19 October 2021
What are some of the biggest advantages for the development industry in undertaking adaptive ...
13 January 2022
Marawar have taken the lead in a merger with M/Construction making Marawar one of Australia's largest Aboriginal-owned businesses with ...
In a first for the Australian reconciliation movement, Aboriginal building company Marawar is taking the lead in a merger with M/Construction. The move will effectively increase the company’s capacity to rival Perth’s construction heavyweights.
Marawar was introduced in 2018 in response to the Federal Government’s policy initiatives to build strong relationships, respect, and opportunities for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities.
It was formed in partnership with Perth property company M/Group, the parent company of M/Construction, on a plan to transfer skills that would assist Marawar to independently build capabilities and enable growth across the operation, its staff and project portfolio.
Nyoongar Traditional Landowner and Marawar Director, Mr Gerry Matera, said the two-company merger is a perfect representation of what true reconciliation is about.
“It was never about creating a ‘them and us’ divide between cultures, nor was it aimed at encouraging tokenistic gestures. It has always been about standing together as a strong and capable force. This is what has been achieved at Marawar,” he said.
“Over the last four years, both companies have grown from working closely together, and Marawar is now a sophisticated building resource backed by a string of awards and accolades for its work.
“This merger will place the company in a new building category and give us the capacity to compete for higher value projects. What this means is that Perth will soon see an Aboriginal-led company take on large construction projects, sending a strong message to business and setting an example to emerging Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander industry.”
Marawar was recently named the 2021 Supply Nation Registered Supplier of the Year Award and continues to grow a strong client base.
The merged company will retain Marawar as a brand, meaning ‘West’ in Nyoongar, and will integrate a unique business model established to identify, and address the needs of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander workforce.
It will be the first time an Aboriginal business will be elevated to a position of authority within a multi-cultured organisation.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of M/Group, said the partnership has delivered much more than anticipated.
“Our association with Marawar has provided a depth of appreciation for Indigenous cultures, with shared learnings that have resulted in a highly productive and successful work environment that not only reflects the company’s values, but that of its clients and the broader objectives,” he said.
“This merger signals a new era for the Australian construction industry and gives larger companies a sound and reliable vehicle to meet their own reconciliation targets. It is what reconciliation really looks like and we are all very proud of the part M/Construction and M/Group have played.”
M/Construction was established in 2010 and has won numerous awards for its work across luxury homes to multi-storey commercial and residential developments.
Marawar has worked on large-scale Government and private sector projects, including Bunnings in Albany, Match apartments in Parry Street, Fremantle, Armadale Emergency Health Service, Department of Finance, Fremantle Ports and ongoing maintenance contracts.
For more information visit www.marawar.com.au/mconstruction
19 October 2021
What are some of the biggest advantages for the development industry in undertaking adaptive ...
What are some of the biggest advantages for the development industry in undertaking adaptive reuse, especially when compared to demolishing and starting with a new design?
It was actually Perth’s ‘knock down and rebuild’ mentality some two decades ago that motivated my business partner and I to start our company.
At the time we witnessed the constant dilapidation of magnificent structures throughout the City to make way for bland ‘cookie-cutter’ builders, with no foresight for the visual impact or surrounding aesthetics.
We believe the development industry has a responsibility that extends far beyond built structure. It’s about maintaining the integrity of our streetscapes and understanding that the built form is something that is enduring and plays a significant role environmentally and culturally.
Adapting heritage form for modern-day use captures a story from the past and creates a unique and unreplaceable space, and this makes good sense socially and commercially.
What are some of the biggest challenges involved with the process?
Certainly, the biggest challenges when taking on an adaptive reuse project are those that can’t be immediately identified. This is largely the reason why so many developers have historically shied away from taking them on.
While X-ray technology has improved our capacity to assess a building’s structure, in most cases issues are only uncovered during the development process, which can impact significantly on the budget.
It is an incredibly rewarding challenge to explore ways of introducing modern day requirements into early design, when items such as electricals, plumbing and energy efficiencies had not been a consideration during construction historically.
We introduced a false floor methodology in our Heirloom building to accommodate services in order to maintain the ascetics of the Jarrah beams and exposed timber throughout.
Do you think the process of adaptive reuse is undertaken enough in Western Australia? If not, why not and what more can be done to encourage it?
We have come a long way from the early days when buildings were deliberately left so derelict that demolition was ultimately the only options. It is devastating to think of all the lost opportunities.
We are in different time now and I believe the industry is well across the intrinsic value heritage fabric can bring to a project and its surroundings.
That said, not every heritage property can be justified in a competitive marketplace, and returns need to be factored into each project. It is unquestionably more expensive to take on heritage work and navigate the development limitations.
Financial and process incentives would certainly compensate the developer and encourage more work in this area.
Of the projects you have worked on, from an adaptive reuse basis, which is your favourite project and why?
Without question, “Heirloom by Match” in Fremantle holds such significance as a community icon with an incredible depth of history. Being able to reactivate this site for modern-day use after so many decades of deteriorations truly an honour, and our success in retaining over 85% of the heritage fabric is an incredible achievement by my team.
However, “Home” in Perth represents a real turning point for adaptive reuse in Perth. We were more or less the only company taking on projects of this magnitude at the time and it really allowed us to demonstrate what could be achieved.
