The latest generation of developers was more focused on responsible, sustainable developments that ever before, Springfield City Group managing director Raynuha Sinnathamby said.

Sinnathamby was recently named as the eighth honorary life member of the Property Council of Australia in Queensland, recognising her “incredible contribution” to the industry.

She has spent more than a decade in the property industry, following in her father Maha Sinnathamby’s footsteps and becoming managing director of Springfield City Group in 2013.

“I’ve always been involved in property. On the weekends [when I was a kid] we’d go to construction sites and check them out with my dad, so it was kind of in my blood. When I did my law studies I naturally fell into property law,” she said. 

“But I fell in love with the diversity. That’s what people don’t get about property, it’s so diverse. That’s always kept it interesting for me.

“When you’re building a city you get to touch all those parts of it and you’re always learning something new.”

Having been part of the Springfield City Group for more than a decade, Sinnathamby has seen the Brisbane satellite city expand exponentially.

“We’ve had a very unique opportunity … and it was our chairman’s aim not to create another dormitory suburb, but to create a city.

“Eventually there will be about 140,000 residents but one of our big goals is to create 50,000 jobs.

“It’s a responsible way to behave as a developer, to make sure that there are amenities here for people to live and enjoy a great lifestyle but also to work and to have that work minutes from home rather than have to have those long commutes.

“That is something we have taken very seriously.” 

▲ Raynuha Sinnathamby, MD of Springfield City Group, was made a life member of the Property Council of Australia in Queensland last year.

In fact, late last year the first tenant to the group’s BioPark Australia business precinct moved in with plans to develop a $325 million manufacturing facility.

Raynuha’s father, Maha, who developed Springfield alongside business partner Bob Sharpless, lobbied for education and transport infrastructure for Springfield in the 1990s, and this ethos has continued in Springfield City Group today.

“We talk about ourselves as city builders because we want people to have every aspect of the city.

“There are things we can’t replace, like QPAC-style performing arts developments, but we can still have arts as part of our community, and we want to have every part of the city that we can to make the lifestyle for people living here the best it can be.”

While occupational gender segregation is still a major issue in property and many other sectors, according to the latest report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, the diversification of the development industry itself has been a key to this step change.

“Everyone is looking for diversity within their workforces. If anything it has been accelerated by the pandemic,” Sinnathamby said.

“The women coming through the system now will make those changes faster than they’ve been made previously, [because] they are empowered to make those changes.

“I think the opportunity is there, rather than looking at it as a problem, we see it as an immense opportunity for young women today to step into any sector that they aspire to.”

▲ Brighton Homes Arena Springfield Central Stadium was completed last year in time for the AFL’s Brisbane Lions to move in.

The industry was facing some difficulties in the coming years and it would be all hands on deck to combat these challenges, she said.

“The immediate challenge for us in this country is the housing crisis. It’s very real and it’s up to us to do that short and long term planning that is needed to address this crisis.

“It requires all parts of the industry to work together to achieve those results.

“It is probably through some lack of planning that has led us to where we are today.

“But it’s time to step up and as an industry to do our part but it requires everyone to be working together.”

Developers have worked hard to shake the less-than-positive perception of the industry and Sinnathamby said that this more responsible approach was becoming fundamental to the industry as it grew and diversified.

“The developers of this generation are aspiring to redefine how people see developers and I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job,” she said.

“There has been a maturing of the industry where developers are absolutely trying to create the best lifestyle for people.

“People are doing thoughtful developments and thinking about how people live and how they enhance that experience in the communities they create.

“That care and maturity of the industry is something we should be proud of.”

Article source: Queensland Property Investor