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Students and Practitioners!

I have created a new Master Class Offering in Property Development that is in a convenient and affordable ‘short webinar format’ which is run to augment lecturing timetables in Colleges and Universities across the Asia Pacific Time Zones.

At University and College level it is designed to be a supplementary offering to Lecturers that provides their students with industry based skills/knowledge and to interface with executives from the industry. The Master Classes focus on students being ‘work ready’ for employment and ‘street smart’ for entrepreneurship.

At Practitioner Level it is designed to provide an industry briefing on key issues that are part of my research area which relate to three key themes: The Defects Dilemma, Property Developer Dynamics and City Dormancy and Growth Dynamics.

The Master Classes  focus on industry issues and use case studies that are challenging and problematic. Industry leaders and executives are interviewed by Dr Drane and the students are able to interact and ask questions during the sessions.


-Think Like a Property Developer?: How do Property Developers think? Our cities are more and more reliant on private property developers for delivery of our buildings. This class is both for budding property developers but also city planners who are sometimes frustrated and bewildered by the forces of property development. The webinar includes a history of key Property Developers and their main modus operandi.

-Becoming a Property Developer: For budding entrepreneurs who would like to adapt their existing skill base to move into the Property Development Industry either as an employee and/or an entrepreneur. However, first they should know the vagaries and problems within the industry that go far beyond traditional views of money and glory .

The Defects Dilemma: Defects sadly are becoming the norm in the Property Development Industry and while some cases lead to maintenance and remediation programmes (which is bad enough) others can result in potential death. Chronicling tragedies from the Bankstown Incident in 2012 to Grenfell and Lacrosse Docklands, Dr Drane provides a unique view of how the Property Development Industry’s professional practices have been eroded over time and the associated causes of defects. How does the industry move forward to combat this systemic issue that can cost lives?

-Eagle VS Dove: The Strange Alliance: How do City Planners and Property Developers work together to be co-creators of sustainable, affordable cities and is this actually possible? This webinar is designed based on a dialogue between two practitioner guests ( A Property Developer and a City Planner) who debate a contentious project in the public eye.

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-Giants, White Shoes and the 1980s: This webinar chronicles 6 Australian Property Developers from 1955 to 2010 against  a giant of the industry – Dick Dusseldorp (Civil and Civic Lend Lease) then to Christopher Skase (Qintex/Mirage), Alan Bond ( Bond Corp) , Brian Ray (Ray Group), Peter Wills ( CRI) and  Paul Peterson ( Girvan). Their modus operandi and what I call Property Developer Dynamics are revealed.

-Other Peoples Money and the Mezzanine: A review of the vagaries of project related finance that bridges funding required by Property Developers who have limited seed capital. They find that there is a funding gap between their own seed funding and the parent debt funding of the banks. This includes a review of current practices and a short history of the decay of development and funding practices over the past 6 decades.

-Whatever Happened to Lindfield Avenue?  To those who have lived on the North Shore of Sydney, they will remember the Frank Sartor era of planning which had led to the proliferation of apartments along the Pacific Highway and surrounds.The once genteel village of Lindfield, has had its fair share of new development, and none so more than next to the train station in Lindfield Avenue. Once thriving but historical shopfronts were felled to meet the needs of the new development adjacent the station.This webinar presents this as a case study which will show through the use of geographic, demographic and analytical tools, how these shops were bought out and how the new development was justified commercially.

-From Dormancy to Proliferation: What does it take to bring a dormant cityscape to life? Who drives these changes and what are the driving forces behind cityscapes which have remained dormant for decades and which suddenly spring to life? Jonathan’s doctoral research studied dormant cityscapes across the Sydney Basin, Townsville’s Palmer Street Precinct and Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Precinct to provide an understanding of how these dormant areas ‘came to life’ suddenly. The truth is that they had a deep history of activation which is revealed by Jonathan’s works and resultant analytical models.

-The Centre of Town or the Centre of Gravity?: The Outer West Town Centres of Sydney are subject to massive development and population forces. It is often thought that growth like this brings re-vitalisation to town centres, but the truth shows that the historical town centres and precints actually become vulnerable to growth resulting in what Dr Drane calls ‘Dynamic Dormancy’.

B4 The Blunt Planning Instrument?: The well worn Mixed Use Zoning (B4) has provided town and city planners with the ability to allow or promote different uses on a particular site. This typically  includes Apartments, Offices and Retail. The truth is that due to certain developer vagaries, it is found that not all developers are equipped to bring these three uses to life. Dr Drane draws on his dormancy research and current research interactions in key city precincts to make sense of this instrument and what might be done to make it a dynamic force of change.


Time Table and Calendar

These classes are in a short webinar format and offered per attendee on a pay per session basis which runs at two time slots that suits students and practitioners across the Asia Pacific region:

Weekday Evenings Wednesday and Thursday 7.30pm to 9pm Sydney Australia GMT+10

Friday Midday 12pm to  1.30pm Sydney Australia GMT+10

Sunday Afternoon 3pm to 4.30pm Sydney Australia GMT+ 10

The first Master Classes have already occurred in November 2018 as trial Introductory Sessions and the above topics and their classes are being rolled out into the Summer 2018 period and into 2019.

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Dr Jonathan Drane is an independent researcher and advisor to government, corporate, legal and academic sectors. He applies research methods to solve complex problems through project analysis in the commercial construction and development sector. Jonathan is a recognised expert in city precinct development with an emphasis on activation of dormant cityscapes. Jonathan’s doctoral research project (2011 to 2014) studied dormant cityscapes in several Australian regional cities and how they were bought to life. Going beyond just a research emphasis he was involved in the revitalisation of the Palmer Street Precinct, Townsville (2003 to 2008) as a catalyst developer. In this way he has both researched and been involved as a practitioner in this specific field of urban activation. His advisory profile ranges from planning urban development of dormant cityscapes, to forensic analysis of complex construction and property development problems in legal and industry situations. Jonathan is also a recognised award winning author in the non-fiction and historical genre winning an award for his first book on the Camino de Santiago (The Way of a Thousand Arrows) in 2007 with the NSW Writers Centre.

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