Paul Harris, Director Development Management at First Urban

Paul Harris Equation: Hands-on + Client-focussed = On-time + On-Budget!

Paul Harris
Director of Development Management at First Urban
Qualifications: Ass.Diploma Bus.Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology
He has 20 years’ experience in Property Development and worked on successful projects across the spectrum.


With over 20 years’ experience in Property Development Paul Harris has worked on successful projects across the spectrum, from boutique apartment buildings though residential towers and office facilities to major shopping complexes. This varied experience makes him the ideal person to oversee the Project Management of a multi-faceted development like RockTec City.

After working in the field for about a decade, Paul and business partner John Nave decided to venture out on their own and founded First Urban in 2008. In the 12-years since then, they have overseen projects worth over $2.5 bn across the various sectors of the Melbourne Property Market, producing some of the city’s most recognisable buildings such as Tiara, Milano and Verve in the CBD. They believe in building long-term relationships with top quality developers and through their hands-on, client-focussed Property Management they have earned a track-record of delivering even the most complex of projects, on-time and on-budget. We asked Paul for his opinion of RockTec City:

What gets you excited about this project?

There aren’t many projects we get involved in that push new boundaries; and that is both exciting and also challenging. As it evolves, RockTec City will attract businesses and business talent from all around the world.

Consequently, the precinct’s early concepts and masterplans have to tap into both what is required initially to bring them to Melbourne, and once here, what is needed to help them flourish and grow. The project must be technologically advanced, sustainable, adaptable, and connected; but most of all, it has to be a great place to work and live. Being able to work alongside forward thinkers and creatives/designers who are capable of being on top of these things – tomorrow’s needs – today is very exciting!


How would those living within the city describe it?

Our aim is for those living in RockTec City will describe it as the perfect place for them to live, work and play. Because it is a place where business opportunities are unsurpassed and all of their commercial and personal needs are catered for; a great place to live with well-designed sustainable housing and access to parks, gardens and waterways; a place where everything they need is nearby – higher education, shopping, healthcare – and a place where generations of families can live together with all ages and communities included and considered.

What is your favourite element of RockTec City?

My favourite element is actually not one of the 6 ‘elements’ described in the vision document – it is the green spine, the connection between Kororoit Creek at one end and the green reserve at the other. In a precinct designed around start-up businesses and employment, the creation of tranquil spaces providing the community with ample opportunities for recreation and mindfulness, coupled with the desire for the overall precinct to become walkable, will allow residents and the workforce to obtain a healthy work/life balance.

Do you think this project will change how people in Melbourne live? If so, in what ways?

Absolutely, I think the project will alter people’s expectations for future developments of a similar scale – RockTec City will allow residents to work, live, study, shop, relax, and even retire in the one location. It will be more technologically advanced, more connected, more sustainable, and, unlike many activity centres, RockTec City will become a destination for like-minded people, catering for the needs of today’s forward thinkers and future generations.

RockTec City combines the best of the world’s most engaging neighbourhoods with Melbourne’s unique culture that has resulted in multiple “Most Liveable City” awards. The ground-breaking project is creating a thriving, healthy, loveable, liveable community through fashioning places and precincts that inspire and connect people. The project has been designed with the desired lifestyle preeminent, rather than as an afterthought. The result will be an environment of concentrated, hyper-connected, energy, making RockTec City a focus of business incubation leveraging global networks to create opportunities at scale. Integrating a wide variety of sustainable residential, employment, entertainment, recreation, retail, food and beverage facilities RockTec City will allow people to work, rest and play in the midst of a natural environment.


RockTec City is the best of 21st Century living!

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