All posts by Jondrane.net

Dr Jonathan Drane is a recognised writer, researcher, advisor and teacher in urban and property development dynamics. He is an expert witness in complex construction and development issues. http://www.jondrane.net/

-Think Like a Property Developer: How do Property Developers Think?

How Do Property Developers Think?

Book our next session on Eventbrite:

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Our cities are more and more reliant on private property developers, to create our new developments and cityscapes. Despite Local and State Environmental Plans, Zonings and Development Control Plans, our skylines continue to defy our planning regimes.

This topic is relevant to not only City Planners but Legislators, State and Local Authorities.

Find out from veteran property developer and researcher Dr Jonathan Drane who is not only an historian of the Property Development Industry but a researcher of City Growth Dynamics that rely on Property Development.

Book a seat at one of our introductory sessions

See our booking page.

This class is both for budding property developers but also city planners who are sometimes frustrated and bewildered by the forces of property development.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Dr Drane’s Master Class : Becoming a Street Smart Property Developer

Book Here:

This is the first of a number of  online webinars for College and University students (undergrad and postgrad), which are designed to supplement your current College and University studies and help your career aspirations to come to life in the complex and exciting world of commercial property development.

The Master Classes are designed to provide you with real life skills and street smart tools to get you on the road to success. Whether you want to  follow a career employed in property development and/or become a property developer in your own right, these webinars are for you.

I have spent a lifetime in the commercial property development and construction industry and been a property developer in my own right. Over those years I have mentored executives and managers and lectured to hundreds of students across four academic institutions including Sydney University, UNSW, WSU and ICMS. I am also an alumni of UNSW and MGSM.

The universities are all attempting to steer their coursework and offerings toward an ‘industry ready’ framework and my webinars are offered as a supplementary tool kit which helps students to be ‘fit for purpose’.

My webinars are designed to be affordable and provide a range of skills and tools that will stay with you for life.

My two themes are ‘Work Ready’ and ‘Street Smart’.

Work Ready relates to you melding into the property development process and being an instant asset to your employer.

Street Smart relates to you always keeping your eye on your ability to be an entrepreneur in property development and a free ‘journey person’ throughout your life.


The Agenda Includes:

– Your life in Property Development– learning hunting skills and being able to move between employment and self entrepreneurship as a life strategy toward freedom and agility.

-The Current State of Property Development: An introduction to a brief history of Property Development and the new order of DIY Property Developers- which needs to be professionalised ( very much).

– Your Place in the Property Development Industry: How the industry works and how it ties into other professions including financiers, architects, engineers, builders and subcontractors.

-Dr Drane’s Bridge Into the Industry: A brief introduction to the tools of the trade which are brought to life in Dr Drane’s Property Development Game Play which hones your skills from the start.

-Your voice: Tell us what you need to move into the industry and the skillsets that are missing. An anonymous  survey conducted during the session and the results discussed.


Book now for the introductory seminar, see details below.

To assist you with your calendar choice this webinar is run twice :  A weeknight, and Weekend Sunday afternoon.

I look forward to seeing you.

Dr Drane

www.jondrane.net

Book Here:

An Agile Life Path: Choosing Employment and Entrepreneurship

 

 

 

 

How will your work life pan out? You are likely to live longer than past generations and life expectancy is heading into the Octogenarian age group and beyond.

Housing is no longer affordable in city areas, a job is not for life and has an average 2 to 3 year expectancy. This is not always due to redundancy. Job skills are more defined and more diverse and  specialised.  KPIs rule and performance is more prominent.

How will you move forward and what paths can you follow over a working life span of 50 to 60 years. If you take an average of 3 years this is 20 jobs. But what will those jobs be in 20 years or even ten years. Technologies demand and precipitate change and they effect job attrition and specialty.

Meanwhile your life grows and so do your relationships and you might create a family and other commitments. The associated costs don’t reduce with time whilst the variability of income remains reliant on the employment realm.

Whether you like it or not, there will be times when you are out of work and stressed and wondering how to enter the workforce again. Go easy on yourself because guess what? It is hard to be successful for every day of your long life.

What will you do about these interludes?

My answer is to learn to be an entrepreneur and build these skills from an early age. This does not mean you have to take on huge debt or invest huge amounts of capital. It simply means that you seek to sell an offering into the market place.

