Joint Venture - Property Development

Ok, here's the deal....

- Purchased a block of land with a view to subdivide
- Land purchased in a trust structure with a company as trustee
- Have DA approval and construction certificate for 7 lot subdivision
- Lots 1 - 6 range in size from 1390 - 2560m2 and lot 7 is 2.15ha in a established residential area 15 - 20 mins drive from Newcastle city centre
- All that is left to do is road, infrastructure, register plan
- DA only current until Dec 10 but some approvals expire in Sep/Oct 10

Construction costs ended up being double of initial estimates!!! Development may not be as profitable for me anymore. If I sell the property undeveloped in the current market then I will incur a significant loss.

Currently have about 50% equity in the block but getting further finance will probably be an issue when I add constructions costs and council contributions. Have tried pre-selling off the plan but without success. Prospective purchases find it difficult to visualise the block in its current state.

My thoughts were to pursue a joint venture, preferably with a small, local civil engineering firm who can complete construction at cost. In lieu of payment for construction I would transfer some blocks of land.

So my questions are:
- Is this course of action feasible?
- Are there civil engineering firms out there who would take an interest?
- What is the best way to approach this COA with a firm?
- How do I approach this from a legal perspective?
- Does anyone have any experience with this COA?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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