Tried and true

Our top 5 tips for development success

With experience comes knowledge, and at Central Element, we have learned what it takes to ensure each and every development is a success. Here’s how.


1. Pick the right partners

The old adage ‘You’re only as good as the company you keep’ really comes into play when working through a development with partners. They need to be like-minded, and share both your vision and your commitment to quality and delivery. Your decision needs to reflect the best value equation, so don’t always choose the cheapest option. Allow specialists to share their expertise to create a better collective outcome, and create a culture of collaboration and support.


2. Engage early

You can never underestimate the importance of early risk assessment. Providing a detailed planning investigation for a project can prevent unforeseen risks and costs, while identifying potential opportunities. Rigorous risk assessment involves in-house town planning, community consultation, and addressing in advance the key concerns of the consent authority and relevant stakeholders.  It’s also important to keep up-to-date with legislation that could change after you have acquired your site. Our Development and Planning Manager, Daniel Barber, believes having a planning approval strategy in place that includes at least two strategies for each potential issue is essential.

"Providing a detailed planning investigation for a project can prevent unforeseen risks and identify potential opportunities"


3. Considered design

Quality over quantity is key when it comes to designing a development, as we learnt first-hand with Aura in Pymble. We reduced our original plan of 83 apartments to 79 to improve liveability and functionality. “This was a good example of a project which was redesigned within the parameters of the pre-existing envelope to take advantage of orientation, access to private and communal open space, as well as other key internal amenity considerations”, says PBD Architects’ director, Paul Buljevic. It’s important to remember it’s not always about the higher yield, it’s about what is more marketable. And in a softer market, that matters more than ever.


4. Construction experience and knowledge

We’ve found that contractors embrace a construction-savvy development partner, because we’re able to foresee any challenges with a design and adapt early. We can work together to solve problems and maintain steady progress, which creates efficiencies. Not all developers have the benefit of construction experience, and for those that don’t, early engagement with consultants and contractors is key. By having direct relationships with subcontractors and consultants, we can call upon them early to find ways of solving issues or achieving better returns.  It’s also important to keep the construction process in mind during the design phase, as well as possible problems that can arise due to the location of a site.


5. Site selection

It’s no secret that location is everything in this market. Our Acquisitions Manager, Alex Rodakis, says there are three key elements when it comes to site selection. They are:

Relationships. It’s definitely who you know when it comes to securing sites. We maintain strong and positive relationships with everyone from sales agents to partners and consultants, which builds our network of opportunity spotters.

Quality. In order for us to deliver the finest experience possible, the quality of opportunities, sites and deals is crucial. The CE experience of quality begins from the initial assessment of an opportunity all the way through to the completion of a development. To ensure we deliver opportunities at the highest quality, we assess a site for close proximity to transport and sought-after villages, as well as site-specific qualities such as solar access, street position and desirable views.

Due Diligence. For us, the financial and time investment required to undertake a detailed due diligence report has proven to pay for itself many times over, giving us a clear position on a site’s feasibility. Not only do surprises reduce long-term return, they make a serious impact on short-term cash flow.


At Central Element, we know what it takes to ensure a successful development from conception to completion. Get in touch to find out more.

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