827A Glenferrie Road
"Most people don’t know what they want to do, but I knew as a young boy I wanted to be in the building industry,” Gerard Coutts remarks when discussing how he came to be where he is, founder of his own small local business.
Gerard Coutts & Associates, located on the corner of Glenferrie and Barkers Roads, is an independent project management consultancy providing advice and services in the land, property and development sector.
Gerard’s father owned a construction company and his ancestors were stonemasons, even laying some of the blue stone located right here in Hawthorn. With a family history in the building industry it was a no-brainer for Gerard to pursue similar work.
Originally from Horsham in rural Victoria, Gerard moved to Geelong where he studied architecture at Deakin University then moved onto his post graduate study at RMIT, studying project management.
Gerard sees small business as important for young people, many of his employees starting their careers with him. Gerard and his employees work with a number of clients from local government, state government and education centres like Swinburne University.
The business started in 2005 from the comfort of Gerard’s home. Outgrowing this, in 2008 they moved to Cook Street, Hawthorn and in 2010 landed at their current office here in Glenferrie Road.
Spending a lot of time in the Hawthorn area growing up, as his grandparents lived in Box Hill, where Gerard resides now, he is quite familiar with Glenferrie Hawthorn. He has seen how the area has evolved, “Glenferrie is a very consistent, high quality street” pointing out that there are not many large chain retail shops, giving the area a unique feel.
Gerard makes the most of the areas mix of businesses, having coffees at Liar Liar, Rococo and Marci, lunch at Samurai, purchasing gifts from Homing Instincts or Readings, adding to his extravagant shirt collection with one of a kind picks at Stranger Things Emporium and even participating in fitness training with DX3. Via his consulting firm he frequently interacts with TGM Engineers and Triangle Printing.
The “culture and community is nice and supportive”, retailers remember their customers. This builds relationships and develops trust.
The public transport options are another positive for Gerard who usually drives to work but uses trains and trams for any meetings throughout the day.
Although Gerard focuses on the positive aspects of the area, he does notice the rubbish left on the street especially cigarette butts. He finds this frustrating, more so along the north end of the street, as he knows that within a community its everyone’s job to do their part in keeping the area clean and enjoyable.