Group’s $70b bid to ‘supercharge’ Springfield

SPRINGFIELD City Group will relinquish some control over its masterplanned development and search for a partner to "supercharge" $70 billion of development.

Springfield City Group, the company responsible for developing the nation's largest masterplanned community, has appointed Moelis Australia to lead the global search for a partner in its quest to accelerate growth.

About $18 billion has been invested into the 2860ha development so far, with a further $70 billion required to fully realise the masterplan.

Springfield City Group chairman Maha Sinnathamby said the group wanted a partner, or consortia of partners, who were committed to working with the company to fast-track the growth of the city's economy.

An artist's impression of Greater Springfield, which will house 115,000 people by 2036.
An artist's impression of Greater Springfield, which will house 115,000 people by 2036.

"The cornerstones are already in place: the transport links are built; there are eleven schools, a

university and a hospital - the hard work has been done," he said.

"We are looking for a partner, or partners, who want to work with us to realise our vision of building Australia's most futuristic city, built on the pillars of health, education and technology, with an aspiration for one job for every three residents."

The Ipswich land was purchased by Mr Sinnathamby and Deputy Chairman Bob Sharpless in 1992.

Legislation to allow planning approval for Greater Springfield was passed by the

Queensland Parliament in 1997 and the city is now home to 43,000 residents, with the population projected to grow to 115,000 residents by 2036.

Springfield City Group managing director Raynuha Sinnathamby said the company had "done a good job to get it this far", but said there was still "a lot" to get done in the development.

"We need to supercharge it," she said.

"We need to fire up to complete our vision."

Raynuha Sinnathamby at Future SEQ Luncheon. (AAP Image/Claudia Baxter)
Raynuha Sinnathamby at Future SEQ Luncheon. (AAP Image/Claudia Baxter)

Ms Sinnathamby said it might take a century to finish the development alone, but just a few decades with a partner.

"As a private company we have a certain risk profile, certain capabilities," she said.

"We can only chew through so much at a time."

She insisted Springfield City Group would remain involved in the project, and wasn't selling control.

"We're not after the big cheque," she said.

"We're after a partner who can come and see the opportunity and help us fulfil the vision."

She said the partner could provide resources, intellectual property or their own existing partnerships.

Should a partner come on-board the future role of chairman Sinnathamby, who with a net worth of $980m makes him one of Australia's richest people, is not yet known.

"He's actually really excited because he more than anyone wants to see it (the development) done," Ms Sinnathamby said.

"He's never going to stop."

As for whether Mr Sinnathamby will remain chairman of the project, his daughter said "we're still working through it".

"That's definitely where he wants to be," she said.

 

Bob Sharpless and Maha Sinnathamby. Pic: Supplied
Bob Sharpless and Maha Sinnathamby. Pic: Supplied

 

About 25 per cent of the development has been completed so far, much of it through long-term partnerships with Australian property groups Lendlease, Aveo and Chinese major corporate R&F properties.

Urbis National Director of Design, James Tuma, said Greater Springfield was a global benchmark for city creation, and an outstanding investment opportunity.

"With statutory planning approvals already in place, for a variety of mixed-use development,

accommodating retail, commercial, education and health floorspace of 2.685 million square meters of GFA, and over 22,500 apartments, potential partners have an unparalleled level of planning certainty to work from," he said.

 

 

Mr Sinnathamby said he and Sharpless felt the time was right to turbo charge the city's success and brought Moelis on board because of their global credentials and track record of achievements in the property sector.