The founding father of AVJennings and a business leader who pioneered commercial real estate in Australia have been inducted into the Australian Property Hall of Fame.
Property Council of Australia National President, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, says Sir Albert Jennings and Frank Charnock were chosen by the board for their sustained and visionary leadership, and for their enduring contributions to the property industry and Australia.
“Property is our nation’s largest industry, and the Australian Property Hall of Fame honours the leaders who have shaped the future of our cities and helped build the communities for people to work, live and enjoy their lives,” Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz says.
“The Property Council is proud to honour the legacies of these property pioneers, and to showcase the property industry’s central role in nation building.”
Sir Albert Jennings
Sir Albert Jennings is widely known as the pioneer of quality mass-produced and massmarketed housing across Australia.
Sir Albert was a struggling real estate agent during the Great Depression when he recognised a gap in the market for good quality homes. In 1932, he mortgaged his family home and formed the AV Jennings Construction Co., embarking on new housing projects and selling off-the-plan contracts – a strategy that became a hallmark of his business.
While other speculative home builders sold poorly-serviced weatherboard houses, AV Jennings would match the market price with bigger, sewered, brick houses with hot-water systems.
By the 1960s AV Jennings Industries was Australia’s largest home builder, offering appealing designs, affordability, well-planned community developments and pioneering display homes which are common practice today.
In 1969, Sir Albert Jennings was knighted for his remarkable influence on Australia’s housing landscape. He retired in 1972, remaining active within the industry until he passed away in 1993.
“Building houses for Australians drove Sir Albert’s career,” Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz says.
“Sir Albert’s story is one of calculated risks, understanding the industry at its best, but also at its worst.
“Sir Albert’s belief in the Great Australian Dream never wavered, and it is our great honour to induct the father of the Australian property development industry into the Property Hall of Fame.”
When Frank Charnock first set foot on Australian soil in 1961, the nation’s property investment industry was non-existent.
Building and rent controls, imposed during the Second World War, had taken their toll. Superannuation was confined to the public sector, and not one pension fund was empowered to invest in property. Few companies understood the concept of property as an asset class.
“Frank entered Australia’s nascent property landscape as a seasoned professional with a razor sharp business brain, an uncanny ability to pick emerging markets and property cycles, and a passion for people,” Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz says.
When Charnock left Australian shores three decades later, the long-time CEO of Jones Lang Wootton, now JLL, had professionalised an entire industry.
Charnock developed leasing templates widely adopted by retail owners around Australia, lobbied universities for decades to offer degrees in property economics, brought the industry together to establish standards, and opened Australia’s first property research department.
A great industry contributor, Charnock was National President of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), for many years, which later evolved into the Property Council of Australia.
“Frank championed cross-border investment and spearheaded a new way of thinking about commercial property in Australia,” Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz says.
“His advice to institutional investors and developers helped to shape the skylines of Australia’s cities, and he unlocked the flow of institutional wealth into property that helped build prosperity for generations of Australians,” Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz adds.
The Australian Property Hall of Fame was established in 2012 by the Property Council of Australia.
Former inductees are: Dick Dusseldorp AO, Sir Frank Lowy AC and Ray Powys AM (2012); John Gandel AC, Stan Perron AM and Sir John Pidgeon (2013); Ervin Graf OAM, Bruno Grollo AO and Rino Grollo (2014); John C Roberts AO and Harry Triguboff AO (2015); Sir Keith Campbell, Robert Hamilton and Carol Schwartz AM (2016); and Stuart Hornery AO and Lang Walker AO (2107).
The induction ceremony will be held during the Property Leaders’ Dinner on 30 May 2018 at the QT, Canberra.