Doing this will often lead to what you think is failure, but if you look carefully, with time you will see these act as ‘tests’. Tests give feedback and from that you grow forward step by step as an entrepreneur.

You build a unique knowledge set that resembles hunting skills and will stay with you for life.

As time goes by this entrepreneurial profile grows and complements your employment profile. You feel empowered and not trapped by bad employment situations. You can switch from one to the other or they can be parrallel. In effect you become agile.

One of the greatest learning grounds for entrepreneurship is Property and then as you grow skills- Property Development. Since it is an asset anchored by land value it has endurance and has its own stability compared to  other assets such as shares, derivatives, bonds and cash.

IF you want to learn about these skills I am running an introductory Master Class onAn Agile Life Path: Becoming an Entrepreneur & Property Developer: How will your life pan out – as an employee or an entrepreneur or both?

I take you through this ‘path less followed’ and give you the skills and confidence to move forward as an entrepreneur. I hope to see you at one of our classes.

 

 

 

 

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Key Papers 

The Dormancy Dilemma: Growth and Dormancy in Outer West Town Centres in the Sydney Basin: Concept Paper SOAC 2017

The Defects Dilemma: ‘Defects A Builders View’ Read More on How the Property Development Industry Got Here

Read More on the State of Contemporary Property Development

Dr Jonathan Drane

Dr Drane’s Greenshoots Update

Dr Jonathan Drane: Greenshoot News Update

Regional City Growth Dynamics: A Research Focus

I have recently left academia after 6 years at both UNSW Built Environment and then Western Sydney University’s School of Business. I am returning to my prior independent research and advisory profile which I have operated through Greenshoot Investments since 1993 which will aim to grow into a research and teaching centre in its own right as time goes by.

The Outer West Dormancy and Growth Dynamics Research Project which started during my MBA at MGSM in the 1990s then through my doctorate at UNSW and continued in my time with WSU will continue, and I will be seeking funding, sponsorship and collaborations. But early days.

See my research page which pays tribute to MGSM, UNSW and WSU where the dormancy research found its genesis, grew and now matures as time goes by.

For More Information : http://www.jondrane.net/research/

The Parlous State of Contemporary Property Development 

The Property Development Industry in the commercial multi-apartment sector is plagued by the advent of DIY developers who clearly did not get the memo related to quality and integrity through the application of professional practices. When this resulted in two girls having to jump off a balcony to escape a fire and the death of one of those girls ( Bankstown 2012)  , the industry finally said no.

This research found its genesis through my chronicling of the degeneration of professional property development practices while at UNSW City Futures where I was invited to write a conference article and speak on what I thought was the boring subject of defects. To my surprise, the audience was lit up by the talk and paper, because it brought to life the decay of property development professional structures over several decades.

A simple article grew into an invited appearance at the National Building Regulatory Summit in February 2018 where I found myself an accidental historian of the industry. There I chronicled the decay in development structures across finance, design, construction and statute, an integrated view previously unseen.

For More Information: http://www.jondrane.net/research/the-state-of-contemporary-property-development-structures/

Property Development Master Classes: ‘Work Ready’ and ‘Street Wise’

The universities continue to attempt to steer coursework and offerings toward an ‘industry ready’ framework and for students to be more ‘fit for purpose’.

With this in mind, I am offering a number of  online webinars for College and University students (undergrad and postgrad), which are designed to supplement their current College and University studies and help their career aspirations to come to life in the complex and exciting world of commercial property development.

The Master Classes are designed to provide  real life skills and street smart tools to get students on the road to success. Whether they want to  follow a career employed in property development and/or become a property developer in their own right.

The first master class is in three sessions in early November. You can learn more or book a seat here:

Book Here

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/dr-dranes-master-class-becoming-a-street-smart-property-developer-tickets-51576187766

Thank You Academia

I have spent a lifetime in the commercial property development and construction industry and been a property developer in my own right. Over those years I have mentored executives and managers and lectured to hundreds of students across four academic institutions including Sydney University, UNSW, WSU and ICMS. I am also an alumni of UNSW and MGSM.

