Billionaire Maha Sinnathamby Puts Large Springfield Property on the Market

Billionaire property developer Maha Sinnathamby is selling a 12.7 hectare mixed-use development site in the Greater Springfield area, located 25 km southwest of Brisbane.

Founder of the Springfield City Group, Sinnathamby aims to “inject a new wave of activity” into the already rapidly growing region with this offering.

Maha Sinnathamby, visionary property developer

Maha Sinnathamby has been developing the Greater Springfield area for over 30 years. His company wants to maintain the momentum of growth in the region through the sale of this site.

The Greater Springfield area has already benefited from $18 billion worth of investment in infrastructure projects. This includes the $1.2 billion Springfield rail network, the $80 million Brighton Homes Arena, and the $85 million Mater Hospital.

High retail demand in region

The site, known as City West, has initial approvals in place for a variety of uses including retail, commercial offices, entertainment, leisure and medium density residential.

According to Colliers agent Lachlan MacGillivray, new retail floorspace in the region needs to grow by 2.2 million square metres over the next decade to meet the demands of population growth. Hence, sites like City West are becoming critical as demand outweighs supply.

The City West site is being marketed through an expressions of interest campaign by Colliers and Stonebridge Property. The campaign closes on March 15.

Published 29-February-2024

Springfield’s Ambitious Journey Towards a Health and Knowledge Hub

Maha Sinnathamby, the visionary founder of Springfield City Group, is embarking on an ambitious journey in Springfield, a suburb that’s been steadily transforming since its inception in 1992. Drawing inspiration from the Texas Medical Center, Mr Sinnathamby aims to establish Springfield as a leading knowledge and health precinct.

Over three decades, Mr Sinnathamby and his business partner Bob Sharpless have turned 2,860 hectares of land into a thriving community with more than 53,000 residents across six suburbs. Their relentless pace and innovative thinking have been crucial in Springfield’s evolution.

Central to Springfield’s transformation is the Knowledge Precinct, spanning 120 hectares and focusing on health, education, and innovation. This precinct represents a significant step towards realising Sinnathamby’s vision of enhancing human and social capital. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

“Health, education and IT are the key drivers to make a unique community,” Mr Sinnathamby explained, underscoring his commitment to planning a city of the future. 

The Texas Medical Center, known as the world’s largest medical complex, serves as the blueprint for Mr Sinnathamby’s vision. He plans to emulate its success in Springfield by focusing on life sciences and collaboration in medical research and education.

Springfield boasts an extensive network of transport links, schools, and recreational facilities. The Mater Hospital, set to be the nation’s largest, anchors a 52-hectare health precinct. An 18-hectare education precinct centered around the University of Southern Queensland adds to Springfield’s allure as a hub for learning and innovation.

With a focus on education and family, Springfield offers twelve schools and nineteen kindergartens. The university campus further cements the suburb’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of Australians.

The Springfield master plan, valued at $88 billion, has been 25% complete as of 2020

Mr Sinnathamby’s group is seeking global partners to continue building the city. With $18 billion already invested, a further $70 billion is needed to realise this master plan fully.

As Springfield continues to grow, with a projected population of 145,000, it remains a testament to Mr Sinnathamby’s philosophy of thinking big and innovating. 

Published 6-Dec-2023

Lawsuit Erupts Between Springfield City Group and Aveo Group

Springfield City Group has initiated legal proceedings against retirement living provider Aveo Group, alleging a significant failure to meet development targets for a major seniors project valued at $1 billion.

The dispute revolves around an interlocutory injunction sought by Springfield City Group to prevent Aveo from engaging in an expert decision process related to the disagreement until a final court ruling is reached.

The issue stems from an ongoing retirement living project, where Aveo was contracted by Springfield City Group to develop a minimum of 2,500 aged care or retirement village units, collectively referred to as “Seniors Products,” between 2015 and 2030.

The project and agreement

According to court documents, Aveo Group initially entered into a development deed that laid out their commitment to following a rolling business plan. This plan mandated Aveo to provide regular updates on the project’s progress, with specific milestones to be reached on each anniversary starting from October 1, 2015.

The dispute between the two parties arose from two updated business plans that Aveo Group submitted in March and November 2022, both of which were not approved by Springfield City Group.

Clashing business plans

Springfield City Group argues that Aveo’s updated plans deviated significantly from the agreed requirements, making it highly unlikely that Aveo would be able to fulfil the minimum target of 2,500 seniors products within the stipulated time frame.

Aveo’s revised plan indicated the completion of only 562 Seniors Products by 2027, leaving a substantial 87.2 per cent of the project’s products to be completed within the final five years of the anticipated 15-year term.

Springfield City Group also highlighted clause 47 in the Aveo Termination Period that allowed Aveo to terminate the Development Deed if the number of completed products fell below 720 by 1 October 2025. 

Springfield City Group alleged that Aveo’s updated business plan was an indication of their intention to exercise this termination clause. They also pointed out that Aveo failed to include a proposed subdivision of a critical development site into staged lots, as stipulated in the agreement.

