Sebastian Muscolino

What’s My Site Worth?

It seems that very few residential development sites stack up anymore, at least in various parts of Brisbane. The cause of this is mostly due to vendor expectations and understanding of the development process – many of whom take on an over-simplistic and optimistic view of project costs, revenues, and of course risk....
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Alex Steffan

Small Change,
Big Impact

Recent Changes to Multiple Dwellings Car Parking (Brisbane City Council Town Plan). These changes have since had a significant impact on the ability to design and gain approval for multiple dwellings. In late November 2019, Brisbane City Council (BCC) introduced new car parking ratios that increased the number of car parks required for a multiple dwelling development (e.g. townhouses or apartments).....
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Think Tank Architects

Q 01:

Are you seeing developers search for a genuine, unique point of difference in design outcomes, or are they merely making incremental, safe changes to what has been traditionally supplied?

A 01:

Creating brand mystique and brand style remains a real opportunity to create a market, not try to fit into an evolving market. Delivery of lifestyle benefits which includes location, facilities, fit out and styling are the main devices.
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Think Tank Architects

Q 02:

How do you go about extracting a good, comprehensive Client brief, and how much effort is dedicated in meeting project viability in that process? How do you see the process being improved?

A 02:

Being a former builder and generally with an experienced developer client base we reverse engineer our designs first from yield analysis sketches. Formulating a feasibility and concept design informs the client’s reverse brief by allowing consultants (in particular the QS and planner) to provide input to make project realisation successful.
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Selecting a Good Builder

Why is selecting good builders who are on time, on budget and meet quality standards no longer enough? Selecting a good builder is a common request of many developers, however the real issue should be selecting the RIGHT builder.  Read More ( 10 min read )
Right Angle Group

Q 01:

In your experience, what are the main reasons for not being able to source development funding, and how can this process be better managed?

A 01:

The biggest issue over the last 10 years has been insufficient equity from the Developer to put toward the development. For SME Developers, the general rule of thumb in the current market is that they should be able to fund the acquisition and consultants preliminaries for the Development Approval before they commence a Development Funding process.
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Right Angle Group

Q 02:

With the recent tightening of debt from the majors, is syndicated equity becoming more important in funding development projects?

A 02:

Absolutely. As great as it sounds it is not as easy as you are talking about– and not just the challenges of pooling financial resources, but also, the challenges of operational resources and trying to figure out roles and responsibilities. And this is about establishing 'right fits' which takes time to establish comfort and trust. I think syndicated debt is going to be a developing space in the market moving forward – more so in the $15M to $50M space for SME Residential Development Borrowers.
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Right Angle Group

Q 03:

Many financiers talk about ‘de-risking’ a project before funding it ... can you elaborate?

A 03:

De-risking is what has been done to cover off on Delivery Risk / Contractor Risk and also on Sales Risk / Repayment Risk. In addressing Delivery Risk / Contractor Risk, banks typically require a Fixed Price Contract from a 3rd party builder, and increasingly, are requiring a greater degree of financial disclosure on the contractor prior to approving the loan. When it comes to addressing Sales Risk / Repayment Risk, these concerns are usually allayed with a level of pre-sales that can be properly validated in terms of the buyers capacity to complete their purchase.
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Read the full Interview ( 25 min read )