I have loved working with the students and teaching is in my wiring. Being a creature of the wilderness and not the citadel, I now stand on the outside looking upward at these past institutions, my teachers and colleagues. Thank you for helping to get here. I look forward to working alongside some of my past colleagues toward issues heralded in the initiatives above.

Sincerely

Jon

Dr Jonathan Drane

Director Greenshoot Investments

and Optimum Search est 1993

www.jondrane.net

 

 

Newcastle Revitalisation Programme – City Walk Through – A SFAUDI Event

Newcastle Revitalisation Programme – City Walk Through – A SFAUDI Event

(Sydney Forum for Architects and Urban Designers) (SFAUDI)

Hello Colleagues

Those who are interested in the Newcastle revitalisation programme including the light rail, here is a great way of catching up on latest events. Thanks to SFAUDI who are the host organizer and Hamish Robertson (see below).

Dr Jonathan Drane

School of Business, Lecturer in Property, Western Sydney University

Contact 0412996258, j.drane@westernsydney.edu.au

Researcher: Regional Study of Dormancy and Revitalisation

http://www.jondrane.net/research/outer-west-dormancy-study-sydney-basin/

Newcastle Walk Through Details below:

On Saturday, April 28th, SFAUDi member David Wilson, who is Principal of Transit Network Planning with Transport for NSW, will be showing us around Newcastle, for an update on the Newcastle Transformation and Transport Program, including the Stage 2 extension to the light rail from Stage 1, which is now under construction, plus a short presentation about the Newcastle Revitalisation Program. The walk starts at the Newcastle Interchange and is followed by a walk through the Honeysuckle Precinct, a ferry trip to Stockton, and then lunch. The visit will last a few hours, so we need to arrive in the city preferably by 11.00am. David has suggested some options for train times, listed below. Again, please let us know if you can join us – it promises to be a fascinating and memorable outing.

Best regards,

Hamish Robertson

SFAUDI

TRAIN TIMETABLES

Trains on Saturdays leave Central Station at 16 and 46 minutes past the hour.

The 8.16am train from Central arrives Newcastle at 11.01am or

The 8.46am arrives 11.51am in Newcastle.

Trains from Newcastle returning in the evening only depart once every hour at 54 or 55 minutes past the hour

The 16:54 from Newcastle arrives Central at 19:59pm

The 17:55 from Newcastle arrives Central at 20:29pm

Either of these train options would allow just under 6 hours in Newcastle for the visit

www.sydneyforum.org.au

The Sydney Forum for Architecture and Urban Design Inc is a not-for-profit association incorporated in the state of New South Wales, dedicated to exchanging ideas on …

Study of Dormancy and Proliferation in Outer West Centres – Sydney Basin

Apartment Defects and a New Breed of Property Developer

Book Now For Dr Drane’s Master Classes on Property Development 

choice-article-15-sept-16-image

Image from Choice Article by, Jemma Castle, ‘Apartment Building Defects, What to look out for’  ( 15 September 2016) https://www.choice.com.au/money/property/buying/articles/apartment-building-defects

This Choice article is an important piece of journalism and research, not only for its exposure of the frightening scale of apartment development in Australia but the systemic failures in the industry which make our habitable apartment developments  increasingly vulnerable to defects.

Defects have always plagued buildings even with the best developers, builders and subcontractors. The quality of buildings has traditionally and historically been policed by the architect who  designed the building and together with what was called a Clerk of Works ( a long time ago)  inspected each element on site to ensure the works were installed properly.

‘Defects A Builders View’ Read More on How the Industry Got Here

With the advent of ‘design and construct’ practices which gathered full force in the 1980s, the architect’s role was subordinated to the builder who took over the role of design overview and quality inspection reducing the architect’s commission to a design and ‘attendance’ role which was a much diluted form of their previous ‘full supervision’ role. The Clerk of Works also vanished and is now a museum piece. (I would love to hear from Clerk of Works who worked in this important role).

Adding to this the advent of private certification in the early 2000s, the quality of BCA outcomes (fire safety and egress put simply) meant that the overall quality of both the design and the fire safety  integrity of the building was eroded further.

Book Now For Dr Drane’s Master Classes on Property Development 

Adding to this the rise of private property development in Australia and its entry into the multi-apartment sector, the advent of a lawless, unknown developer employing a design and construct builder with an architect reduced to a ‘sketch designer’ status and a questionable private certifier meant that this breed of private property developer had a license to almost do whatever they wanted.

