The affluent riverside suburb of Como is most prominently known for its large stately homes and treelined suburban streets. However, as its population has matured and families grow up, the range of residential product suitable for people wanting to downsize yet stay in the area has been limited.
The M/26 by Match apartment complex was specifically developed for this market.
Located in an idyllic treelined street just minutes’ walk to the popular café strip and theatre, the site offers easy access to the Kwinana Freeway and close proximity to CBD. It is also a short stroll to the banks of the Swan River.
The design requirements needed to both reflect the luxuries that are befitting to the suburb, as well as accommodate the floorplan and space demands of the downsizer market.
The property was designed by reputable architects CCN Architects on behalf of Match, and the 40- apartment boutique complex was deliberately designed to be understated and airy, with interior scheme choices that reflect the popular Hamptons and Manhattan styles.
From a building perspective, the site’s exact location in relation to the Swan River had some challenges. It fell into Coastal Conditions, which meant that all external materials would be required to be ‘fit for purpose’, and additional building considerations would be needed for building on top of the high-water table with a basement carpark.
M/Construction Director, Michael Read, said being an integral part of the development process meant that the company had the flexibility to address all building and material requirements with innovation and value-add where possible.
“M/26 by Match was not merely completed on time and to specification, it has showcased how attention-to-detail and innovation can deliver a broad range of ongoing benefits,” he said.
“An extraordinary amount of focus was given to areas that are not overtly evident to those visiting the property but will ensure the longevity and quality of the investment for many years to come.
M/Construction reinforced the entire basement wall structure with some 380 concrete continuous pilings at 450mm diameter running from ground level, down to the basement and beneath. Once the piles were in place and the site was excavated, a large amount of de-watering and waterproofing took place, including all concrete footings, lift shaft, tower crane base and fire tanks.
Extensive future proofing provisions for the underground water table level were made within the basement area. In the event that the water table was ever to rise above the recorded maximum level, a water pump could be installed at that time to allow water to be pumped into council’s stormwater system. Given that a water pump may never be a requirement for the property, the forethought to circumvent its installation has effectively removed the need for regular servicing and maintenance and all associated strata costs. Further, All storerooms in the basement are raised on concrete plinths for added precautions.
Two x 72kl concrete fire tanks with the capacity to hold the water reserve were installed, which were backed by two x 42kw diesel water pumps to be used for pushing the water to a booster cabinet located at street level for the Fire Brigade trucks to connect to. An additional fire safety measure included the installation of auto-closing sliding fire doors in the basement car park to compartmentalise the area to avoid spread of fire.
Above ground, all external items were graded to some of the highest specifications to deal with and last through conditions of a property located nearby a large body of water. The majority of products provided a lengthy warranty for coatings and finishes.
“We were able to re-engineer several aspects of the project, including a concealed air conditioning system in lieu of an unsightly wall mounted split-system, as well as the introduction of a polished plaster feature wall to the lobby. Such detail can add immeasurable value to the property and create a consistent and uninterrupted experience for the end-users.
“The project was subject to some of the toughest environmental requirements by the City of South Perth, which not only met, but also exceeded Greenstar accreditation in some cases.”
M/Construction sourced and applied sustainable materials throughout the project. This included Greenstar Concrete to slabs and AFS walls, Greenstar reinforcement in concrete slabs and AFS walls, low VOC paints, adhesives and linings. The directive was to achieve a minimum of 51 points. However, M/Construction delivered a project that exceeded this by 13 points to 64.
M/Construction Senior Contract Manager, Mark Gannaway, said the construction team were meticulous in the delivery of the building and effortlessly adapted to unforeseen Covid-19 conditions.
“M/Construction is one of the few companies that use advanced technology to manage the development process. This enables the highest level of site-tracking and safety processes across all our projects, he said.
“In terms of M/26 by Match, I can tell you that our workforce recorded a total of 63,633hrs, 288,742min and 5,132sec based on the output of our site tracking software. This technology enormously simplified the increased requirements brought on by Covid-19, where we had to manage rigorous cleaning procedures and stringently monitor who and how many workers were on site at any given time.
“Time delays and an inadequate workforce can have an adverse impact on a project like this, so we take our systems and processes, methodologies and materials extremely seriously. Being part of the larger development framework makes us accountable for this and gives us the flexibility to manage a building process that will benefit the end user, project investor and company reputation. That’s not always the case with third party builders.”
