Developing Australia’s Tallest Skyscraper During Covid-19


Adelene Teh is behind the ambitious plan to develop Australia’s tallest skyscraper winning state government's green-light for its $2 billion redevelopment in Melbourne’s Southbank this week.

Just days before the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation last month, developer Beulah International led by Teh, won the unanimous backing of Melbourne City Council for its Southbank by Beulah development, the tallest tower of which will stand 365 metres.

As Teh forges ahead with the ambitious project, set to generate up to 4700 construction jobs, The Urban Developer caught up with her ahead of our upcoming Residential vSummit, a virtual conference focused on the impact of Covid-19 on Australia's residential property sector.

▲ Developer Beulah International co-founder Adelene Teh will speak at the residential development summit on Thursday 19 March
▲ Developer Beulah International co-founder Adelene Teh talks managing a team and adapting during Covid-19.

Held over four days, from 28 April until 1 May, The Urban Developer's vSummit will bring together industry leaders and experts to uncover Covid-19's impact on Australia's largest sector—residential property.

TUD: What business advice are you implementing in this time of uncertainty that could be helpful to our readers and fellow developers?

AT: Throughout times of uncertainty, it’s important to optimise any decisions and be proactive, not reactive.

In order to adapt, the key is to be strategic. You need to be nimble as things continue to change quickly.

Particularly during this pandemic, I would say plan for the worst, but continue to strive for the best. If you have multiple plans in place to execute, you're not going to be caught by surprise.

As we shift to working from home, the virtual world is any business’s best friend. Use time and task management tools to help your team stay on track and take advantage of your device’s capabilities to conduct workshops and learning sessions.

Property is a long-term play and a long-term asset, but no matter the state of the wider industry, every situation presents an opportunity if you are looking for one to embrace.

Southbank by Beulah:
▲ Beulah secured the Southbank BMW site in a $101 million deal in late 2017.

TUD: How has Covid-19 impacted plans for Australia’s tallest skyscraper, Southbank by Beulah?

AT: Plans remain on track. After receiving tremendous support from Melbourne City Council.

And more than ever, Beulah remains committed to delivering this city-defining project.

TUD: You’re taking on the ambitious project, constructing Australia’s tallest building. Does the scale of this mixed-use precinct, which will span 270,000sq m in Melbourne's Southbank, ever scare you?

AT: When anyone does anything for the first time there's always a sense of adventure and excitement, combined with a little hesitation towards the unknown.

The process of bringing Southbank by Beulah to life evokes a combination of feelings.

The scale of this project is unprecedented and the level of complexity is certainly unlike anything we've done previously.

The Victorian State Government has announced it has approved the planning permit for the $2 billion Southbank by Beulah
▲ The Victorian State Government announced it has approved the planning permit for the $2 billion Southbank by Beulah.

TUD: There's a lot of uncertainty at the moment. Given the current Covid-19 restriction measures in place, what are the next key steps for Beulah in navigating the coming months?

AT: Like most businesses in Australia, Beulah is carefully monitoring the impact of Covid-19 and adapting to the changing landscape. This includes both from a health and economic perspective.

We remain determined to continue delivering transformational spaces for present and future generations.

Join us as we host a special webinar with three of Australia's biggest developers, Don O'Rorke (Consolidated Properties Group), Adelene Teh (Beulah International) and Jonathan Hallinan (BPM) as part of our residential summit, a virtual conference focused on the impact of Covid-19 on Australia's residential property sector.

To register for the upcoming webinar, please click here.

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