SPECIAL REPORT: One of Perth’s most prominent names in property has had a transcendent effect on the city in 2016.
One of Perth’s most prominent names in property has had a transcendent effect on the city in 2016.
A lot of people might consider the completion of a 20-year journey to create one of Perth’s most significant tourism and hospitality developments a great opportunity to ride off into the sunset.
However, Adrian Fini is not like a lot of people, and instead of taking the time to rest on his laurels, he’s set on delivering Perth’s next icon.
To say the influential property developer was busy in 2016 would be an understatement of some magnitude.
His Como the Treasury Hotel at the State Buildings was named as the second best hotel in the world by international travel magazine Conde Nast, while Mr Fini was named Western Australian of the Year in June, not only for his contributions to Perth property and hospitality, but also his philanthropic efforts.
Mr Fini’s next big project is likely to further cement his legacy as one of the biggest influences on Perth’s hospitality-driven evolution to becoming a significant city on the global stage.
In September, a joint venture he leads was named as the successful proponent to deliver an apartments and hotel project on the western edge of Elizabeth Quay, which will deliver significant amenity to the river’s edge as well as a public art gallery and 45-storey viewing platform.
The fact that the proposal is aimed at providing a big community benefit comes as no surprise to David Mack, who worked closely with Mr Fini since the pair teamed up with Barry Jones in 1989 to establish FJM Property, the development entity behind the State Buildings refurbishment.
“Adrian’s interest is in unique projects,” Mr Mack told Business News.
“At times we’ve looked at buying standard suburban hotels and he’s said ‘no, I don’t want to be in that game, I want to be providing a point of difference’.”
Mr Mack said Mr Fini’s father, Toni, had passed down to his son a huge work ethic and a raft of knowledge in the construction industry, but it was the younger Mr Fini’s keen eye for detail that played a big part in his success.
“He’s got enormous creative strengths, often a set of plans will be pulled out and Adrian will look at them and he’s made three changes to the plans while I’m still trying to work out where the road and where the building is,” Mr Mack said.
“And that’s not exaggerating – it’s extraordinary the speed at which he can do this.
“He obviously also has a strong feel for business, and the combination of those skills has resulted in him doing rather well.”
Another long-time business partner is Howard Cearns, part of Mr Fini’s hospitality dream team that introduced American-style Pale Ale to Australia through Little Creatures Brewing in 2000, and teamed up to deliver the Alex Hotel in Northbridge, another award-winning venue.
“Less known is his deep understanding and appreciation for good urban planning, architecture, travel, environmental issues, art and design, and this is where I think he has a great advantage,” Mr Cearns told Business News.
“Foreseeing what the market wants or his heading, and being in touch with and surrounding himself with innovative people allows him to filter and apply the right thinking and that advantage to his projects.
“Visions for something as out there as Little Creatures or the Alex Hotel would be difficult for many to comprehend, but Adrian has always picked good ideas up quickly and contributed to their growth.
“Having people like Adrian involved in the decision-making going forward on how Perth develops in an era where getting diversification in tourism, education and culture right and embedded will be critical to our future.”