Nathan Blackburn is the State Manager of VIC & QLD for
Cedar Woods Properties. Nathan is passionate about transit oriented, sustainable developments and has helped Cedar Woods Properties - an ASX-listed Australian property development company with assets in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia - create compact, walkable, mixed-use communities centred around high quality amenities.
The company has had sell out land lots recorded for several projects in the last few months, including Williams Landing, Footscray and St Albans.
What sparked your interest in development?
My father ran a real estate and property development business so I grew up having strong links to property. When I finished school I undertook the only property degree available at the time, which was a Bachelor of Business majoring in property valuations.
What drives you – has there been someone or something that has inspired your career?
I enjoy creating good project outcomes that result in excellent design and financial returns. I was fortunate to be involved in some well-located and large scale developments early on in my career such as Subiaco Square in Perth, which was a mixed use development on top of and around a train station.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I am fortunate in my role to have a mixed scope that involves some direct development work, business development, people management and general management. All of these components have their own challenges but that in part is what makes it interesting.
I get a lot out of working with talented people and creating good design and financial outcomes.
What project are you most proud of and why?
Williams Landing is a project I have had much involvement with. When I joined Cedar Woods in 2002 we repositioned this development from an industrial park to a master planned community with a large scale town centre. The project has been designed well, has made a strong financial contribution and has many happy customers.
Apart from those by your own company, what do you think are the three best projects in the world at the moment?
Although a bit dated now, I always liked the
Potsdamer Platz in Berlin - a major redevelopment project in the centre of Berlin that was left undeveloped from the end of WW2 until the 1990s. There is some edgy architecture there from designers around the word and fantastic retail spaces.
Subi Centro in Perth is a quality example of urban renewal. The redevelopment authority and participating developers have created quality housing, retail and office developments.
Where do you think the property industry will be five years from now?
We actually have quite a mature industry which is innovating and creating quality projects. Population growth has been has been a major factor in the shared success we have had and I would expect that to continue to create opportunities. In five years I expect we will be better at optimising infill sites and the market more receptive to smarter spaces.
What is the most pressing policy issue facing your industry?
The costs associated with meeting regulatory requirements and delays. It often takes a long time to secure approvals from authorities which are under resourced and the delays that result are costly.
Having been with Cedar Woods for over 13 years, I have learnt a lot from our Managing Director and members of the Board generally.
What is a website or blog that you visit often?
Trip Advisor to plan the occasional overseas trip I take.
What are three books that have you either influenced you professionally or personally?
I am a regular reader but wouldn’t say any have had a major influence on me. Recently, I have enjoyed reading the Jo Nesbo books.