NEW DEVELOPMENTS, INDUSTRY TRENDS, PROPERTY ADVICE
In Conversation: Remon Fayad, DYLDAM
Posted by Development Ready on Nov 20, 2019

Dyldam was founded in 1969 by Naim Khattar and Joe Khattar with a desire to create aspirational apartments for Australian families. From modest beginnings, the company has expanded into a multi-million-dollar Australian family business success story.

Remon Fayad took his place in the company in 2005 and, after working his way up the ranks, was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2018. His principal responsibility lies in the management of Dyldam’s operational systems and resources vital for continued growth. Remon is also an integral member of Dyldam’s global liaison team, which establishes strategic relationships with property industry leaders in North America, Europe and Asia. We sat down with Remon to discuss his operations within Dyldam and the significance of Western Sydney’s growth.

------

DR:
Walk us through your upbringing in Sydney. What are some of your earliest memories?

RF:
Our family has a long history in Western Sydney. My passion for Parramatta and Western Sydney and my keen interest in sport began during my schooling years at Parramatta Marist High School. I played league for the school team for a couple of years and forged lifelong friendships.

DR:
Were you attracted the property industry through your family connection, or was it a path you sought out yourself?

RF:
Construction is in the family DNA – going back 4 generations. My grandfather, Naim, and his father, my great-grandfather, were in infrastructure construction back in Lebanon – they built roads, hospitals and the like. I joined the business from an early age, it was a calling.

DR:
Take us through your early career in property - what are some key learnings that have helped with your later life?

RF:
My early involvement in sport gave me a strong grounding in the importance of preparation and teamwork. I applied these skills to my career in property, particularly in the disciplines of site acquisition and planning.

I also had the privilege of soaking up industry knowledge from incredible mentors - namely my father and my grandfather.

DR:
Tell us about Dyldam - who’s behind it, what projects do you pursue, in what locations and why?

RF:
Dyldam is a family business that started with my late grandfather Naim Khattar, who migrated with his family to Australia to avoid conflict in Lebanon. Over five decades, three generations have worked in the business, and Dyldam has evolved from building a modest red brick walk-up in 1969, to an integrated property company delivering master precincts of 15,000+ homes. We’re also very proud to be named New South Wales’ Number One Apartment Builder in HIA’s Housing 100 Report for the last 3 years.

Since the very beginning, when my grandfather first arrived, we’ve seen opportunities in Western Sydney and the Hills District continue to reveal themselves. We’re celebrating 50 years of property development and construction this year and our commitment to Western Sydney is as important and relevant as ever. Billions of dollars are being invested in the area thanks to the Western Sydney Airport and other key infrastructures; we’re very proud to share in this region’s growth.

DR:
Tell us about Western Sydney and why are you’re so passionate about the area.

RF:
Western Sydney, and in particular Parramatta, have an electricity and buzz that you don’t see elsewhere. People travel to Western Sydney to experience the best cuisine – Vietnamese, Portuguese, Korean and of course Lebanese food. We are also committed to our sport – just look at the GWS Giants, the Wanderers and Eels – we are sports mad.

It is also proving to be the economic powerhouse of NSW – with over $17 billion planned in infrastructure spending over the next couple of years.

DR:
How much influence does Dyldam’s founder Joe Khattar have in the running of the business?

RF:
I feel that my grandfather Naim’s legacy is very much alive in the business – he taught my father and my uncles the fundamentals of the property business. The importance of value, quality, progress and strength. Joe Khatter, my uncle, laid the foundations of Dyldam with these same principals and business fundamentals.

After many years at the helm, this legacy has been passed on to my brother Fayad and myself. We have been in the roles of CEO and COO respectively for the past 18 months. I feel that we have been preparing for this responsibility all our lives. Even if our uncle is not directly involved, his philosophy and business essence surrounds us.

DR:
Dyldam
has seen many property cycles over the past 50 years; how have you navigated them, in particular the recent downturn?

