5 Minutes with Sammut Group’s Allen Sammut

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In the lead-up to Urbanity, on August 3-5 at The Star on the Gold Coast, The Urban Developer sat down with Sammut Group managing director Allen Sammut to discuss industry trends, Sammut Group’s business model and its projects as well as the importance of conferences like Urbanity.

Sammut will join Dare Property Group’s Danny Avidan and Beulah’s Adelene Teh as part of a panel discussion providing real perspectives from private property players on Thursday August 4.

How has Sammut Group established and maintained such a successful business model?

“Sammut Group has evolved over three generations—from when my father started the building business; to when my brother John and I moved it into a development business; to today with my son Julian leading our diversification into other luxury lifestyle sectors to reach a wider audience. 

“As a family we are known for standing by our word; and our brand is the same, so throughout this constant adaptation we’ve worked hard to maintain a consistently high standard of delivery and service.”  

What three characteristics are needed for residential developers working at the top end of the market?

“Developers by their nature are typically calculated gamblers–there are so many factors that will impact on your success or failure and many are out of our control. If we’ve been reminded of anything in the past few years, it’s that unpredictability is a certainty. Three things I recommend up and coming developers keep an eye on are:

Mitigating risks. This is key to longevity as quality developers face a long game and are continually exposed to things that are completely out of our control.

Patience. Understand that it is a long game and be prepared for continued obstacles and roadblocks. Don’t ever underestimate that time can be your worst enemy and that the tide can turn in the blink of an eye. However it can also turn the other way with the benefit of time.

Delivering quality. Surround yourself with the best team and consultants. Even if it costs you more, having the right people around you to ensure delivery to the highest standards is crucial.”

What advice would you give a budding property developer in 2022?

Have no misconceptions about how difficult the development industry is, and how so much is beyond your control. 

There is no easy road and no shortcuts to an easy dollar. You’re the last to get paid. However the financial reward and the positive legacy left behind when it goes right, can be very satisfying.

Which development project best represent Sammut Group?

It’s very hard to distinguish one particular project as they all uniquely represent the Sammut Group brand. However our upcoming Coast development on the Gold Coast beachfront at Surfers Paradise encompasses everything we stand for and strive to deliver to with our other projects, but practically aren’t always able to because of different constraints. 

To me, this project—which is on an exceptional, never to be built out absolute oceanfront site – is the epitome of what we stand for. With Coast, I have felt great creative freedom and the ability to make ‘apartments without boundaries’ with all the amenities anyone could ever want. It really does showcase everything we would do every time given the right circumstances.

An Australian development, currently being constructed, that has impressed you?

Quay Quarter at Circular Quay. This is an extraordinary revamp and refurb of an existing AMP office tower in one of Sydneys key north facing locations. 

Added to this was the new build adjoining the existing which seamlessly gels in with the refurb. The layering of the building and the new facade treatment to me shows forward thinking in terms of utilising existing structure and modernising its usage, whilst maximising the floor plates.”

An International development, that has recently been delivered, that has impressed you?

Apple’s new headquarters is a bold statement in architecture and sustainability, that exemplifies the true iconic nature of the products that it produces. 

Apple has become synonymous with leading edge design and its new headquarters delivers this in spades. Not just in design, but in functionality and sustainability along with its footprint that leaves 80 per cent of the campus as green space.

Also, the Burg Khalifa. This building is outstanding in its sheer audacity and boldness, not only in that its the tallest building in world at nearly 1km in height, but also in the whole precinct and amenities that it brought to a central city location. 

The complexity of the build in sand, and to such a height whilst mitigating factors like the blistering heat and damaging trade winds, is an engineering marvel.

Why do you think it is important to have conferences like Urbanity?

“Urbanity is a chance for aspiring and existing developers to come together and network with one another while gaining knowledge and insight into how other developers operate and think, lessons learnt and aspire to further one’s career. 

I personally love learning and I’m always curious to hear how others are tackling different challenges and opportunities.”

Of the vast array of speakers presenting at Urbanity who are you most looking forward to hearing from?

Adelene Teh. I’m fascinated by the STH BNK by Beulah project as it’s so ambitious and I’m excited to hear from her about how the group is managing that project.”

Join us as Urbanity brings together an unrivalled roster of the industry’s best developers, architects, place-makers, innovators and property professionals. 

Urbanity is a must-attend event for anyone that is involved in the development of cities and regions.