Con­dev poised for pe­riod of change

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - ALIS­TER THOMSON alis­[email protected]

CHANGE is afoot at the suc­cess­ful Gold Coast com­pany Con­dev Con­struc­tion as owners Steve and Tracy Marais pre­pare to take a step back and fo­cus on strat­egy in the highly com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try.

The cou­ple are in the process of form­ing an ad­vi­sory board as they look at suc­ces­sion plan­ning for the busi­ness they founded in 2002.

And they won’t rule out a fu­ture bid to list on the ASX, say­ing they al­ready have many of the same struc­tures in place as a listed com­pany.

Robina-based Con­dev un­der­takes com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial projects in the $1 mil­lion to $35 mil­lion range and em­ploys more than 100 staff.

It has se­cured more than $200 mil­lion in for­ward work this fi­nan­cial year.

Projects re­cently com­pleted in­clude James Frizelle’s Isuzu deal­er­ship at Gaven, the Gold Coast 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games (GC2018) head of­fice at Ashmore and multi-unit de­vel­op­ments for Robina Land Cor­po­ra­tion.

Mrs Marais said it made sense for Con­dev to now es­tab­lish an ad­vi­sory board.

“At Steve’s and my age it is sen­si­ble to start look­ing at suc­ces­sion plan­ning,” she said. “We have key peo­ple who are ab­so­lutely in­te­gral to what we do, and it cre­ates an ob­jec­tiv­ity and a men­tor and a coach for them in us hav­ing an ad­vi­sory board.”

Mr Marais said the board would also give the com­pany ac­cess to dif­fer­ent work op­por­tu­ni­ties. “Our ul­ti­mate goal is to have a na­tional busi­ness ... an of­fice in ev­ery state,” he said.

“An ad­vi­sory board gives us the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop re­la­tion­ships and con­tacts.”

Mr Marais said the first mem­ber of the board was due to join in April. “We can­not name him be­cause he is also ex­tremely well known in our in­dus­try. He re­tires from his cur­rent role on March 31.”

He said de­spite ruc­tions in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly sur­round­ing ma­jor projects such as Jewel and Spirit, the mid-mar­ket was per­form­ing well for in­vestor and owner-oc­cu­pier prod­uct.

Con­dev is cur­rently build­ing the third tower of the multi-tower Cam­bridge Res­i­dences de­vel­op­ment at Robina. Mr Marais said it was per­form­ing well among in­vestors be­cause it of­fered strong yields based on a grow­ing pool of prospec­tive renters in a fast-de­vel­op­ing sub­urb.

“These units are yield­ing a 7.4 per cent re­turn af­ter body cor­po­rate fees,” he said.

“We have bought two units in Cam­bridge, the first time we have bought prod­uct from our de­vel­op­ers.”

Chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Glenn Cream said the mid­mar­ket was where de­vel­op­ers found the sweet spot.

“You look at that mid-end prod­uct, there is not a lot of it on the books for the next two to five years,” he said.

“So what gets de­vel­oped will get snapped up be­cause it is at an af­ford­able price.”

Mr Marais said the fo­cus for the next 18 months would be the aged-care mar­ket. Last year, Con­dev com­pleted the $80-mil­lion Har­bour Quays res­i­den­tial aged-care fa­cil­ity in Biggera Wa­ters.

“Our par­tic­u­lar area of in­ter­est and growth is the aged care mar­ket. It will be our fo­cal point for the next 18 months,” Mr Marais said

Pic­ture: TERTIUS PICKARD

Change is afoot ... Con­dev Con­struc­tion’s owners Steve and Tracy Marais at their of­fice in Robina..

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