Back in 2014, a group of committed Canberrans who had watched the beginning of the modernisation of the capital from a sleepy public service town into a thriving modern city, saw an opportunity to bring a different model of property development to Canberra – and JWLand was born.
Using an integrated business model, JWLand brought together expertise in urban planning, design, development, construction, finance, marketing and sales to ensure the entire development process was managed in-house from conception through to construction, sales and delivery.
Founders Lane in the City, Campbell 5, The Ridge in Watson – JWLand is the developer behind some landmark apartment precincts in Canberra. Michael Prendergast joins Cam Sullings to explain how the local company is different.
Posted by The RiotACT on Tuesday, April 13, 2021
JWLand national head of development Michael Prendergast says this integrated model has allowed the company to achieve consistently high standards of quality, providing purchasers and business partners with the added assurance that comes from dealing directly with the developer.
“Since the company’s inception, our mission has been to raise the bar and create exceptional developments where residents feel like they are part of a community,” he says.
During the past seven years, JWLand has established a reputation for delivering projects of uncompromising quality, such as Campbell 5 and Founders Lane. Within this relatively short timeframe, JWLand has delivered more than 1400 properties across 10 residential developments in the ACT.
The company currently has more than 690 dwellings under construction and approximately 1200 in the pipeline for future release, including the massive 450-metre Northbourne Avenue development that is set to revitalise Lyneham with a vibrant mix of cafe, dining, retail and community spaces in a new precinct strategically positioned in the heart of Canberra.
“Being able to develop projects and precincts in-house from start to completion enables us to manage every aspect of the development,” says Michael.
“In many developments, work is passed along to different contractors, which can result in the original design, quality and intent being diluted in each step along the process.
“From the first thoughtful selection of suitable sites through to design, planning, development, construction and sales, our projects are always developed in the most efficient way possible. And with our integrated model, we can set up a chain of projects and scale up or down to meet demand.”
“One of our greatest strengths is our people. We are a small but nimble team that can adapt to changes. If something is not working, we can be flexible and fluid.”
Michael says at the core of JWLand’s business is the relationship-based approach they take with the consultants and trades who assist in delivering their projects.
“Canberra is home to a lot of good quality trades, be it architects, engineers, electricians, plumbers or painters,” he says. “We aim to establish long-term relationships with everyone we partner with.”
Originally from Melbourne with a background in planning, land development and project management, Michael joined JWLand in 2015 and was attracted by the young, driven team that was forming.
“Ultimately, I decided I wanted to work with the built form, not entirely on paper,” he says. “I wanted to be a part of the process, from buying the block of land to handing over the keys, and always with the end user, the resident, in mind. That is what JWLand does.
“I took a chance, made the call and I am still here. This work is exciting and I love the culture of JWLand – it is just like a family style company.”
These days, Michael says he proudly calls Canberra home.
“I am so pleased to be a part of the transformation of the ACT, delivering high-quality, liveable precincts to the current and future residents of this city,” he says.
“We are committed to designing and building precincts that complement the characteristics of each area. We make sure to engage with the local community during the early planning phases of new developments. This includes hosting community engagement sessions where we can show local residents our vision for the development site and take feedback on board.”
With the Canberra community at it’s heart, Michael says JWLand actively supports and gives back to the communities in which it operates. He is extremely proud of the company’s existing partnerships with organisations, clubs and businesses such as Federal Golf Club, Gorman House and the Australian National University.
For more information, visit JWLand.