ICON IN THE MAK­ING

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Contents - IM­AGES OSK PROP­ERTY & SHUT­TER­STOCK

OSK Prop­erty’s maiden ven­ture in Mel­bourne is an ex­pan­sive and am­bi­tious de­vel­op­ment that is set to trans­form the Aus­tralian city’s inner neigh­bour­hood of South­bank. Christy Yoong gets a closer look at Mel­bourne Square.

OSK Prop­erty’s maiden ven­ture in Mel­bourne is an ex­pan­sive and am­bi­tious de­vel­op­ment that is set to trans­form the Aus­tralian city’s inner neigh­bour­hood of South­bank. Christy Yoong gets a closer look at Mel­bourne Square.

We’re in a park­ing lot on the fringes of Mel­bourne’s CDB. At one end is the West Gate Free­way, one of the busiest roads in Aus­tralia, car­ry­ing more than 200,000 ve­hi­cles each day. The other bound­aries are the rel­a­tively less busy Ka­vanagh, Blas­ton and Power Streets, near the end of South­bank, one of the city’s inner ur­ban neigh­bour­hoods. For­merly an in­dus­trial area, an ur­ban re­newal pro­gramme has grad­u­ally gen­tri­fied South­bank over the past two decades. It is now one of the most densely pop­u­lated ar­eas of Mel­bourne, a land­scape dom­i­nated by high-rise de­vel­op­ments, in­clud­ing the 297m high Eureka Tower, the city’s tallest build­ing. The tower’s Eureka Sky­deck, on the 88th floor, is also one of Mel­bourne’s top tourist at­trac­tions, of­fer­ing a breath­tak­ing over­view of the city. From here, too, you get a birds’ eye view of that park­ing lot, and a clearer pic­ture of the scale of the de­vel­op­ment that is set to take place there.

Over the next eight years or so, OSK Prop­erty, one of Malaysia’s lead­ing de­vel­op­ers, will turn that space into a six-tower, mixed in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment that in­cludes a 3,700 sq m pub­lic park and, along the way, trans­form the en­tire neigh­bour­hood. “Mel­bourne Square is go­ing to be a sig­nif­i­cant and iconic project,” says Ding Say Aun, the Project Man­ager over­see­ing the de­vel­op­ment, adding that this will also in­clude South­bank’s big­gest park. “We will pro­vide dis­tinct ameni­ties to lo­cal res­i­dents and, if I may say so, trans­form the ex­pe­ri­ence of living in South­bank.”

Its lo­ca­tion alone within Mel­bourne’s greater CBD area makes it an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for buy­ers who prize con­ve­nience. It is a five-minute walk to Aus­tralia’s most vi­brant en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre, Crown Mel­bourne, the casino and re­sort com­plex lo­cated on the south bank of the Yarra River, across which is the CDB proper. Mel­bourne Square’s cen­tral­ity also means that pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions like the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Mel­bourne Sports Precinct – ten­nis fans should note that catch­ing the Aus­tralian Open at Mel­bourne Park is, lit­er­ally, a short train or tram ride away – South Mel­bourne and Queen Vic­to­ria Mar­kets, the Mel­bourne Arts Precinct, Fed­er­a­tion Square and St Kilda’s Beach are all within easy reach. Ed­u­ca­tional hubs like the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne, RMIT Univer­sity and Swin­burne Univer­sity are sim­i­larly ac­ces­si­ble by car or pub­lic trans­port.

“Mel­bourne is one of the world’s most live­able cities, and it en­joys both strong eco­nomic and pop­u­la­tion growths,” Ding says. “We fore­see strong in­ter­est from both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional buy­ers, in­clud­ing Asian par­ents who plan to send their chil­dren here for fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.”

The ex­pan­sive five-acre site will even­tu­ally see the el­e­va­tion of four res­i­den­tial tow­ers as well as a ho­tel and an of­fice block, along with space for F&B and re­tail out­lets, in­clud­ing the first full-scale su­per­mar­ket in the neigh­bour­hood. With

“MEL­BOURNE IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST LIVE­ABLE CITIES, AND IT EN­JOYS BOTH STRONG ECO­NOMIC AND POP­U­LA­TION GROWTHS.” - Ding Say Aun, Project Man­ager -

over 2,600 res­i­den­tial units, an es­ti­mated gross floor area of 380,000 sq m and an over­all gross de­vel­op­ment value of MYR9 bil­lion, OSK Prop­erty’s maiden ven­ture in Mel­bourne, de­signed by Cox Ar­chi­tec­ture, one of Aus­tralia’s largest and most re­spected ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tices, is set to re­shaped the live­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity at this par­tic­u­lar sec­tion of the city.