M/Construction’s parent company, M/Group, is an integrated property group that offers services in investment, development, construction and real estate.
“The days of the traditional builder is well and truly over. Today, construction is a significantly more regulated and controlled industry and the successful players are highly professional with knowledge that must span across a whole range of disciplines,” Michael continued.
“While we will always look to research and test new innovations, all our fixtures and fitting are from well-known brands and sourced from credible suppliers. We place the quality of brands such as Bosch and Reece, ahead of the potential for higher margins, and we transfer all the after-service value onto the new owner.
“We are extremely proud of the standard of projects M/Construction consistently delivers and the benchmark we continue to increase in the construction game. M/26 by Match is another testament to the standard of work we deliver in Perth.”
M/26 by Match comprises of one and two-bedroom layouts across three stories. Each apartment is designed to maximise the city skyline and river views, with most floorplans running vertical to the exterior to capture the outlook across the living space and multiple bedrooms.
The project is located in Mary Street, Como, and the property has been made further distinctive by an artwork sculpture by Ayad Alqaragholli.
“(The sculpture) showcases two human figures, a man and woman, who pay homage to the multicultural tapestry of the South Perth community and how this blend of people live, love and interact,” she said.
“I hope that my sculpture will embody the positive values of life and that the wider audience who view my sculpture will feel uplifted and blessed as did I with my first experiences of this area.
M/Construction has won several coveted building awards for its work within the M/Group project network, however, the company is also highly regarded for its work for independent clients.
As seen in Master Builder’s Magazine – Spring 2020 Edition
Quest Apartment Hotel Ascot | Construction Completed August 2020Read more
Construction completion has been achieved at our second Quest Apartment-Hotel located on Great Eastern Highway in Ascot.
The Apartment Hotel consists of 112 rooms across 8 levels including a pool, conference room and business lounge.
M/26 Apartments by Match | Construction Completed July 2020Read more
Construction completion has been achieved at M/26 by Match located in the heart of Como on the doorstep of Preston Street café strip and right by the river.
M/26 Apartments by Match consists of 40 residential apartments over 3 floors. The building also includes a basement level carpark with central lift to all levels and a stunning entry lobby with artwork filling the entire hallway and a sculpture at the entrance.
S.E.C. building meets its MatchRead more
The City of Fremantle’s plan to boost the number of people living and working in the city centre has reached another important milestone, with construction starting on the M/27 by Match apartment development on Parry Street.
The development, to be undertaken by M/Group’s building division M/Construction, will include 40 apartments adjacent to the heritage-listed former S.E.C. substation.
The S.E.C. building was restored by M/Construction in 2018 to accommodate a food and beverage venue or be used as boutique office space.
M/Group was previously involved in the award-winning heritage conversion of Fremantle’s historic Dalgety Woolstores into the Heirloom apartments, as well as numerous other projects in the Fremantle area.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said he was thrilled the company was playing an important role in Fremantle’s revival.
“We’re very excited to have construction commencing on our latest project in Fremantle,” Mr Clark said.
“After the great success of the Heirloom project, which really ignited the apartment boom in Fremantle’s East End, we’re delighted to be involved in bringing life back to another of Fremantle’s heritage treasures.
“Match has had significant involvement in Fremantle and its stretch of coastline for almost a decade with many varying projects catering to people from all walks of life.
“There really is no other place in the world like Fremantle, and with the revitalisation that is currently underway we’re very confident it has a bright future.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was great to see another major development getting underway in Fremantle.
“Many years ago the council recognised that Fremantle’s economy had stagnated and we needed to get more people living and working in the city centre,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“In response we put in action a long-term plan to make Fremantle a more attractive place to invest and restore our seven-day-a-week economy.
“Changes to planning regulations to allow greater building height and density in return for improved design and sustainability measures, a common sense approach to the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and investments in major transformational projects like the Kings Square Renewal project were all central to that plan.
“It’s taken a while, but it’s really exciting to now see that work paying off with construction starting on the M/27 apartments and all of the other new developments that are happening in Freo.”
The S.E.C. building was originally constructed in 1933 for the Fremantle Municipal Tramways and Electric Lighting Board before being taken over as a substation by the State Energy Commission in 1952.
The substation ceased operation in 1980 and was converted into the Western Power Energy Museum, which operated until 2010.
The heritage works on the building included the restoration of existing brickwork, refurbishment of metal window frames and the restoration of existing large timber sliding doors.
