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RAM swoops on Nundah health care precinct in $51m deal

Originally appeared in The Australian.

Fund house Real Asset Management (RAM) has swooped on a new health care facility in the Brisbane suburb of Nundah in a $51.25m play, showing the strength of the health market.

RAM will deliver a health precinct spanning more than 10,000sq m on the site, anchored by a 58-bed private mental health hospital on a new 25-year lease to operator iMH.

The facility is set to help alleviate Brisbane’s shortage of mental health beds and allow the operator to implement a new model of care combining in-hospital and at-home/in-community services.

Located at 20 Nellie St, the sale was handled by RWC Medical agents Franz Stapelberg, Chris Meyer, and Jess Meyer on behalf of a private developer that undertook the project.

The property comprises four buildings, with health care operators in the precinct to include Lumus Radiology, Ivy Dental and Ivy Medical.

Mr Stapelberg said the sale to a prestigious institutional fund high-lighted the thriving demand for specialised health care properties in the region.

The asset now forms part of the RAM Australia Healthcare Opportunity Strategy, which is looking to invest up to $1bn in Australian health care real estate in the near term.

“Nundah is an excellent example of the deal origination philosophy we are pursuing for our health care real estate strategy, which involves a bottom-up approach in originating opportunities in collaboration with our operating partners,” RAM executive director Matthew Strotton said.

There has been a surge in demand for mental health services throughout Queensland.

 “Estimates of the state’s mental health bed shortage range between 400 and 2100, so there is a huge opportunity to supply the gap. Our Healthcare Opportunity Strategy seeks to invest in these demand driven opportunities when they present themselves,” RAM funds management director Sam Wood said.

Aurora Healthcare has seen increased demand for mental health services across many of its sites Australia-wide over the past four years.

“We worked closely with our partner, iMH – a joint venture between Aurora and Medibank’s Amplar Health – to identify a suitable site for a new facility that would offer them space to implement their innovative model of care,” Mr Wood said.

The hospital is set to open in the second half of 2024.

RAM is following a build-to-core strategy to keep risks in check.

“Before contracting any acquisition, we pre-let a majority of the space available in the development or value-add opportunity,” he said.

Before settling on Nundah, RAM added about $18m in value via planning and leasing, and hit occupancy of 68 per cent.