Yarra Park The City’s RM9 billion ($2.6 billion) Melbourne Square has been performing well since it was first launched in the year 2017. With the first stage complete and transferred in March 2021 The developer plans to begin the second stage which will be a residential tower, named Blvd this month.
Blvd, which soft-launched its doors this month, is securing 30% in reservations coming from an Australian marketplace, Yarra Park City CEO Woon Chong Boon tells City & Country in a live interview.
Melbourne Square is a freehold development of five acres on Southbank, Melbourne. The development was created through Yarra Park City, a joint venture with OSK Property and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) It has the total Gross Development Value (GDV) at A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion).
In the midst of 0.6 acres The 73-storey Boulevard has 591 units, with built-ups that range between 50 sq m and 177 sq m and prices ranging from A$517,000 to A$3.2 million. Most floors will feature 11 units, however levels 56 and higher will have only six units per floor. These are known as premium units. The tower is estimated to have an estimated GDV in the region of RM2 billion. It is scheduled to be completed in 2026.
2 floors are devoted to amenities, including outdoor parks, a 25m pool area, a spa and sauna, a gym as well as a simulator, an auditorium and a karaoke room.
The 55th floor will be reserved exclusively for those who live in the top units. It includes a gym along with a lounge area and dining room. On this floor there will be co-working spaces that are accessible to everyone who lives there.
As wellness is becoming more integral to our lives, Yarra Park City plans to join the WELL Platinum certification. It will also incorporate sustainable solutions for the whole structure. It will improve insulation of ceilings and walls for more comfort in terms of thermal and acoustic along with electric vehicle charging and smart home automation, among other things.
“We believe it’s crucial as we have observed an increasing trend in the post-Covid-19 world, where people are increasingly aiming for health. Wellness has gone from being an ‘nice thing to have’ to a must-have in our day-to-day lives.” Woon says. Woon.
The progress in Melbourne Square
The first phase in Melbourne Square, previously an open-air car parking space includes 1,054 apartments, 6,100 sq m of retail space as well as a 1.8-acre park. The residential part is nearly completely occupied and approximately 10% and 12% of buyers being Malaysians% to 12% of the buyers are Malaysians.
The retail space is supported by the 4,100 square meter Woolworths supermarket, which includes six specialty stores, and a nursery, Nido Early School. Six of the speciality stores one of them has been filled with Woolworths liquor shop, BWS; two by an Asian supermarket; and the third with a cafe and an eatery serving Malaysian food. One of the stores is unoccupied.
Woon says she believes that Melbourne Square receives about 25,000 people per week, and adds that the arrival of Woolworths was a factor in the increase in number. “The neighborhood is mostlyresidential, in nature. Woolworths is our only fully-lined supermarket is available in the Southbank region.”
He says that the podium’s retail space was transferred to Perth-based real estate funds manager Primewest for a sum of A$70 million in December of 2020. Primewest was later renamed Centuria has been appointed by Colliers to oversee the retail area.
The masterplan originally proposed for Melbourne Square consists of six towers that offer retail, residential hotel, office and hotel elements. Woon says his masterplan hasn’t been completed and there is 2.1 acres to be developed. “It is all dependent on the type of product that is in demand as we move forward, and we’ll adapt our offerings to meet that need.”
He also says that there is a demand for apartments in the present and explains that there is a shortage of apartment units Melbourne since the opening of the borders in February of this year. This witnessed a rise in the number of people coming to the country. “The projected number for FY2023 is at 400,000 net migration from overseas. The projected number for the next one year’s fiscal is 31,590. Over the course of five years we will be contemplating 1.5 million people from overseas. Around 40% of these migrants will be coming to Victoria. This means that we’re talking about 90,000.”
“These people will require a place to live and buy or rent. Therefore, there is a huge shortage of housing in the present. In the last few years, we were shattered due to the pandemic. a rise in construction costs, and higher borrowing costs, and there aren’t many new property launches as contrasted to the peak years in 2015 and 2016” the expert states.
“The marketplace has evolved. We are re-examining the master plan and looking at what’s the most effective product we can offer,” says Woon, saying that the build-to rent concept is being considered by the company as well.
Property perspectives and plans for the future
Woon states that Melbourne Square will continue to be the city’s main goal as it tries to build the landbank in Australia.
The developer has bought around 2 acres of Southbank comprising two adjacent sites with a total value of A$97million. Acquisition of the initial site located at the 87-117 Queensbridge Street was completed in July of this year. The acquisition of the 2nd site located at the 190 City Road was completed the next month in November. The developer plans to develop an apartment building.
“Currently it’s an office space that we lease out. We have plans for development after we finish Melbourne Square. We lease it to generate rental income as of now.”
He is optimistic about the long-term outlook of the market. “Looking to Australia and, specifically, Melbourne, the population increase [in Melbourneis among the most significant among Australian cities. We’re talking about an increase ofbetween 1.8% to 2% each year due to the migration of foreigners including highly skilled students and workers.”
“With increasing numbers of people moving to Melbourne and the surrounding areas, more homes will be needed.”
“The opportunities of property are always present particularly in the next five years when 1.5 million net overseas immigrants are set to enter Australia. Of that, 400 to 500,000 are moving to Melbourne. The increase in population will require new dwellings to be built particularly as the vacancy rate in Melbourneis at less than% which is quite low at the moment.”
“Therefore when it comes to residential development in Melbourne We are extremely optimistic. This is the reason we purchased the two-acre sites in the last year.”