Linc Property is a Perth-based developer and owner of industrial and commercial land. Founded in 2002, the company initially focused on large format retail developments where it has delivered several successful projects. In late 2007, it shifted focus to industrial subdivision and has become the most active private developer of industrial lots in Western Australia.
Ben Lisle is a Director and co-founder of the company. He brings many years of property experience to his role, particularly centred on acquisition, due diligence and structuring, development management, and financing of commercial property. Over 15 years, Linc Property has created an enviable track record of success by focusing on risk management, seeking to reduce risk wherever possible through the lifecycle of a project. “Our philosophy starts with trying not to lose money for ourselves or anyone else, so we make sure to engineer risk out as much as we can,” declares Ben.
The management team at Linc Property have extensive experience and direct detailed involvement in all steps of the development process, spanning from due diligence and acquisitions, to planning and approvals, engineering, environmental approvals, sales and leasing, finance, construction and asset management. This enables Linc Property to move quickly through the development process and the company’s in-house capability ensures value add at all stages of the project. “We move through both the planning and delivery phases a lot quicker than others,” explains Steve Robertson, a Senior Development Manager at the company. “Our projects have typically been delivered in a half to a third of the time it might take some of the other players in the industry to complete comparable projects. Proactive identification and management of risks and issues within the development process ensures we can run multiple processes in parallel to complete a project more rapidly which, in turn, reduces market risk.”
Linc Property’s first industrial development was Landsdale North, a 40 hectare industrial estate located on the corner of Madeley Street and Furniss Road in Landsdale. Landsdale North was purchased in October 2007 and developed over three stages, with Stages 1 and 2 completed in the first half of 2008. Stage 3 was subsequently sold and developed in two parts, with Stage 3A completed in November 2008 and Stage 3B completed in 2009. The successful delivery of that project ultimately led Linc Property to evaluate the site of a more recent project, Northlink Industrial Park, located in the nearby suburbs of Wangara and Gnangara. Northlink subsequently became the last significant industrial land opportunity located within the inner suburbs of Perth’s rapidly growing north western corridor. The 60 hectare site encompasses a range of lot sizes and general industry zoning able to accommodate a wide range of requirements for investors, developers and owner occupiers Northlink forms an extension to the well established Wangara industrial precinct, which is one of Perth’s largest and most modern industrial locations. “There was a degree of pent up demand in that area”, states Ben, “which Northlink now satisfies.”
The estate benefits from very strong access with connection via two traffic lights to Ocean Reef Road. Recent traffic studies show that passing traffic is now above 29,000 vehicles per day and is forecast to grow over the next few years. The estate has other appealing features, including a strong internal road network, high quality landscaping, and the provision of public open space. Ben believes these features have positioned Northlink Industrial Park as a “premium industrial location with strong amenity for businesses and their employees.”
INDUSTRY RECOGNISED RESULTS
The Urban Development Institute (UDIA) is the peak membership organisation representing the property industry. Its mission is to promote excellence and innovation in the creation of sustainable communities. In Western Australia, this culminates in the prestigious and highly respected annual UDIA WA Awards for Excellence, where development professionals along with government dignitaries come together to recognise the excellence and innovation of one of the state’s most critical industries. At the 2016 UDIA WA Awards, Linc Property’s innovation was recognised with the Rising Star Award for its work on the Northlink Industrial Park. Ben recalls “the Northlink site had a huge number of issues and constraints, with significant planning and environmental constraints, highly irregular boundaries, a major road cutting right through the centre, and a range of culturally-significant Aboriginal heritage sites.” To overcome those constraints, Linc Property worked closely with a range of professionals from the land planners, to engineers, landscapers, traffic consultants, marketing and sales agents. “Northlink was a very complicated project to deliver, so it’s a great acknowledgment of both our team and the range of consultants and contractors who worked hard to deliver a successful result in a relatively compressed timeframe. It’s an honour to be recognised by the UDIA for this project,” reflects Ben. The project was structured to deliver funds into a not-for-profit Aboriginal Trust which exists to promote Aboriginal development. Ben is proud of the close partnership that was established with the Trust and the local and range of important Aboriginal outcomes that have been generated through the project.
Linc Property was committed to ensuring that employment opportunities were created for the Aboriginal community during the project’s delivery. To that end, Linc worked with major civil contractor Georgiou Group to facilitate Aboriginal participation in the early stages of the development. In a later stage of the development, Linc Property engaged the Indigenous Construction Resource Group (ICRG), a largely Aboriginal civil contracting group that has only recently established a presence in the Perth metropolitan area, to undertake the civil contracting works. “Personally, I love the fact that we managed to take a piece of land which had very limited value because of all the constraints and issues, and create something that accommodates business and employment whist delivering value for the Aboriginal community,” Ben says. “It has also given us a really good reference point to show how we can deal with complex projects in a short space of time,” adds Steve. “We’re proud that we were able to deliver a project that satisfied all stakeholders, achieving some great environmental, economic, and social outcomes. We found that balance and I think the result speaks for itself.”
In addition to the UDIA award, Northlink’s excellence has also been recognised by strong sales. Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the estate have sold out, and Stage 4 is now close to selling out. With the majority of that project complete, Linc is now comfortable looking to the future. Moving forward, Ben says Linc Property will continue to leverage their position in Western Australia as one of the largest developers of industrial land. At the same time, they will also look to expand and diversify, having recently started working on some opportunities on the east coast. “Outside of that, we have a range of opportunities in other segments of the property sector,” adds Ben. “We’re comfortable working across other property segment because we think the project and development management disciplines we have are very transferrable, and we have people in the office with deep experience in hospitality, office, retail, residential and the like.” “I think we’ll primarily stay focussed on industrial development and we’ll look to build that out further and leverage off our position in that space,” he concludes. “However, we will look to enter some of the other market segments opportunistically.”