Meet Proxima Developers
The Queensland duo behind developer Evans Long has a vision for a centre of excellence in child health and education at Lumina.
As momentum builds around the $80 million Proxima development, we meet Evans Long co-founders, Matthew Evans and Dirk Long, to learn more about what led them to Lumina.
What’s the Evans Long story? What type of projects are you known for?
Dirk: We like to focus on tenant-led development in emerging areas where we can collaborate with partners to add value. We’ve been involved in many significant developments across Queensland in the past ten years. We refurbished The Wharf precinct at Mooloolaba and have done a lot in the medical, commercial, industrial and residential sectors.
You have been business partners for ten years. What led you to join forces in 2011?
Matthew: Dirk and I knew each other at university and spoke almost every week when Dirk owned his agency business. When a partnership brings opposite skill sets, you create opportunities for different perspectives. I have a valuation and construction background while Dirk has traditionally focused more on sales and marketing. More importantly, there is a high level of trust, friendship and mutual respect.
What’s your vision for Promixa?
Dirk: Our vision is to build a centre of excellence in child health and education at Lumina that attracts forward-thinking businesses at the forefront of early childhood development, care, research and treatment under one roof. We have 11,500sqm of lease space prime for collaboration.
What sparked your interest in Lumina as the site for Proxima?
Matthew: The infrastructure around Lumina is unique on a national scale. Having the opportunity to locate and interact with Griffith University and the Gold Coast University Hospital was a major attraction.
Dirk: Some of the greatest minds in this sector are already within this precinct. Others are completing their studies just metres away. The more minds we get involved, the better the outcomes will be and there is so much potential to harness the benefits of co-location and real time experiences that will lead to positive outcomes in the future.
What was the thinking behind securing Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure as your first tenant?
Dirk: We really wanted a local business who had a passion for the education and care all children, including children with special needs. When we met Lauren and Damian Hall it was obvious that they ticked all the boxes. They already operate five centres across Queensland and this new centre will include a more dedicated focus on disability and special needs early education and care to help kids and parents access more streamlined services.
How much does Queensland feature in your development strategy?
Matthew: Queensland’s population has reached a level providing increased business sustainability and there is no shortage of opportunity to deliver the services our expanding population needs. I don’t think either Dirk or I have missed interstate travel over the past 12 months.
Dirk: We are also very family focused and like to be close to home. We’ve seen the growth in Queensland over the 25 years and feel the momentum in the region just keeps building.
What excites you most about Proxima?
Dirk: Promixa is a unique development. While it’s always hugely satisfying to create something from the ground up and see your vision come to reality, with Proxima, we are helping parents and children, and especially those with special needs, get better access to integrated health care and education – and ultimately achieve a better quality of life.
What’s next for Evans Long?
Matthew: We have a solid pipeline of projects for the next 2-3 years, including Proxima, so our focus is on delivering a world-class outcome. Having developed vertical childcare before, we already know that the outcomes can be as good as if not better than the traditional format. We try and lift the bar every time.
We explore vertical health and childcare development – the benefits, design challenges and inspiration behind Proxima’s collaborative ethos.