Renewal Puts Freo On Cusp of ChangeRead more
What key drivers attracted you to develop in Fremantle and what is it that makes it attractive from a developer’s perspective?
Interestingly, our initial focus on Fremantle raised some eyebrows. In the early days we did significant work building a reputation as an inner city developer. All our projects were strategically located around the CBD and we actively promoted a new form of urban living specific to this area. It appeared in vast contrast to the eclectic beach and port side environment of Fremantle, but to us it held similar hallmarks.
What Match is very good at is identifying strategically located sites with good infrastructure and growth prospects. We laid our first claim to land in the early stages of South Beach Estate because we saw enormous potential.
Many find it hard to pigeonhole Fremantle due to its location and diverse population. However, it is without question a place where people want to live and we believed we could offer something unique to the mix.
Give us a brief overview of your Fremantle-based projects (past and current)
The Summer, South Fremantle – COMPLETED
Australia’s first Green Star Multi-Residential Building offering 36 luxury apartments with ocean views.
Heirloom by Match, Fremantle – COMPLETED
Highly celebrated and award-winning adaptive use of Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores heritage building.
M/28 by Match, South Terrace, Fremantle – COMPLETED
A boutique development of just 20 apartments and 6 commercial spaces located in the very heart of the eclectic South Terrace community.
M/27 by Match, Parry Street, Fremantle – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A boutique development of just 40 park side apartments and conservation of the heritage listed substation building located in the midst of Fremantle’s historic and cultural centre.
Somersault, Fremantle – COMPLETED
An apartment complex of 58 affordable living residences inspired by the materials and textures synonymous with Fremantle.
Sublime, North Fremantle – COMPLETED
Just 16 beautifully appointed apartments incorporating exteriors with colours that reflect the nearby “Dingo’ flour mill.
Match has also extended its interest along Fremantle’s Coastal Corridor into areas such as North Coogee and Port Coogee including apartments and terrace homes.
There’s now a long list of developments planned or underway in Fremantle – what do you think has recently made it attractive for development?
Fremantle is definitely a place where increased development activity greatly improves the area’s atmosphere and appeal.
As Perth’s second largest CBD, the transition from a tourism and industrial location to a central residential and lifestyle hub has required both good planning and a period of adjustment. As more people are attracted to the area, they stimulate demand for residential product and, in doing so, creates an atmosphere that resembled some of the best and most populous cities in the world.
The factors that today make Fremantle so attractive could not simply be switched on. Match identified the City’s potential a long time ago but knew it would take capacity to build capacity. It is so great to see what has emerged since we arrived over a decade ago.
What are your anticipations for Fremantle’s future property market and the town itself?
Match has invested heavily in Fremantle and, in particular, its coastal corridor. We now have quite a significant footprint of projects in and around the area. We wouldn’t have made Fremantle our focus if we didn’t believe in its growth and potential.
There are very few places in Australia, if not around the world, that offers such a vibrant urban atmosphere with outstanding community infrastructure, as well as access to a coastal lifestyle. This is unique and unique translates to value.
We believe the town will continue to evolve as more people move into the community. Fremantle will continue to be a sought-after location, and quality product will become the differentiator in the property game.
We have been extremely lucky to work with a city council that is both visionary and takes a collaborative approach to development. Good planning underpins the success of any environment, and shutting the doors on development completely could have been disastrous for Fremantle.
What many might not realise is that what we are seeing now is the result of a considered approach that has been in the works for over a decade.
Strategic development sites, such as Heirloom, have been instrumental to opening key areas of the City to the public and reinvigorating the area’s incredible history.
There have been many bold moves taken over the years by the City of Fremantle, so it’s great to see everything come together for them and the community.
Comments by Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
It’s a Race to Get the Best Sites at the Right PriceRead more
The Governments’ incentives have created a flurry of buyer interest with Perth’s best homesites being snapped up at pre-Covid-19 prices. However, as demand increases and stock dries up, buyers need to be aware of inevitable price increases that are likely to create an impact across the entire home building supply chain.
Since a consecutive string of government announcements introduced home building incentives to stimulate the economy, Perth developers have been working tirelessly to meet new demand from people wanting to take advantage of the incredible savings.
Of course, the best and most well-located homesites are attracting most of the attention.
Boutique land developer, Monument, is experiencing this more than most. The company specialises in boutique, high demand and limited supply land-sites located close to city in established areas.
In the past month, Monument has sold over 40 homesites across its three estates, and its sales consultants are taking new enquiries on a daily basis.
