The Urban Developer recently reported on the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter project that is set to provide Queenslanders with access to state-of-the-art health, hospital and aged care services, as well as creating scope in the future for international standard research and educational facilities.
“This project embodies Australian Unity’s vision to create the social infrastructure people need, and we appreciate the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to moving ahead with this important project for Brisbane and Queensland,” Australian Unity Group Managing Director Rohan Mead said.
Overseeing the Herston Quarter development, and assisting Australian Unity Group to bring the project to life, are the team from Avenor, a newly established property development and management firm.
Avenor started in 2016 after Peter Clemesha, James Paver and Stephen Rayleigh left what was formerly known as Leighton Properties to form their own development firm in Sydney.
Avenor will primarily focus on the development of large residential and mixed-use precincts and institutional grade commercial office projects in Australia’s major capital cities in partnership with domestic and international capital partners.
Photo Courtesy Of Herston Quarter
Herston Quarter is one of their biggest projects and comprises the redevelopment of ancillary land surrounding the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Avenor’s scope of work is to project manage the delivery of; a specialist rehabilitation and ambulatory care centre, aged care and retirement living, a residential component, commercial offices; adaptive re-use of the heritage nurse’s quarters and a number of major carparks.
Australian Unity Chief Investment Officer David Bryant said the Herston Quarter would bring together in one project much of Australian Unity’s broader business capacity.
“Herston Quarter will combine our experience in the construction of hospitals and the operation of ‘hard’ social infrastructure such as aged care and retirement villages with our expertise in the provision of ‘soft’ social infrastructure, such as our preventative health businesses, playing an integral part in the health research element of the project,” Mr Bryant said.
Mr Bryant said the overall project had a five to 10 year construction life, but would be completed in stages.
Photo Courtesy Of Herston Quarter
“Our intention is to leverage our highly skilled team’s combined experience, in order to become a major tier-one developer with national presence,” added Peter Clemesha, Director of Avenor.
Clemesha believes that Avenor’s experience in tier-one development companies will be an ingredient that sets the burgeoning firm apart from their competitors.
When pressed about the current state of the market, Clemesha cited the challenges facing developers.
“In my view, one of the biggest challenges facing the market right now concerns the ability to secure finance; with the major banks tightening their lending, securing finance is becoming harder and harder for tier-one developers developing major urban renewal projects right through to mums and dads developing semis.” he says.
“And at a time in which the country needs more housing than ever, this could potentially hamper our future ability as developers to deliver urgently needed housing supply.” he adds.
Clemesha also alludes that with challenges comes opportunity.
“Considering the aforementioned challenge to deliver critical housing supply, one of the biggest opportunities we are currently investigating is the development of affordable housing around major infrastructure nodes.
With the current housing affordability crisis unlikely to cease anytime soon, we’re looking at innovative new ways of helping young Australians purchase their first home” he says.
Additionally, Avenor also see huge opportunity in the provision of A-grade office space in fringe metropolitan areas such as North Sydney and Parramatta.