5 Minutes With…John Tormey, Brisbane Airport Corporation


With more than 40 years’ experience in the commercial property industry, John Tormey is one of Queensland’s most respected property industry leaders. As General Manager of Commercial Businesses, John leads Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) property development, property management, parking and transport businesses, helping the company deliver significant growth opportunities for Queensland through the airport operation and the development potential of its site.

 Q. Can you tell us about your career history?
Before joining BAC, I was the director of property consultancy Tormey Property. As an independent consultant I provided strategic advice to a number of large developer and investor clients including the Port of Brisbane and BAC’s property division, BNE Property. This included the development and/or sale of Green Star office buildings, distribution centres, major warehouse buildings and the Northshore Hamilton property master plan.

Prior to that I spent 17 years at Jones Lang LaSalle in Queensland, initially as Joint Managing Director then as Managing Director. During this time I led the generation of major business with institutional and development clients and was responsible for numerous retail and commercial developments throughout the state.
Q. What can you tell us about BNE Property?
BNE Property is BAC’s property development and management division. We are responsible for guiding the sustainable development of Brisbane Airport’s 2,700 hectare land holding – with around 600 hectares of land available for development.

The property development team facilitates and develops new commercial, industrial and retail buildings at Brisbane Airport. These include purpose-built facilities for tenants to lease, and ground leases to facilitate owner/occupiers or investors. The team manages projects from start to finish, working closely with highly experienced consultants to deliver our clients’ needs.

Brisbane Airport's race track designed by V8 Supercar and Bathurst 1000 Champion Mark Skaife.

Our property management team continues this service once developments are complete. They look after our property portfolio of 35 buildings which is currently valued at $1.248 billion.

This includes the day-to-day management of approximately 200 leases with tenants such as Australian Federal Police, Aviation Australia, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Customs, DHL, Qantas, Royal Flying Doctor Service, GPC Asia Pacific, FedEx, Toll, Airbus and Virgin Australia.
Q. What’s in the pipeline for BNE Property in 2017?
Land development will commence on the BNE Auto Mall featuring a Mark Skaife designed test track. We’re currently negotiating with manufacturers and dealers on a number of the sites, and look forward to announcing our partners next year.

The Skygate Home and Life Centre is taking shape, with a number of large format retailers expressing interest in tenancies. The proposed development will be located adjacent to the existing DFO site.

The purpose-built office and laboratory for Hanson Construction Materials will be complete early in the year. The building is the first within the Boulevard Business Park with three remaining campus-style office buildings remaining for development.

Brisbane Airport's SkygateThe $150 million Hotels development will be completed in 2017, bringing two new hotels to the precinct; a 5-star Pullman hotel and 3.5-star Ibis hotel totalling 373 rooms. The development also includes a conference centre.

Direct Couriers’ new warehouse and office will open at Export Park. The purpose-built 2,280 square metres facility will accommodate the growing business already based within the precinct.

We are also receiving a growing number of commercial and industrial enquiries from businesses wanting to base their head offices at Brisbane Airport, so we look forward to announcing even more developments in the New Year.
Q. Why do you think Brisbane Airport is becoming increasingly popular place for business?
The airport’s size, accessibility and amenity are continuing to attract great non-aviation commercial and industrial businesses. Skygate in particular is gaining a strong reputation as a commercial hub; the recent $35 million expansion to DFO including new alfresco dining and multi-deck car parking for 1,000 vehicles, together with a 24-hour Woolworths and gym, a golf precinct, childcare, medical centre, hair and beauty and 160 retailers – it’s an attractive place for businesses looking to centralise or expand with purpose-built premises.

Brisbane Airport's SkygateAs a 24-hour global trade and commerce centre, we have the space and capacity for development and growth in a strategically designed and ideally located environment.
Q. What will Brisbane Airport look like in 10 and 20 years’ time?
Developments such as the above contribute to our transformation into a commercial, industrial and lifestyle hub. We welcomed some 22.4 million passengers last year, which is expected to more than double by 2034. BNE is on the cusp of the most exciting phase in our history which will see more than $3.8 billion privately invested over the next decade to build critical infrastructure at the airport.

The signature project is of course the New Parallel Runway. This is a $1.35 billion project which remains on schedule for completion in 2020 and will create an estimated 2,700 jobs during peak construction. This will contribute to our expected 50,000-strong workforce by 2029.

Key precincts including Skygate, Airport South and Airport Central are set for growth with planning underway for a number of large office and warehouse developments.

For more information on development and leasing opportunities at Brisbane Airport, visit

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