Mr John Wroth, Director of Monument parent company, M/Group, says while this seems like a good problem to have, buyers need to act fast in order to secure their home and land package before the industry responds to the increased demand.
“The response to the government incentives has been enormous, but the reality is that many developers had been running according to a measured release plan of land stock prior to the announcements, so the best available lots are now simply walking out the door,” he said.
“The process of new approvals is arduous and timely and in the case of boutique developments such as ours, there is only a limited amount of land we have available. While we have no intention of increasing our land prices, other companies will find it hard to avoid the pressure for builders to meet demand through their supply chain is likely to impact building costs.”
“It is imperative that buyers recognise the extraordinary buying conditions and ensure they are finance-ready to act fast in securing the best possible land package for their new home.”
Here are some tips to help you secure the best lots on the market.
- Bigger is often seen as better!
Larger lots continue to prove the most sought after and, as such, are often in short supply. While it may be easier to secure larger lots in the outer suburbs, value is always going to be on location so do your homework and buy wisely.
- Be on the front foot with frontages
Home frontages of 15m or more are rare and popular. They often have a wait list of multiple offers in place, so it is prudent to get in fast and secure one as early as possible.
- Be finance ready
Make sure you have your finance pre-approved and speak to your mortgage broker or bank before making the commitment to buy a lot. Being prepare not only gives you the buying power to secure the lot you want quickly, it also means you won’t miss out.
- Secure your building contract now
It is unlikely that Perth will experience better building conditions any time soon, particularly with incentives that could save up to almost $70k on a house and land package. It is therefore important to recognise that the cost of building a home is currently based on pre-Covid-19 prices and builders are only able to commit to these prices if you sign quickly.
- Location is everything
Don’t be bedazzled by low prices in large outer-suburb estates. Your money will work harder and your home will be valued higher in the long-term if your land is surrounded by established infrastructure. You’ll also have the benefit of not having wait years for it to arrive.
- Don’t settle for second best
Monument offers a range of homesites across three well-located environments at various stages of development.
Atop in Beeliar is currently selling elevated, ocean view and park side lots in Stage 2 and 3 from $304,000, with Stage 4 scheduled for release and ready for titles by November. This stage will offer ocean view lots from $298,000.
The Wedge in Wellard North incorporates a community park, playground and walk trails, and is surrounded by the natural bushland of Bulrush Nature Reserve. It has sold out of Stage 1, and will have titles in place for Stage 2 in October. Lots are available from 375sq.m to 537sq.m with prices starting from $174,000.
Finally, the company’s inaugural land estate, Hamelin Park in Secret Harbour. It is just three-minutes from the beach and only has six lots left, which are priced from $194,000.
All Monument land estates are designed to impress and are located in well-established suburbs with shops, good schools, public transport and employment at your doorstep.
For more information visit www.landbymonument.com.au
Prices and sales of apartments are stable, but developers are calling for more stamp duty reform.
Western Australia’s property developers hope the physical isolation that has helped mitigate the worst of COVID-19 in this state will also insulate the local apartment market from a contagion of a different kind.
While sales of off-the-plan apartments on the east coast are reportedly down 15 per cent or more in recent weeks, that trend is yet to fully materialise in Perth, at least anecdotally.
Apartments in central Perth have remained relatively resilient during the past three years in terms of maintaining their resale values, according to research analysts PropertyESP.
Director Samantha Reece said this resilience, paired with Perth’s location, had so far buffered the market from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
“For the first time in history we are actually glad that we’re isolated,” Ms Reece told Business News.
“While there will be some national companies that feel the effect from the east coast – there is a bit more of a lag happening there than here – those companies based in WA, I believe, will actually continue on business as usual.”
That appears to be the case for Subiaco-based Stirling Capital, which recently achieved practical completion at its 26 on Charles mixed-use development in South Perth.
Stirling Capital sales and marketing director Daniel-Paul Filippi said just a small number of the 28 boutique apartments and four levels of commercial office space remained for sale.
“In terms of valuations, we’ve had zero impact,” Mr Filippi told Business News.
“I’ve had all the major valuers through our Charles Street project and we’ve had no problem.
“People are waiting to see if there’s going to be those sorts of big drops that have been reported [on the east coast]. We didn’t have a lot of foreign buyers anyway, so I don’t see as much impact.”
Mr Filippi said the market’s saving grace could be the resources sector, as one of the key drivers of the state’s economic activity.
