Getting to Know Nic De Luca, De Luca Corporation
- As one of LFRA’s newest Associate Members, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the De Luca Corporation?
I founded De Luca Corporation in 1994 with the simple aim of building a business who knew its people and provided a personal service for its clients. 26 years later, and with a group turnover in excess of $200M, I am proud to say that we still know all of our people and our clients receive the same level of personal service they received all those years ago.
Today De Luca is a multifaceted business participating in the construction, development, investment, and childcare sectors. Our core development and construction focus remains firmly in the Large Format Retail, retail and industrial sectors and we have maintained relationships which have spanned decades.
We continue to be a family owned business with a lean and effective management structure located in our head office in Milton, Brisbane.
- And what Large Format Retail sites has De Luca constructed over the years?
Our entry into the Large Format Retail sector began when we developed our first Bunning’s Trade Centre 12 years ago. Having spent over a decade building and developing high quality industrial buildings, we saw Large Format Retail as a natural extension of our skillset, as the fundamentals of construction were the same.
Since that first trade centre we have gone on to deliver over 20 Bunnings stores throughout Queensland and Northern NSW and it remains one of my proudest achievements and strongest relationships.
Over the last 10+ years we have completed many bulky goods projects for developers like Primewest and delivered turnkey solutions for tenants including Spotlight.
- Nobody predicted anything like COVID-19 to happen. How has the De Luca team responded to the pandemic?
Our response to COVID was the same as our response to the GFC – acknowledge that there is a global problem going on around us, however don’t get caught up in all the noise and fear and keep doing what we are doing until we are told to stop.
We quickly then set our mindset to focus on opportunities which may arise whilst others panicked and lost sight of the end game. This response and approach have seen our turnover grow during COVID as we continued to acquire and deliver quality projects which crystalised in uncertain times.
The message to my executive during this pandemic was simple – “our role as leaders is to bring certainty to an uncertain environment” and we continue to show up each day to do this.
- In addition to developing and constructing Large Format Retail sites, can you tell us about what you do off-site, particularly in the community?
For me personally, contribution is one of my strongest needs and provides my greatest delight. I have been blessed to be involved in a national charity called Youngcare which was established by a friend of a friend in 2005. At Youngcare we provide dignified housing solutions for young people with high care needs and provide our residents a normal life – something we often take for granted.
I have been helping Youngcare since its inception and have been on the board for the last 7 years. I was also fortunate enough to have Chaired the organisation for 4 years taking over from the original founder which to this day remains my most humbling role.
As an extension of my commitment to contribution, I have this year established the De Luca Charitable Foundation, a not for profit foundation with a purpose of “Contribution for life”. Our foundation will next year develop and own 10 apartments and villas in Noosa which will be home to 10 young people with high care needs. The project will also be a symbol of our legacy to a cause which is dearly important to me.
- And finally, what can we expect from De Luca in coming months?
There is so much happening at De Luca now and it’s often hard to articulate all the moving parts as it changes daily!
Some of our key developments currently under construction include retail and Large Format Retail developments at Berrinba, Redbank, Robina and Plainland in Queensland. In tandem to these projects we continue to build and deliver all three new Bunning’s stores in Queensland along with a raft of projects in the Large Format Retail, industrial, retail, fuel and fast-food space.
Through our continued focus and commitment to provide certainty to our clients, we continue to find that new opportunity shows up each day. This opportunity continues to provide myself and our team the opportunity to live our company purpose of “Inspiring people to make it happen” and that is what we continue to do.