RF:
My father Sam Fayad taught Fayad and I that there is always opportunity – no matter where you are in the property cycle. Look for a challenge, not an obstacle. The mindset in which you approach each property cycle with will determine how you come out of it, Dyldam has been through this for 50 years and we learn from each cycle.

DR:
Dyldam
has delivered thousands of apartments across hundreds of projects - tell us about some of the achievements & projects your most proud of.

RF:
The first Dyldam development, a small 6 apartment building in Auburn which we still see today is always going to have a sentimental value to us. It’s also exciting to look to our future, with projects in the pipeline such as South Quarter. This is set to be a global destination and a gateway to Parramatta that spans three city blocks; presenting 15,000sqm of commercial space, an international hotel and 775 apartments.

One precinct that we have just completed in Carlingford is another example of a project that we’re proud of. After years of acquisition, planning and relocating powerlines underground, we delivered over 600 apartments to change the face of Carlingford.

DR:
Would you consider development properties outside of Western Sydney? If so, what are the key fundamentals you look for?

RF:
We have just started demolition and early works at our The Maison project, which will transform an old factory warehouse in the heart of Rosebery’s dining precinct. The location, the target market and the numbers stacked up for this development, so we chose to run with it.

Ultimately, if the area and the type of development fits with the Dyldam brand and philosophy, then we will consider it. My goal is to be a national company and have developments all over Australia.

We also have a project in Brisbane which is currently in planning, so we are looking forward to broadening our horizons.

DR:
You’ve been in the news recently after unveiling your plans to deliver a $808 million project, dubbed The Opera, comprising of 1,200 apartments across 2.5-hectares in Merrylands; what drew you to a project of this magnitude?

RF:
As an established suburb, Merrylands already offers much of what the modern buyer is looking for – transport infrastructure, retail, leisure and dining precincts, as well as being two train stops away from Parramatta. As the population gravitates towards employment hubs like Parramatta, living in a modern apartment in Merrylands is both more affordable and very convenient. The fundamentals were there and while it is a big project, we’re always up for a challenge.

DR:
You’ve performed a lot of sponsorship over the years, do you think that brand awareness is important for developers?

RF:
We have sponsored national professional sporting codes for a number of years, including the GWS Giants AFL Team, but this year we have taken a more grass-roots community approach to our philanthropy, supporting the local clubs. We also have a wonderful relationship with Ronald McDonald House Westmead and sponsor many of their events. Brand awareness is important but that’s not the reason that we do it; we do it to support the community in Western Sydney. We’re developing in the area a lot and it’s important to us to give back.

DR:
Who were some of your mentors, who did you turn to for advice and who do you still seek advice or counsel from?

RF:
Definitely my Grandfather in the early years and my father Sam who embodies the best of Australian entrepreneurship. My late Uncle, George Khattar, who was a director of Dyldam also played a large part in my upbringing through the company. Without him we wouldn’t be in this position today.

DR:
How would you sum up your development philosophy and what’s shaped that over the years?

RF:
Dyldam believes in connecting people and creating communities. We have spent the past five decades re-framing the Australian dream of home ownership.

DR:
When you think about the future of the Dyldam, what does it look like?

RF:
We are striving for the name Dyldam to be synonymous with quality apartment living. We will spend future decades delivering that standard.



Related News
A new large-format retail centre in regional Victoria sells for $51 million; Vicinity sell a 25% stake in their Mt Ommaney Centre in QLD for $94.5 million; Stockland acquire two North Sydney office towers for a combined total of $121 million; plus more
The Redcape Hotel Group has recently parted with the St George Hotel in Belmore NSW for $47.1 million; A mixed-use site in Bayswater VIC was picked up by a local developer for close to $4 million; An owner-occupier has snapped up a standalone industrial warehouse within Bibra Lake’s prime industrial precinct for $1.145 million; plus more
Coca-Cola Amatil has sold its historic Thebarton bottling site to a local developer for $37.3 million; The Castlereagh Club in Sydney’s CBD traded hands for just shy of $20 million; A private developer paid $2.425 million for a prominent Sunshine Coast commercial site; plus more