“The fact is, WA is still ticking along, so everything is indicating that maybe WA and Darwin will be the least affected by all of this,” he said.
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been less disruption on projects than initially anticipated, with inquiries returning just as quickly as Perth moved through the easing of restrictions. Mr Clark said inquiries had also tended to be more qualified and ready to buy.
Given that market confidence, the group is pushing ahead with plans to start construction on its M/27 apartment development in Fremantle.
“In terms of valuation, Perth is in a unique position comparative to the rest of Australia,” Mr Clark said.
“Our property values were already at the lower end of the property cycle, and apartment prices currently represent excellent value for money.
“While the fallout of the pandemic might create value variances in other states, I believe it is unlikely in Perth.
“In light of the activity over the last few months, I would expect to see apartment prices on our projects hold as the market restabilises and returns to growth in 2021.”
M/Group is progressing plans to start construction on its M/27 40-apartment development in Fremantle.
Apartment developer Paul Blackburne is also expecting prices to remain steady, and said COVID-19 had not yet affected sales, with most of his apartment stock already sold.
Blackburne’s Marina East development, located in Ascot Waters, finished construction in May with 80 per cent of apartments sold.
“The past 12 months have been our highest-selling year on record with $203 million in sales in just the first nine months,” Mr Blackburne told Business News.
“Now that things are opening up more and the major threat of the crisis is most likely over, people have started buying in larger volumes.
“Prices had gone up for four months in a row. The next year would have seen 3 to 5 per cent growth.”
Outlook Data compiled by real estate services firm JLL revealed that apartment sales in the inner city were down 3.9 per cent in the 12 months to the fourth quarter of 2019.
However, apartment sales activity was up 12.5 per cent in the fourth quarter on the preceding three months.
JLL manager of strategic research Ronak Bhimjiani said this had most likely been fuelled by the 75 per cent stamp duty rebate on off-the-plan purchases.
Additionally, Mr Bhimjiani said apartment values increased by 1.7 per cent in Perth between November 2019 and February 2020, a figure not seen since mid-2013 during the peak of the resources boom.
“The long-awaited recovery in Perth’s apartment market is likely to be delayed, as COVID-19 keeps conditions challenging in the short term,” he said.
“However, it is important to note that current economic and property market data does not yet fully capture the full impact of COVID-19.”
Any anticipated drop in demand could be partially offset by supply, with construction expected to cool off beyond 2020.
Mr Bhimjiani said there were about 380 apartments across a handful of smaller boutique developments likely to be completed in 2021.
Meanwhile, for larger developments previously set for 2021 completion, he said project timelines had been pushed out to 2022, with further economic uncertainty potentially limiting new starts.
“Many of these projects that are in the early stages of marketing or at the development approval stage could slip into later years or be abandoned if sufficient pre-sales are not achieved and economic conditions do not improve,” Mr Bhimjiani said.
“The impact on pricing will ultimately be dependent on the supply versus demand dynamics in the Perth apartment market.”
Finbar managing director Darren Pateman said stamp duty relief would be the best way to boast sales and development activity.
The ASX-listed property development company recently announced it had completed construction of its One Kennedy Maylands project, with sales of $23.5 million secured to date, representing 43 per cent of apartments.
Mr Pateman said there hadn’t been any immediate shift in apartment values, with all recent Finbar contracts at pre-COVID-19 pricing.
“The Perth market was already at one of its most affordable levels pre-COVID, in contrast perhaps to eastern states markets, which were experiencing far higher levels of growth,” Mr Pateman told Business News.
“WA has done it tough for near on five years and pre-COVID we were clearly entering a recovery phase, while eastern states markets have been boiling over for some time.
“Extending the stamp duty rebate beyond off-the-plan sales to projects under construction and new completed stock to encourage commencements will allow vital capital to be redirected to new job creating projects for thousands of Western Australians.”
Mr Pateman said this would help revive the WA economy as it moved into the recovery phase post COVID-19.
Mr Blackburne shared similar thoughts and said further stamp duty reform could also lead to long-term reductions in local council rates, with the greater rates flowing from higher-density developments better supporting council operations and budgets.
Mr Clark agreed and said the role of government was critical to maintaining buyer confidence, which could be achieved by additional stamp duty relief by way of rebate or discount.
“This is about keeping the market moving in the right direction and buyer incentives are proven and successful in this space,” he said.
“Government and industry alike have a significant role to play here.”