30 September 2020
The affluent riverside suburb of Como is most prominently known for its large stately homes and ...
19 October 2020
There was a period in Perth where development and redevelopment were so fast paced that many valuable heritage properties were left so decrepit ...
There was a period in Perth where development and redevelopment were so fast paced that many valuable heritage properties were left so decrepit that they would ultimately be sanctioned for demolition.
Developers were hesitant to touch historic fabric due to the risks and unforeseen costs compared to the low cost, high profit ‘cookie-cutter’ buildings that were materialising across the City.
Match was born in the thick of this era. We were young and passionate about saving Perth streetscapes from bland, investor-driven apartment buildings. We wanted to build a legacy of design-centric projects that would bring interest and diversity to the landscape.
Adopting heritage rejuvenations into our portfolio was a natural fit and relatively easy to acquire based on the lack of industry interest.
Match became a trailblazer for heritage renewal projects in Perth and our work in this area today extends to property designs that pay homage to the site’s former use or the significance of the location, such as M/24 by Match in Leederville, Metropolitan in Mount Lawley, Sublime in North Fremantle and Johnson & James in Guildford.
A brief overview of Match’s heritage projects:
Corner of Milligan & Murray Streets, Perth
HOME still stands as one of Perth’s most impressive heritage renewals and a turning point that triggered many more heritage restoration projects throughout WA.
The 1927 warehouse building was introduced by the tobacco giant, W.D. & H.O. Wills and originally designed by local architects Oldham, Boas & Ednie-Brown; a firm reputed for over specifying to achieve design quality. It was constructed with reinforced concrete behind a beautiful facade, it is an excellent example of ‘Interwar Chicago-esque’ architecture featuring decorative mushroom columns unique to the era.
Match transformed this landmark site into 30 warehouse apartments, 37 adjoining terrace apartments and boutique commercial space, retaining some 95% of original heritage fabric, including a unique structural system that introduced the first mushroom headed slab on large diameter concrete columns constructed in Perth.
919 Beaufort Street, Inglewood
The Clocktower was originally built in 1936 in an architectural style known as ‘Inter-War Art Deco’. It was later used as the Civic Theatre Restaurant before being left largely unoccupied for many years.
The highly sensitive heritage rejuvenation project effectively transformed a local landmark into a boutique complex incorporating 28 apartments and four retail shops.
Specialist work was also required to locate a clock expert with the correct credentials to resurrect the signature clock, which was restarted in February 2008
Corner of Whatley Crescent and Eighth Avenue, Maylands
Maymont represents a major milestone for Maylands on a site that had been left decrepit for some time. The vision was to create a heart for the area and drive the inner-city culture to the area’s main strip, with architecture reminiscent of its hey-day in the 1920s. While much of the building’s structure could not be preserved due to many years of neglect, Match restored the heritage façades and introduced 42 apartments and 16 commercial spaces. The restoration program would be the start of the beautification process for Maylands, creating what is a today a hub of cafes, restaurants and bars.
36 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle
Unquestionably one of Perth’s most significant heritage renewal projects in modern times, Heirloom is the award-winning heritage restoration of Fremantle’s iconic old Dalgety Woolstores, which sat largely unused for some 20 years.
The prominent structure located on Fremantle Harbour created a high-profile gateway to the City along Queen Victoria Street. It holds an important place in the City’s history and is most famous for its saw-tooth roof, classic red brickwork and 100-year old Jarrah beams.
The $130 million redevelopment leveraged the existing structure to create 183 spacious one and two-bedroom warehouse apartments, retaining over 85% of the original heritage fabric.
What were the key factors that drew you to these properties?
As a boutique apartment developer, Match works on the premise that the long-term investment value of a property is determined by its uniqueness and limited supply.
The simple fact is that you cannot manufacture heritage fabric and people will pay a premium for being able to acquire something distinctive and irreplaceable.
Location is, of course, always a factor, and when combined with a depth of character and history, we strongly believe these projects are worth the investment.
There was some time that developers wouldn’t go near heritage buildings because of all of the conditions surrounding it – what changed and did this influence your appetite for heritage?
In a development era that could be easily defined by its lack of sensitivity to good design and the legacy this would have on Perth’s streetscapes, there was certainly a case for ‘testing the water’.
It was new territory for most developers and, as a young company on a mission to disrupt the status quo, we took on highly ambitious heritage projects and were able to demonstrate both demand and return on investment.
Our success was supported by global shifts towards apartment living and a number of high-profile warehouse renewals around the world. Buyers were starting to view apartments as a lifestyle choice and developers needed to meet this market with unique and appealing propositions.
As a developer, what are the benefits and what are the challenges of developing heritage properties?
It is truly humbling and often breathtaking to see heritage fabric restored and repurposed for 21st century use.
The architectural values and depth of character inherent in these properties are timeless and, quite frankly, magnificent. Many discoveries can be made throughout the construction process that can add to the building’s story, such as an original wool-bale hoist and a railway track uncovered in the basement of Heirloom.
However, any adaptation of a retained building needs to satisfy current codes, modern facilities and environmental standards. This sometimes presents challenges for our architects to accommodate such requirements without compromising the usability, functionality, originality or attractiveness of the property.
At the Home building, our architects needed to work around enormous mushroom headed columns, and Heirloom, where services were ultimately hidden in a false flooring structure so that the Jarrah roofing and original beams could be exposed.
Are heritage projects more attractive for buyers?
Our experience is that the market is attracted to high quality, unique and boutique product which is much more enduring than that of high density, standardised developments.
Well executed heritage renewals elicit an emotional response and sense of connection that is so important in property sales. We find that people are really excited about owning an apartment that has heritage features that cannot be duplicated.
This was evidenced in the early release of Heirloom ‘off-the-plan’ apartments, which exceeded rigorous sales targets with over 70% of apartments selling prior to the commencement of construction.
There will always be a market that values heritage product over anything else.
30 September 2020
The affluent riverside suburb of Como is most prominently known for its large stately homes and ...
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.
14 August 2020
Construction completion has been achieved at M/26 by Match located in the heart of Como on the ...
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.
4 August 2020
The City of Fremantle’s plan to boost the number of people living and working in the city ...
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.
16 July 2020
Interestingly, our initial focus on Fremantle raised some eyebrows. In the early days we did ...
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
11 July 2020
State Government moves to speed up major development projects have been met with praise from ...
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.
22 June 2020
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been a lot of speculation about the ...
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.”
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.