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
A Welcome MoveRead more
State Government moves to speed up major development projects have been met with praise from the residential construction sector, which says the policy changes will meet demands of the modern apartment market and reduce unnecessary expenditure.
The recently announced decision includes the fast-tracking of metropolitan and regional developments worth $20 million and $5 million or more respectively.
Described as a once in a lifetime change to Western Australian planning policy, the reforms are part of the State Government’s COVID-19 recovery initiatives, aimed at kick-starting jobs and economic activity in WA.
Match parent company M/Group Managing Director Lloyd Clark said the government moves would help developers avoid needless spending and give developers a better idea of when their product could be delivered.
He said Perth would largely benefit from increased infrastructure such as apartment complexes, but it could become problematic if developers were not keeping an eye on whether new buildings matched demand levels in the state.
“A more predictable development timeline will assist in the coordination of the supply chain, which involves many small businesses and can have a significant impact when delays occur,” Mr Clark said.
“Ultimately Perth residents will be the ones to benefit from increased infrastructure that does not take years to arrive and new amenity that will result from commercial developments.
“A more streamlined approvals process will certainly introduce a level of diversity into the apartment market, but there is a risk that it could encourage an oversupply of apartments.
“If the market does not respond to an apartment project, the complex might not get off the ground.
“The onus is certainly on the government to manage this process, but it will ultimately be a commercial decision whether the developer decides to proceed or not.
“Apartment buyers still need to remain diligent and do their homework to source credible developers with a track record or works before they put their deposit down.”
Despite a risk of oversupply, Mr Clark agreed the reforms were a welcome change to traditional processes, which involved a lot of time and consultation costs when engaging with local and state governments.
He said it was well known that development projects resulted in positive economic impacts and unlike in other industries, activity in construction led to helpful affects felt across a broad range of indirect businesses.
“The very nature of a development project means that the greatest impact remains local,” Mr Clark said.
“The development sector has historically been the go-to vehicle for government bodies looking to stimulate the economy because no other sector can really deliver the far-reaching benefits.
“The State Government’s planning reforms and response to COVID-19 will provide a great opportunity to upgrade or replace inefficient structures and meet the demand of a new and modern apartment market.
“Perth was relatively late in the game with regards to accepting apartment living as a genuine lifestyle option.
“Older product was therefore built largely for investment with an emphasis on capacity rather than design and functionality.
“Times have changed dramatically since then, and we now have the opportunity to make old buildings more relevant and sustainable, or replace outdated structures with buildings that will enhance the streetscapes.”
The reforms follow three years of consultation on major development projects that were brought forward sooner than planned to better support WA workers struggling in a slumped economy.
The changes include more than 25 amendments to the 2015 Planning and Development regulations, which are designed to remove planning system barriers, provide consistency and clarity for developers navigating the policy, and reduce burden on local governments.
Excerpt from The West Australian, 11 July 2020
Bigger Not Always BetterRead more
Developers of smaller apartments projects across Perth say some of the state government’s recent measures to stimulate economic activity and employment in light of COVID-19 are good in theory, but may not meet expectations in practice.
Among the measures is a streamlined assessment process for ‘significant developments’, defined as those projects with an estimated cost of at least $30 million or new residential buildings proposing more than 100 dwellings.
Developer and architect Barry Baltinas hopes the approvals process for the smaller, high-end apartment projects he focuses on could also be streamlined.
“These smaller projects can get off the ground very quickly, helping to create jobs and incomes for Perth families at a time when that is very much needed,” Mr Baltinas told Business News.
“Now more than ever, buyers are putting their health and the health of their family in focus, and boutique living aligns with that.”
Baltinas’s latest project, the $19 million Habitat Residences in Applecross, recently completed construction and features 14 apartments and three penthouses.
Mr Baltinas said the lack of shared facilities at the projects had proved to be a drawcard, particularly in recent weeks.
“It not only means fewer maintenance costs, but brings fewer health implications, which is obviously top of mind for many buyers right now,” he said.
“We’re seeing more activity in the market, in particular from those downsizers who have not been greatly impacted financially by recent events.”
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been a lot of speculation about the potential negative impact of COVID-19 on the property industry, but the company’s apartment arm Match, which mostly develops 30-40 dwellings over three to five storeys, had not adjusted its pipeline.
“Boutique product holds its value,” Mr Clark told Business News.
“It’s important to note that the apartment market is heavily impacted by continued population growth, and an emerging generation that values central urban living over the half-acre block.”
Mr Clark said this would continue to increase demand for quality product in desirable locations.
“If the government’s mandate is to stimulate the economy and fast track project development, it needs to approach all areas of the property sector equally,” he said.
“We believe it is absolutely counterproductive for the government to favour one style of dwelling over another in any capacity.
“There is a whole market sector that would never consider high-density living, so disadvantaging them with time delays does not service anyone.”
Excerpt from Business News – 22 June 2020
A Terrace Home Affair for MatchRead more
Most people know that Match has been a significant trailblazer for the Perth apartment living scene. This well-earned distinction was bestowed over two decades ago when the company founders challenged Perth’s planning code and pushed design parameters to protect our streetscapes from large unsightly ‘cookie-cutter’ apartment product.