And this is exactly what is happening in a part of the multi-apartment sector which is between 3 stories and 8 stories high ( need sprinklers above this approx.). After all the quality developers and builders of which there are many in Australia can’t all be across every site that can be developed in the emergent cityscapes like Green Square.

Access to sites in these burgeoning precincts is not always the province of large balance sheet high quality developers, but that of ‘deal men’ who can put a foot on a site, package up a concept, obtain funding and become the developer of an important habitable building.

The ‘deal men’ are invisible to the naked eye and hide behind ‘sacrificial vehicles’ which are used specifically for project ventures. This makes these developers almost untouchable. This is the new breed of property developer.

Dr Jonathan Drane

www.jondrane.net

Read this article as a pdf:

dd2-the-special-breed-choice-article

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Key Papers and Events

Book Now For Dr Drane’s Master Classes on Property Development 

The New Breed of Property Developer

‘Defects A Builders View’ Read More on How the Property Development Industry Got Here

Read More on the State of Contemporary Property Development

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The Outer West of Sydney: The Great Dividing Range

The Outer West of Sydney: Where is the Great Divide?

Date: 18 May 2015 ( archival re-publication)

By Dr Jonathan Drane

At a university seminar last week, a recognised city strategist ended his talk with the words” what is Sydney going to do with Parramatta?”. The question may be “ What is Parramatta going to do with Sydney”.  The new Plan for Growing Sydney DOP&E Dec 2014) features a revisionist view of the Sydney metro right out west  to the mountains (see attached). The emphasis has been influenced greatly by the considerable voting power of the ‘wild west’ and the strong and sophisticated advocacy machines of such regional centres as Parramatta and Penrith and others. Their position on the map as strategic centres highlights that this is pulling the ‘great divide’ between east and west toward the Blue Mountains. So where is the great divide between east and west of Sydney?

If you asked someone from Rose Bay where the west of Sydney starts, they might say Strathfield? If you ask a Penrith or Parramatta person they would see some humour in this. The perception of the great divide between east and west has been the subject of regional irritation by those cities in the west who are forging a new direction for the face and complexion of Sydney to the Blue Mountains. Part of the realisation of a new vision and identity for the west, should surely  start with the question “where exactly is the west of Sydney?.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Read this article as a pdf:

ow1-the-outer-west-dividing-range

 

 

The Palmer Street Story

Case Study- The Palmer St Precinct 2012

Date: 1 June 2015

By:    Dr Jonathan Drane

A study of the proliferation of buildings in the Palmer Street and Railway Precincts Townsville, Far North Queensland Australia.

raggatt-dining-mecca

“The Evolution of our Dining Mecca’ Townsville Bulletin, 2008, June 28, Page 7   raggatt-2008-evolution-of-dining-mecca

Townsville is a regional city in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is often described by Queenslanders as ‘the capital of the north’, and enjoys a mult- sector economy which includes, government, defence, tertiary education, resources and tourism, together with one of the major ports in Australia.

In 2003 to 2007 two cityscape precincts in Townsville were subject to intense development stimulation. The Palmer St precinct on one hand was transformed into an active eat street and hotel precinct, whilst the Railway Precinct saw patchy development in the same period, although both precincts were the subject of city visions and stimulus by local authorities.

In this case study, the ensuing phenomenon of ‘prolific building growth’ in these dilapidated cityscapes is explored and explained, by what is proposed as the central force of change – ‘the property development mechanism’.

An explanatory model of the ‘property development mechanism’ is created in the setting of dilapidated cityscapes which are seen as a ‘field of activation’ for the mechanism and its actor ‘the property developer’. The reasons for the different levels of activation are explored, and the findings both support and strengthen the model, and form a basis for future exploration and development of the model.To read about the project in more detail please see Jon’s research page “The Seed in the Cityscape” on www.jondrane.net   Link to Summary Of Doctorate

Dr Jonathan Drane

www.jondrane.net

Read this article as a pdf:

cw2-the-palmer-st-old-port-townsville

The Cinderella City

The Cinderella City: Newcastle and Honeysuckle, NSW

Date: 1 July 2015

By Dr Jonathan Drane

For regional cities with dormant cityscapes, the Honeysuckle story is an amazing reminder of the transformation of what was a disused port goods yard into a modern accommodation and restaurant precinct.

