Yelena Smetannikov speaks to Mark Sheldon of Group GSA about his practice, projects and future trends for a post-GFC market.
January 20th, 2011
With a variety of projects going on internationally and domestically, GroupGSA has a firm hold of the market.
Current projects range from the ’new vision for Sydney Harbour Transport’ and the upgrade of up to 12 wharves as part of Package 1 of a harbour-wide project, a luxury apartment building in the eastern suburbs (pictured below), Queens Square Law Courts upgrade, as well as a roll out of Costco outlets and major Defence and hospitality projects.
Dominion Luxury Apartments, Darlinghurst. Image courtesy of GroupGSA.
Sheldon states that approximately 50% of GroupGSA’s work comes from repeat clients.
He believes it is important to create solid relationships from the start to ensure more work comes in.
He has already made numerous trips to Rio de Janeiro to establish contacts with key authorities for the building of new facilities for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“Working internationally broadens our markets and provides us with opportunities that aren’t always available at home,” says Sheldon.
“Clients are the same all over the world. They want innovation, low-cost, creativity – all of the same things we do here. A lot depends also on funding and political will.”
Post-GFC, Sheldon believes the market will respond to the need to improve infrastructure and address residential and commercial markets.
Communities, he argues, are demanding the government to build better roads and improve public transport, especially rail, which the firm is also working on.
“I think we are well overdue for the housing market to start to boom again. At the moment, there’s still uncertainty globally with regards to the financial markets, with banks tightening up lending and financial criteria, particularly for development,” he says.
An underlying trend, notes Sheldon, is building refurbishment, as tenants, building owners and the goverment demand more sustainable buildings and push developers to think green.
“They will therefore be more inclined to recycle old buildings and to prolong their life-span,” says Sheldon.
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