My Real Estate Development Career


I thought I should show you that my real estate development career of "doing it" is the basis upon which this book was written, as opposed to some guy who reads a “few books on how to do it,” and then writes one of his own.

Hence the reason I talk about this book as a “hands-on” developer’s book.

So here’s a brief overview of the developments I helped create.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

Mainline Building $ 30 m

Commercial Office (434 St. Kilda Road)

As a newly appointed Development Manager, 434 was, to say the least, a big learning curve for me, under my Victorian State Manager and still my good friend, Kevin O’Dea. A wonderful teacher, whose patience and consideration of me, and his men, was superlative.

434 had two car parking basements, one below ground, one above ground, a ground floor entrance plus office space and six upper levels of office accommodation.

Fawkener Center $70m

Commercial Office (499– 501 St. Kilda Road)

It's a 200,000 sq. foot (20,000 sqm) building, comprising a six-story building set back from St. Kilda Road, connected to a twenty-story tower across the rear of the site that backed on to Fawlkner Park. It has two massive car park levels unbderground.

GOLD COAST, SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND

The Grosvenor $27 m

Hi-Rise Beach Front Apartment Building

I bought two old and outdated low-rise motel sites on the beachfront and constructed a single tower of 57 apartments with unsurpassed views of the Surfers Paradise beachfront.

Not only did it sell well; the vast majority of owners retained these unique units as a great long-term investment and units rarely sell.

Waterways $29m

Hi-Rise Apartment Building

Located on the corner of Ferny Av. and the Chevron Island Bridge, this 64-unit apartment building also has a frontage to the Nerang River.

Each unit is very large (far bigger than modern 2004 units) with views of the beach as well as the mountains and large canal estates that light up beautifully in the evening for balcony dining.

The original owners have retained these apartments because of their exceptional size, location, quality and capital appreciation. The large Chevron Hotel site has being developed with three big towers and major shopping facilities and car parking.

MLC Building $6.0 m

Office Building, 6 Short St., Southport

This project was a matter of responding to a market need or opening. I was developed for an insurance client's needs for a small regional office building.

I found the site at 6 Short Street, managed the design team, obtained Council Development Approval and produced the building.

The Anchorage $110 m

Tweed Heads Residential Resort

This project was the result of The Tweed City Council calling tenders for the development of Greenbank Island. There were 40 tenderers and my company won. It was a $110 million residential and commercial project.

Surfers Century $65 m

Hi-Rise Apartment Building

Demand was strong in Surfers Paradise for an apartment building. I was fortunate in being able acquire a major site facing North and developed 140 units.

Surfers Horizons $9.0m

Beach Front Apartments (17thAv.Palm Beach)

This project was the result of being able to buy a unique absolute beachfront site at Palm Beach. I developed 30 apartments over three levels and one in-ground car park.

Jennings’ Industrial Park $8.0 m

Gold Coast Industrial Precinct

The Gold Coast City Council promoted the area constantly in order to attract clean industries to the Coast and so deepen job growth. As a result, demand for light industrial land was high. I responded by developing a large industrial estate.

CITY OF BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND

The Brisbane Sheraton & Towers $100 m International Hotel

This was Brisbane’s first international hotel and has 410 room. It is located above Brisbane’s Central Railway Station with a high position and great views of the CBD area, the river and surrounding Brisbane suburbs.

Brisbane now has several international standard hotels. How often this happens in life; once someone ‘breaks through’ the first barrier, many others open their eyes and see the possibilities.

The Riverside Centre $600m

Office Building (Eagle Street)

Until The Riverside Centre was developed, no major investment institution had ever spent $400.00 million on a single CBD commercial development.

The 50,000 square metre Riverside Centre changed the City of Brisbane from a "branch office" city, to a truly serious capital city.

The Riverside Centre was a clear ‘change of direction’ for investment capital for major projects in Australia. It was like Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile.

Within months of Bannister’s achievement, many other athletes achieved the same goal. But it took one leader to show that it was feasible.

Within a few years Brisbane has Central Plaza 1 & 2, the $600 million Myer Centre and the exciting Waterfront Place.

Silverton Place $19m

Brisbane’s First Strata Title Office Building, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane

I talk about Silverton Place many times throughout this book, because it exemplifies so many ideas of what my work has been all about.

At the time there were a number of major office buildings being developed in Brisbane CBD. By deciding to cater for ‘an ignored’ small business / professional market, I immediately has ZERO competition.

So I let the ‘developments for Lease’ fight it out between themselves and I had my newly created "strata title market" all to myself.

I doubled my Budget Profit on this project by just thinking about the market. Is it any wonder I’m promoting my readers to understand the Power of:

… the hardest work we have to do is ‘think’ … after that it’s all process …

Millhouse IAG $16 m

Office Building 545 Queen Street Winning of Building Owners Manager’s Award "For Energy Efficiency."

This development, originally named, STC House, has been renamed, Millhouse IAG, and is located on a unique three street frontage island site bounded by two of Brisbane major streets; Queen & Adelaide Streets.