But for those who believe this fairy tale story was without its problems, one should be reminded of the fact that Newcastle was once called the ‘Cinderella City’.

Snapshot 1991 Newcastle, NSW
“In a feature article for the local daily broadsheet newspaper The Newcastle Herald, journalist Terry Smyth (1991, p16) uses the phrase ‘The Cinderella City’ to describe the plight or at least the perceived plight of Newcastle at this time. “Newcastle has a chip on its shoulder … a legacy of decades of hard knocks and of being labelled a dirty coal town.This despondent city”, he suggests “desperately wants to be noticed. Not as a mill town … and certainly not as a quaint backwater, but as a city with distinct lifestyles, problems, resources, advantages and dreams … A city with a soul.” (Stevenson 1999).

A young phd student at the time (Deborah Stevenson)  captured the political power that was  focused on the old port good yard area of Newcastle harbour and was one of the first to track its amazing transformation and the agendas at work at the time. In her later seminal paper ‘Reflections of a Great Port City’ (1999, p108) she brings to life the power of state led manifestation brought to bear in the new vision for the old port on the Honeysuckle lands. The Building Better Cities nation building programme at the time included a $100m seed fund to activate the precinct.

But money wasn’t enough as it turns out, for the precinct to actually be activated, required an understanding of not only property markets but the political and other forces at work.

Snapshot 2015 Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Precinct

Honeysuckle is a world recognised example of gentrification of a prior port historical area into a mixed use precinct which houses harbourside restaurants, where one can eat around the world whilst gargantuan vessels ply the harbour almost within reach. It houses both commercial and government uses and has a burgeoning modern apartment based population.

To reveal the most recent history of the precinct and to bring the story to life since Deborah Stevenson surveyed the shorelines of Honeysuckle, Dr Jonathan Drane completed a four year research project on dormant cityscapes across Australia with a case study on Honeysuckle.

The case study is included in his doctoral publication see publications page and includes a detailed chronology and timeline of the catalysts and forces at work to create the exciting new precinct.

Jonathan reveals that there is more to revitalising a public land release than understanding of property markets, economics and politics, but how these forces move in what he calls ‘windows of alignment’ where new buildings are proliferated in ‘spasms’.

Read Jonathan’s Case Study on Honeysuckle by going to the following link, opening the doctorate publication and going to chapter 10 ( a summary is below)

Link to UNSW Library for Published Doctorate

Honeysuckle Newcastle Cinderella City

PRD article.

Case Study Newcastle- Honeysuckle Precinct 2013

Extract from Jonathan Drane’s thesis ‘The Seed in the Cityscape”:

A study of the proliferation of buildings in the Honeysuckle Precinct Newcastle,  Australia

Newcastle is a regional city 160km north of Sydney, which has enjoyed a rich history as a major Australian port, providing outlet for coal and its processing into steel, from the Hunter Valley region. Leading up to the early 1990’s, Newcastle suffered from slow economic growth and the decline of some of its key port functions. The result was the obsolescence of large tracts of the former port foreshore area called the Honeysuckle Precinct. With the advent of the federal Building Better Cities Programme in the early 1990’s, the precinct was awarded funding support to stimulate urban renewal and development . The Honeysuckle Development Corporation was formed (and later subsumed by the Hunter Development Corporation) and acted as a catalyst agent of change through the conceptualisation of the precinct, and its implementation by land release to private parties.

The result of this ongoing stimulation over 20 years until today has seen the foreshore change and grow into a popular mixed entertainment and tourist precinct, with related hotels, apartments and restaurants. The method of stimulation of these numerous developments was predominantly by the release of obsolete land parcels to private developers, the proponents of which would be chosen based on conceptual and commercial criteria.

As with the Townsville case studies, the focus of the case study is the proliferation of buildings from obsolete settings, through development stimulation both public and private. The study aims to reveal the catalytic nature of what is termed the ‘property development mechanism’, which works in waves and at alignments of certain  forces and factors.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Read this article as a pdf:

cw1-cinderella-city