James Fennell
B.Econ (UQ), FAICD

James Fennell sees investment and development in a different way.

James first ever job was at 15 as a ‘chalkie’ with the ASX. His next one was renovating his grandfather’s holiday house. From the outset finance, investments and property have been instinctive.

An overseas transfer in Banking built an interest in doing things in different ways. Business could be done differently, investing could be responsible and development could lead to shared outcomes. Time working in regional Queensland gave him an appreciation of how built form and the environment and people’s lives are closely intertwined.

The hard edge side of his financial training honed feasibility assessments, project delivery metrics, repositioning strategies, value maximizing outcomes, debt structuring and equity returns. The experience gained by helping others reach their goals has sat comfortably beside these financial outcomes. The significant projects that have been completed returned both financial and broader non-financial wins to others. From reworking property assets for owners to achieve optimum value and returns to other public forums such as assisting not for profit organisations and public enterprises to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.



“I believe we enrich lives by creating better ways for people to live, to work and to interact.
The environments that we create should empower us. Ethical development is not
the conversion of one use for another but the creation of something better,
something useful, something that improves us and takes us forward.”



During his development career James has directed all aspects of project delivery, including concept and site procurement, development approval, design work up and managing public support and objection issues. Acquisitions and divestments, construction, leasing, finance, structuring, management, re-capitalizing, joint ventures, negotiating, and repositioning: they are all within his skill set.

The scope and scale of developments undertaken by James are just as diverse as the breadth of his exposure. From very large master planned residential subdivisions, commercial mixed use property developments, government developments, specialized operations, high density to broad acre residential and commercial construction through to rural property enterprises.

James has also successfully managed commercial transactions with major organisations including various Government agencies and departments in Queensland. National public entities such as  Telstra, Leighton Properties, Australand, Westfield, Stockland, Coles, Lion Nathan, Woolworths as well as many private entities.

Urban Properties reflects the experience, the diversity and the commitment of its founder. After a range of successful developments throughout Queensland, including residential, commercial, retail and special use developments, Urban Properties is now based in Cairns. From its headquarters in Cairns, Urban Properties now delivers outcomes across the State.

Urban Properties footprint covers projects from Millhouse Estate in Edmonton, Bluewater Park Estate at Trinity Park, The Village Edge at Manoora, the Orchard Bentley Park, Cardno North Qld Office - City, Diploma Close – Rockhampton, Riverstone Heights – Gordonvale, Eric Townhouses Goodna , Emerald Gardens Laidley and Collins Avenue Edge Hill with more to come.

In addition to his passion for developing smart, adaptable, and livable projects, James is an active contributor to the community, assisting various school, charity, political and community organisations in his own back yard and also overseas. A special needs child and a large family of 6 keeps James in touch with the realities, the blessings and the opportunities in life.