Major unit developer in liquidation


A development company that once boasted a $3.5bn pipeline of apartment projects in southeast Queensland is exiting the state amid continuing uncertainty over the future of the construction sector.

Urban Construct Qld and associated companies are being wound up voluntarily by its shareholders with a liquidator put in charge of the company's affairs. The company says it does not owe any money to its creditors.

Building industry leaders say conditions in the sector remain tough with a steep slide in approvals to construct units in recent months.

Urban Construct managing directors Todd Brown and James Rice relocated from Adelaide a decade ago and by 2014 said they had over that time built up a pipeline of developments of 3500 apartments and 1500 town houses worth $3.5bn. They were not available for comment Monday.

Urban Construct CEO Todd Brown in 2014
Urban Construct CEO Todd Brown in 2014

They lodged a "declaration of solvency" to ASIC on September 3 meaning they believed the company would be able to pay any outstanding debts within 12 months of the winding up. It listed no assets or liabilities in the declaration.

Master Builders Qld deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said approvals for unit developments had dropped 18 per cent across the state over the past year.

Adelaide-based Thomas Otway of SV Capital Partners, who has been appointed the liquidator, said the companies are solvent and are being liquidated as they are no longer required.

"Rather than simply de-registering the companies, the group prefer the companies to be liquidated to make sure that there are no unknown claims that exist," said Mr Otway.

Urban Construct lists its head office in Queensland at 6/199 George Street however the phone line has been disconnected.

Urban Construct was involved in a number of high profile projects in southeast Queensland including its Emerald Lakes development on the Gold Coast with joint venture partner Nifsan.

It also teamed up with Qualitas on the River Rise tower at Vulture St and Manhatten Terraces in West End. and secured the MCG Group, in a joint venture partnership for a number of other inner city developments.

Planned apartment towers by Urban Construct at Barry Parade Fortitude Valley.
Planned apartment towers by Urban Construct at Barry Parade Fortitude Valley.

Not all planned projects were completed with a number of sites sold to other developers.

In an interview with The Courier-Mail in 2014 said the move to Brisbane was a great chance.

"We arrived here three and a half years ago and saw a once in a generation opportunity to acquire a development platform that we could not see happening in South Australia over the next 10 years," he said.

"We didn't want to come up flag waving and carrying on so we spent the first two and a half years very much under the radar going about our business."

Originally published as Major unit developer in liquidation