1 Dec 2010: Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and Investa Property Group yesterday entered into a partnership to deliver a new master planned residential community, situated in the northern Darwin suburb of Muirhead.

Following an extensive EOI and tender process that commenced in early 2010, Investa Property Group was selected by DHA to provide development and project management services for this landmark project.

The project vision for Muirhead is to deliver a climatically and socially responsive master planned community, and provide a range of housing product to cater for a diverse demographic and local demand. Muirhead will be connected to neighbouring residential communities and provide extensive green and open spaces.

When completed, it is envisaged that the Muirhead community will comprise approximately 1200 dwellings with 30% of lots being allocated for Defence housing. Stage one is scheduled to commence construction in April 2011 and is expected to generate in excess of 320 jobs for the Northern Territory Property Development Industry. Over the length of this eight year project it is expected that DHA will invest in excess of $100 million in the local community in civil construction alone, with a significantly higher expenditure through dwelling construction.

‘DHA is committed to ensuring sustainable building practices that suit the unique climatic conditions of the Northern Territory. Investa have clearly understood our vision and we are pleased to enter into this partnership to deliver the new suburb of Muirhead,’ said Mr Michael Del Gigante, Managing Director of DHA.

‘The first two stages of the development include approximately 316 lots, with housing construction for these two stages expected to begin around the end of 2011,’ said Mr Del Gigante.

‘The Muirhead development offers an unrivalled opportunity to create a distinctive, environmentally and socially responsive ‘last northern suburb’ of Darwin, and is very much aligned with Investa Land plans of national expansion, including entry into the Northern Territory and South Australian markets, and the expansion of our existing relationship with DHA and other development partners,’ said Mr Lloyd Jenkins, Group Executive of Investa Land at Investa Property Group.

‘The vision set down by DHA focuses on sustainable and socially responsive residential communities, is very much aligned with Investa’s own commitment to quality urban design, sustainability and quality built form. The Investa team feels very fortunate to be engaged by DHA to provide Development and Project Management services for this pioneering project,’ said Mr Jenkins.

Integral to the selection of Investa by DHA was Investa’s integrated development management process, track record of successfully delivering large scale residential communities throughout Australia, and their market leadership in the application of sustainability initiatives. In 2008 Investa was the winner of Australia’s most prestigious prize for addressing climate change, The Banksia Climate Change Award, and in 2010 won the prestigious Green Globe award for commercial property sustainability.

Investa Land which will deliver the project, currently manages over 30 residential and industrial developments across Australia, comprising over 9,000 residential lots and over 500ha of industrial land in QLD, NSW, VIC and WA.

The formal signing of the Development and Project Management Services agreement occurred on Tuesday in Canberra and was attended by DHA Managing Director Michael Del Gigante, DHA Chief Operating Officer Peter Howman, Investa Property Group Chairman and Chief Executive Scott MacDonald, and Lloyd Jenkins, Group Executive of Investa Land

.Note *Estimate of Jobs based on Urban Development Institute of Australia study “The Property Development Industry Economic Impact Study” March 2010