Legal proceedings and injunction

In response to the non-approval notices from Springfield City Group, Aveo notified them that they would be referring the matter to the Resolution Institute for dispute resolution. An expert was appointed to determine the outcome, in accordance with Aveo’s original agreement. 

However, Springfield City Group questioned whether Aveo’s updated business plan submissions qualified as legitimate business plans under the agreed development deed.

During the injunction hearing, Justice Thomas Bradley, presiding over the case, expressed concerns about potential inconsistencies in Aveo’s documents that might disqualify them as valid business plans. However, his ruling solely pertained to the injunction request and not the underlying claim. 

Impacts and future outlook

The solicitor for the SCG estimated that the expert process would cost them between $570,000 and $1 million, whilst Aveo countered with claims of incurring about $2.8 million in annual interest costs for the 96 completed but unsold Seniors Products.

Aveo’s acting head of development, George Petersen, reassured residents and stakeholders that the legal proceedings would not impact the operations or residents of the Springfield retirement community. Petersen emphasised Aveo’s commitment to the existing retirement community and its amenities, including a mix of serviced and independent living apartments.

Justice Bradley ultimately granted the interlocutory injunction, effectively halting Aveo’s progress in the export process until the resolution of Springfield City Group’s claim.  

As the court proceedings continue, both Springfield City Group and Aveo Group are eagerly awaiting a final resolution to this dispute that could have significant implications for the future of the $1 billion seniors project.

Published 11-July-2023

Springfield City to Build First Hydrogen Energy Facility in Australia

An agreement to build Australia’s first hydrogen energy facility in Springfield City has been established between LAVO, the Sydney-based technology and lifestyle company, and property developer, Maha Sinnathamby. 

The $20 million deal will see 40 hectares of Springfield City, owned by the Springfield City Group (SPG), developed into a business park with a hydrogen energy plant.

Set to begin construction at the end of 2021, the facility is expected to create 200 local jobs. Once finished in early 2022, the plant will start production of the hydrogen fuel cells, which will bring in additional 50 jobs. The investment for this deal is projected to generate $30 million in annual revenues.

LAVO’s hydrogen energy storage system is sized like refrigerators with a 30-year lifespan and a storage capacity three times greater than other alternatives in the market. The energy company developed this technology as the “first and only commercially-ready” hydrogen energy storage system for homes and businesses in the world.  

Photo Credit: LAVO/Facebook

“I am pleased to welcome LAVO as a strategic sustainability partner to Springfield City and look forward to their support as we work towards producing more energy than we consume by 2038,” Mr Sinnathamby said in a press statement.  

“As our relationship grows, we look forward to exploring many more opportunities to apply LAVO’s innovative technology and expertise more broadly to deliver on our blueprint for a clean-green future.

“We will work closely with LAVO to identify co-development opportunities, including the integration of LAVO technology into utility scale solar farms developed in Springfield City.”

Springfield City has been planned as a green space using 100 percent renewable power resources with widespread electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and a hydrogen-powered bus network 

The agreement comes as hydrogen technology has been booming in demand globally, with an annual investment forecast of $150 million, which could grow to $2.5 trillion in 2050.

Springfield Rolls Out Plans to be the World’s Greenest City by 2038

By 2038, Greater Springfield will become the “model community of the future” as the  Springfield City Group starts its ambitious transformation into the world’s greenest city.

Featured with houses with solar panels on every roof, electric car charging stations everywhere, hydrogen-powered buses and other advances in green technology, the strategic sustainable plan is a collaboration between French energy giant ENGIE, its subsidiary Tractebel, and the Springfield City Group. The partnership was established in 2018. 

The investment is reportedly worth more than $3 billion, with 100 percent of the power usage turned into renewable energy. The development will also see Greater Springfield residents enjoying 30 percent of natural green space. 

The five pillars of this project are focused on the following: 

  • Urban – Greenspace mixed with urban agriculture and green transport routes.
  • Mobility- Reduction of average cars per household whilst improving EV charging infrastructure, including paths for electric scooters and bicycles
  • Buildings – Bioclimactic designs with solar protection and energy-efficient system
  • Energy – 100 percent renewable, with improved energy storage and hydrogen refueling
  • Digital – Innovative smart city solutions

Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said that Springfield, with its current 45,000 population, is ideal for this project as the nation’s fastest-growing community. 

“We have one chance – and the responsibility to our residents – to get this right and be an ongoing example for others to follow,” Mr Sinnathamby said. “The focus on efficient and sustainable energy production, storage, and integration with the community has never been more important for Australia and for us. I’m confident that ENGIE can assist us to be a world leader in innovative and smart city solutions.”

Photo Credit: Springfield City Group

In line with this project, some buildings within the city’s business district have started rolling out rooftop solar, including Orion Shopping Centre and the Springfield Tower.

View the complete report of this project online.