to be aligning with such an established developer to deliver the precinct.”

“We have already secured just shy of $300m of investments for our current Opportunity Fund across a range of diversified asset classes and partners and we are actively seeking more investments off the back of this partnership.”

“The transaction demonstrates the continued growth of Qualitas as a discretionary fund manager working across sectors with our preferred partners.”

Quotes attributable to Pelligra Chairman, Ross Pelligra:

“We are at a pivotal moment in time as fragile international supply chains are being disrupted in favour of domestic manufacturing capability and self-sufficiency.”

“As a result, localised manufacturing is having a revival of sorts – buoyed by the logistics and e-commerce boom and a real push towards embracing new technologies and automation.”

“Assembly Broadmeadows will capitalise on this opportunity with a five year plan to realise the inherent value in the site and deliver best-practice manufacturing infrastructure of a global standard.”

“Not only are we looking to engage with and support pioneering industries like hydrogen, electric car manufacturers, robotics and renewable energy, but we are designing the precinct using sustainable practices and a focus on recycling and re-using biproducts across the site to provide cost benefits to tenants for the life of the project.”


25 March 2021 –

Accesss the AFR Exclusive here