“Mel­bourne Square will be one of the largest de­vel­op­ments in the city’s greater CBD area,” Ding says. “The scale we have com­mit­ted to has also given us a flex­i­bil­ity to the over­all de­vel­op­ment – presently, our plans are four res­i­den­tial tow­ers, and one each for of­fices and a ho­tel. How­ever, de­pend­ing on fu­ture de­mand, we have been al­lowed to make mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the gen­eral plan – we can add more res­i­den­tial units by re­duc­ing of­fice space, for ex­am­ple.”

For now, how­ever, OSK Prop­erty has opened phase one of the de­vel­op­ment for regis­tra­tion. This con­sists of the res­i­den­tial East and West Tow­ers, which are 69 and 54 sto­ries, re­spec­tively. Phase one, which is sched­uled to be com­pleted in 2020, will also in­clude the pub­lic park and su­per­mar­ket, child­care fa­cil­ity, and restau­rants and cafés. The two el­lip­ti­cal de­signer res­i­den­tial tow­ers, de­fined by their shim­mer­ing pleated fa­cades, will of­fer a to­tal of 1,043 units, each one metic­u­lously de­signed to suit ev­ery need and life­style.

Com­pris­ing one-, twoand three-bed­room premium apart­ments, they range in size from 49.4 to 143 sq m each. A lim­ited num­ber of pent­houses and pent­house du­plexes – from 131.7 to 269.2 sq m in size – are also avail­able in the two tow­ers. The units come semi-fur­nished, with built-ins, car­peted floor­ing for bed­rooms and other floor­ing fin­ishes, while up­grade op­tions also avail­able. The three-bed­room apart­ments and pent­houses are come with car parks. Prices will range from AUD401,200 to AUD5.8 mil­lion, for an av­er­age of around AUD11,000 per square me­tre.

Res­i­dents can also look for­ward to an ex­ten­sive range of ameni­ties. The ter­raced podium on level eight will have games and mu­sic rooms, sauna, yoga stu­dio, gym, 35m pool, golf sim­u­la­tor, cinema, lounge/ bar, kitchen and space for pri­vate din­ing. The East Tower also boasts an amenity floor on level 54, where res­i­dents can find the premium and pool lounges, meet­ing and games rooms, and pri­vate din­ing. Own­ers can look for­ward to en­joy­ing views of Port Phillip Bay, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Mel­bourne’s most iconic build­ings.

The rest of Mel­bourne Square will grad­u­ally be launched in time and, ac­cord­ing to Ding, OSK Prop­erty has al­ready been dis­cussing the ho­tel com­po­nent with a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional hote­liers. “We’re still mulling over this and one pos­si­bil­ity is the in­tro­duc­tion of ser­viced suites with a min­i­mum num­ber of days, which is some­thing new in Mel­bourne,” he says.

Ding adds that while Malaysians are fa­mil­iar with mixed in­te­grated de­vel­op­ments, it is a largely un­fa­mil­iar con­cept to Aus­tralians. “What we’re try­ing to do is quite unique here – even other Malaysian de­vel­op­ers in Mel­bourne have largely stuck to the usual sin­gle build­ing de­vel­op­ment. We, how­ever, are lucky enough that we have the space to plan some­thing holis­tic. This is one of the largest clear sites avail­able in cen­tral Mel­bourne. No other de­vel­op­ment has the kind of lux­ury we have, and this al­lows us to re­ally make a dif­fer­ence. South­bank is al­ready a very es­tab­lished neigh­bour­hood and Mel­bourne Square, we be­lieve, will el­e­vate the qual­ity of living here and the city as a whole.”

OSK Prop­erty’s Mel­bourne Square de­vel­op­ment will in­clude six gleam­ing tow­ers, a pub­lic park and ameni­ties that will trans­form the ex­pe­ri­ence of living in the neigh­bour­hood of South­bank.

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