The introduction of cutting-edge boutique apartment design into our urban environments was something many had not seen before, and the company’s ability to secure highly visible and strategic lifestyle sites made everyone sit up and notice.
Today, Match is still delivering a stunning range of apartment designs and the market is now fully aware of the benefits apartment living can provide.
So, why is the company shifting its attention to Terrace Homes?
After its enormous success in the apartment sector, Match recently stunned its followers by introducing two projects that have moved away from its recognised apartment formula.
M/31 Terrace Homes and M/32 Terrace Homes are located in Landcorp’s visionary Shoreline Precinct in North Coogee.
The two projects are idyllically positioned just metres from the coastline and, like all other Match product, are distinctive in design and layout.
Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company, M/Group, said the new category of housing was an exciting shift for the Match design team, but was not such a huge leap in terms of the company’s design philosophy.
“Every one of Match’s projects is distinctive in many ways, because we design specifically for the location and the residents we hope to attract to it,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Perth’s perception of apartment living has changed over the years, and that more and more people are moving away from the half acre block on the fringes of the city to a more lifestyle-driven atmosphere closer to the action.
“When we secured these incredible sites at Shoreline, we saw an opportunity to give our residents an experience that sits somewhere in between.”
M/31 Terrace Homes by Match are well-appointed three-bedroom terrace homes that include open plan layouts that integrate indoor and outdoor living. Each home comes with a double carport, private and sheltered courtyard, and is architecturally designed to maximise light, space and breeze.
M/32 Terrace Homes by Match is based on a unique architectural style that uses beautifully landscaped laneways and a central lawn area to create a sense of privacy, serenity and space. The terrace homes are designed to be ultra-modern and their floorplans are spacious laid out across three stories.
“As the apartment market has evolved, so too has Match’s desire to keep meeting the demand of people who want the best out of their lives and their home environments,” he said.
“We helped to break the mould of apartment living back in the early 2000’s, now we’re looking to bring even more to the table in terms of innovation and style.”
Prices for M/31 Terrace Homes by Match start from $550,000 and M/32 Terrace Homes by Match start from $685,000.
Apartment Buyers PounceRead more
While COVID-19 has sent ripples throughout all sectors of the real estate market, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group Lloyd Clark said that the negatives would be short-lived, while the positives would have a longer-lasting impact for the apartment sector.
“Just as quickly as Perth moved through the restrictions, enquiries returned,” he said. “The disruption had significantly less impact that initially anticipated,”
“Firstly, we saw the apartment industry reinvent itself to provide highly digitalised access to apartment spaces.”
“Equally, our market became adept at reviewing possible investment opportunities online.”
“For a sector that deals significantly with off-the-plan products, this was really a watershed moment, and when enquiries returned, these people were highly qualified and informed buyers.”
Mr Clark said the pandemic has created a much-needed shift in a market that has become a little congested with speculative developers on projects that may or may not have come to fruition.
“It allowed everyone in the industry to review risks an introduce risk aversion strategies,” he said.
“What this means for apartment buyers is some developers may have reconsidered their position in terms of new project development, and off-the-plan deposits can now be redirected to solid operators such as Match, which has demonstrated time and again resilience in varying market conditions.”
Edge Visionary Living Managing Director Gavin Hawkins said the developer also witness a spike in enquiries as restrictions started to lift.
“We have seen a huge spike in enquiry as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, and especially following the new government incentive announcements,” he said.
“With equity markets now above where they were little more than 12 months ago, the initial fears have dissipated and buyer confidence within the sector is returning strongly.”
The apartment market had a big change-up in May of this year when new strata reforms came into place offering a variety of changes to how strata acts operate.
From 10-year maintenance plans, to minimum education for strata managers and a more efficient dispute resolution process, it was the largest shake up in decades and one Mr Hawkins said was a plus for buyers.
“It certainly allows for more flexibility in providing a co-ordinated, staged approach to developments,” he said.
“The key take-out, however, is providing more clarity and protections for the buyers which is obviously a good thing for both buyers and the sector.”
Mr Clark said many byers were unaware of recently available stamp duty rebates when buying an apartment.
“This will help purchasers buy into under-construction apartments, as well as pre-construction,” he said.
“This means purchasers can take advantage of the stamp duty rebates and other incentives and may not have to wait prolonged periods to move into an apartment.”
The value of apartments has remained relatively steady over the last ten years, falling just 0.7 per cent in Greater Perth over the period, according to REIWA data, with the median sale price for the year to March 2020 recorded at $378,000. The median unit rental price for March was $340.
The suburb of Perth recorded the most unit sales in the year to March, with 264, closely followed by East Perth (245). Near city suburbs Scarborough (210), South Perth (209) and Maylands (180) rounded out the top 5.
Outer-ring suburbs Rockingham and Mandurah also saw high levels of activity, with 115 and 108 sales respectively.
In terms of sales value, only two sub-regional markets saw an increase over the year to March, with the Perth South West market realising an increase of 2.6 per cent and Mandurah boasting a massive increase of 17.3 per cent.
South Perth witness the biggest apartment sale price of $7,150,000in the year to March while Dalkeith the lower quartile, median and higher quartile sales were all in the million dollar range, with the wealthy suburb recording and 37.3 per cent spike in prices for the year to March. The opposite was true in Crawley which witnessed an equal fall over the period.