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Twice For Good Luck

Kent Williams, this year’s Urban Development Institute Young Professional Award winner, believes he took two apprenticeships. One is working with the biggest names in the industry on one device and the other in development. For Kent Williams, the path to running his own property development company is built on a solid foundation.

Worked hard and every opportunity to learn

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While industry is in his blood – his father, Brett, played a major role in many of the major development projects that have shaped Adelaide over the past decades. In which Blackwood Park – Kent worked hard and took every opportunity to learn. When he started thinking about a move into property development, he had seven years as a carpenter under his belt.

Lots of Project Work for the Adelaide Boys and Developers

“We were building a lot of project work for some big boys and developers in Adelaide. Scott Salisbury, Avi Jennings and some of those builders who were really prominent at the time,” he recalls. That led to a call to his father. in which he sought advice on entering the industry.

Feedback contacting one or two developers

Brett’s response was not to contact one or two developers. Instead, he offered Kent a job, which again started from the bottom, but promised him “the best company in every field you’ll need to lay your head”. “We ended up working with the biggest developers not only in Adelaide, but in Australia,” says Kent of his time at Connect Urban Projects.

“We worked with huge architectural firms like Woods Bagot, big builders like Hindmarsh, and some of those companies where I wouldn’t have had that exposure if I had taken a job with a developer.

Ground Zero of Townhouse Development

“I met at Ground Zero of small townhouse developments for some of the most successful apartment buildings in South Australia.” Kent’s ‘apprenticeship’ included the sale of eight South Esplanade in Glenelg, a Chesscranon and Medallion Homes joint project, to Kent. “It was an $80 million-plus development that my colleagues and I sold off in about three months,” he says, adding that he personally made $38 million of those sales.

Break” project “A great success”

Meanwhile, with his wife, Stacy, he bought the Kurralta Park site. This “make or break” project was “a huge success” and as of October 2019, he felt ready to branch out on his own. Since founding Fusion Property Developments, they have developed eighteen sites, providing fifty new homes. Most of them are high-end, coastal homes that break down almost immediately. However, Kent also has his sights on finally having an affordable housing project in the mix.

“I get a big thrill out of looking at properties because it usually starts with something old and out of date, and produces the absolute best development results,” he says.

Winning the Stuart Main Young Professional Award at this year’s Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Awards puts Kent in a position to assist other emerging professionals in the industry and have a voice on various committees. Kent, 34, says one of his biggest challenges when starting out was his age.

“The entire property development sector is actually quite overwhelming,” he says. “There are a lot of older people who have been doing it for a long time and doing a really good job. For me, it just takes time to be taken seriously. But I think there we are.”

Lucky to work in South Australia

However, he also feels that he has been fortunate enough to work in South Australia. Saying that any party is in government. “He has worked very hard for development [in the state]”. He is also positive about the new planning and design code introduced in March 2021.

His five-year goal for Fusion is to double its project capacity to about 15 projects at any given time. This would mean bringing in other young professionals to handle project management and marketing.

UDIA Awards those guys,

“I’d love to be in a position where I have a business that’s full of young, really motivated people who want to learn. Then I can just generate good concepts and really good assets.” Now in its 26th year, the UDIA Awards for Excellence showcases the people, places and developments that make South Australia the best place to live, work and travel.

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