There is a great marketing story behind the success of this development.

It gave a lovely old lady, her family, friends and my team a great deal of pleasure. It gained national prominence and gave the building a marketing edge.

Oh, yes, this "marketing story" cost almost nothing and I am pleased to tell you it all happened because of … a thought …

NorthPoint Brisbane $22 m

Joint Venture Strata Office Building Cnr. North Quay & Makerston Street.

This development was the final part of a Trilogy of Strata Title Buildings; Silverton Place, Millhouse IAG & NorthPoint Brisbane.

It’s located on a great corner position and with the building's circular façade; occupants enjoy magnificent river views along the Brisbane & Coronation Reaches of the Brisbane River.

Again, NorthPoint Brisbane has a full recreational roof. Covered in tennis grass and edged in planter boxes, one third of the roof is covered in a pergola for shading for occupants to entertain guests and staff.

Cleveland Homemaker Centre $8.0 m

Strata Title Shopping Centre, Bloomfield Street, Cleveland.

This development was a case of responding to a real market need in a growing, developing Shire of Redlands, located in a seaside area.

Again strata title gave small business owners the benefit of owning their own premises as opposed to having to rent.

The Cleveland Centre $6.0 m

Strata Title Shop / Office Building Bloomfield Street, Cleveland.

Like the previous Homemaker Centre I wanted to diversify my development portfolio away from Brisbane CBD and this was a second string to that strategy. It leased up and sold very well in this dynamic area.

Capalaba Centre $4.0 m

Small Shopping Centre

The suburb of Capalaba is within the Redlands Shire and located approximately 8 Km from Cleveland and formed the third part of a Trilogy of diversified developments in the Redlands.

Riverton $18 m

Hi-Rise Apartment, Brisbane River Sandford Street, St. Lucia

These apartments are designed for permanent occupants and the site sweeps down to the Brisbane River through beautifully landscaped gardens and recreational facilities. I developed it in 1981 and it still looks good today.

Riverlea $12 m

Hi-Rise Apartment , Brisbane River, Macquarie Street, St. Lucia

Riverlea was my first entrée into the St. Lucia river front market and in 1980, believe me, river front apartment was nothing like it is today. Brisbane people were still very much in love with their houses.

The building sold very well, but it would make you weep buckets of tears, if I told how low our sale prices were compared to today's prices.

Sovereign Hill $9.0 m

Brisbane’s First Townhouse Development, Glen Rosa Road, Red Hill.

Located on a 3.3 area site between Waterworks & Glen Rosa Roads and only a 1.5 kilometres from the CBD, (Central Business District) this was the perfect site for the new concept of Group Title townhouses.

The site’s geographic profile was like a deep gully that fell away from both roads that required us to construct two internal roads for access to the 40 townhouses. The development was well received by the market and returned my company a good profit.

West End Markets $4.0 m

Inner City Shopping, Mollison Street, West End.

The existing building was heritage listed, as it had been the manufacturing base of Tristrom’s Lemonade, and was located in the inner city suburb of West End.

In the late 70’s West End was a poor run down suburb, as opposed to what it has become now ... the inner city's trend setter.

I undertook small renovation works to the existing shops, opened up the upper level into a popular restaurant and sold the complex.

SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND

Mandolin $18 m

Hi-Rise Beach Front Apartment, Maroochydore.

This was the first beachfront hi-rise apartment in the area and was ideally located opposite the Maroochydore Surf life Saving Club and therefore a safe swimming area.

The building is still very vibrant and popular and has been joined by many other hi-rise apartment blocks along this beautiful beachfront.

Chateau Royale $23 m

Hi-Rise Beach Front Apartment, Cotton Tree Maroochydore. Chateau Royale is not only on the beachfront, but also has the advantage of a three street frontage so its beautiful external shape can be viewed from many vantage points and scores well on that ‘street eye appeal’ I emphasise in this book.

I regard this building as one of the best apartment buildings I have developed. Apart from street eye appeal, each ‘typical floor’ had four apartments, each design layout being totally different from each other.

This is unusual, because most designs are based on apartments being a ‘mirror reflection’ of each other around the elevator core.

By that I mean, if you look at a floor plan and use the elevator as a pivot (folding) point, you can fold the plan in two and the apartments will match each other perfectly. This means that you are offering your market half the number of apartment designs.

Mooloolaba Point $11 m

Beachfront Townhouses

Nestled in a natural landscaped beachfront site, I developed 40 townhouses, each with private courtyards and secluded common garden areas. They were well received by the market as holiday beach houses.

Landmark Resort $50

Hi-Rise Strata Title Hotel Beach Front Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast

Mooloolaba has become a major resort centre over the last ten years and the 113 apartments $50 million Landmark Resort was like a punctuation point or ‘coming of age’ point in this growth.

It was coordinated in general fashion with the local Council’s $20 million beachfront beautification scheme.

The Landmark Resort is on a corner location; has great ‘street eye appeal’ and the tower sweeps down to a wide shopping/dining/café plaza that is usually packed with locals and people on holiday.


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