When we started this project, the building was locked up and covered in graffiti. Our work uncovered an architectural masterpiece that was nothing short of impressive. It created streetscape presence that helped to shape the west end of Perth’s CBD.
After its opening, there was a real industry shift towards our cause. I will always be very proud of our work on that property.
Aside from the heritage/historical significance of utilizing existing buildings, what other benefits to adaptive reuse are there?
While there is a a great deal of benefit affiliated with historical significance and heritage features, any project must also make financial sense.
We find that people ultimately buy into these projects for their uniqueness. There is no comparison to a modern building and these factors allow for a pricing model that can adequately cover additional development costs.
The boutique nature of these projects mean they hold a strong market value, and as consumers are are buying a piece of history, it is perceived as priceless.
Any further comments you would like to make around adaptive reuse and its benefits for the Western Australian development industry?
I truly believe Perth now fully realised the value of our heritage structures.
The City is extremely fortunate to have such a strong Heritage Council body to partner with developers and ensure each project has the best outcome, and local government stakeholders appreciate the significance of our work within their jurisdiction.
The level of collaboration required to bring these projects to fruition cannot be understated.
Comments for UDIA attributed to Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
Read UDIA’s full article here
11 June 2021
How M/31 Apartments by Match stole the heart of a seasoned apartment sales professional
As the salesperson at the forefront of boutique property company, Match, Amanda Spagnolo has helped to showcase a countless number of beautiful apartments and terrace homes, ranging in style from urban to heritage and coastal. However, recently one stood out enough for her to make a personal investment.
M/31 Apartments by Match is located in DevelopmentWA’s visionary Shoreline precinct in North Coogee. It is the sister project to its neighbouring and highly acclaimed M/31 Terrace Homes by Match, and part of a three-site design cluster that will create an architectural fusion that interacts with the natural surrounds, connection to the ocean and extensive open space.
Ms Spagnolo was instrumental in the sell-out success of M/31 Terrace Homes, so when the apartments were released onto the market, she couldn’t help but buy one for herself.
“I wasn’t really looking for an apartment, although I am always on the hunt for a great opportunity,” she said.
“Having lived north of the river my whole life, I never thought I would venture south. However, as my work has taken me to Perth’s southern coastal corridor, I have really started to see why people find it so special.
“This part of North Coogee borders South Fremantle and is what the locals call ‘South Beach’, but the price tag is vastly different to the South Fremantle property market. I considered the M/31 apartments to be a particularly good purchase as it is also so close to the beach and all the surrounding amenity.
“After viewing the visionary DevelopmentWA video on Shoreline and what is planned for the area, I was excited about getting on board.”
M/31 Apartments by Match comprise of 28 boutique apartments. It is architecturally designed by well-known and respected Cameron Chisholm Nicol Architects and is said to ‘push the envelope’ when it comes to creating signature residences that maximise the location and space.
The apartment architecture is led by the building’s beach-side location with large balconies to capture shade in summer and sun in winter. All materials and colours are inspired by the surrounding coastal environment.
Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, Mr Lloyd Clark, said the response from the market has been unquestionably positive. He confirmed that in just a few months, the ground floor apartments had sold out and interest continues to increase.
“This is an impressive building. The top-floor apartments are designed to stand out with a ‘floating’ illusion from the exterior and a ‘pop’ of colour to create impact. Inside, this design feature accommodates a limited supply of split-level luxury-living with dual balcony space and additional features, including a study nook,” he said.
“It’s no surprise that any astute sales consultant or property investor would see value in this development. We wholeheartedly congratulate Amanda on her purchase.”
As an ‘off-the-plan’ offer, all apartment interiors and colour schemes can be altered to the buyer’s taste during the construction phase.
Ms Spagnolo does not intend to adjust the apartment in any way as she believes the ground-floor apartment she secured will deliver great flexibility into the future.
“I’ve been living in apartments for around five years and really enjoy the security and the lock-and-leave aspect of the lifestyle,” she continued.
“While my plan is to live in the apartment, down the track I know that rentals on the coast are always in high demand, so I felt that this was a very safe purchase in both regards.
“I’m looking forward to walking to the South Freo Café strip for a Sunday breakfast. Or just bike riding to the local bakery to get a loaf of bread.”
M/31 Apartments by Match have one and two-bedroom layouts available and are priced from $375,000 for the one-bedrooms and $475,000 for the two bedrooms.
For more information visit www.m31apartments.com.au or call 0432 660 066.
3 June 2021
Once the nerve centre of Fremantle’s wool industry, this landmark heritage warehouse provides a ...
Once the nerve centre of Fremantle’s wool industry, this landmark heritage warehouse provides a blank commercial canvas and opportunity to create the next chapter of history.
Redeveloped by M/Group as Heirloom by Match in 2016, the former Dalgety Wool Store has been transformed into a New York-style industrial warehouse with 183 completed residential apartments and a dual-use commercial space, which has been listed for sale at $1.6 million.
The commercial site, which has been pitched as a café, restaurant or wine bar, offers 260sqm on the ground, with a soaring six metre ceiling height creating potential for additional floor space with a creative mezzanine or extra floor.
Largely unused for two decades, the Dalgety Wool Store has stood as a significant icon in the port city’s streetscape for almost 100 years.
It was originally part of a group of wool stores that occupied the entire street block and is now the only remaining one adjacent Fremantle Harbour.
Monumental in scale and form, the property was built in 1923 to cater for WA’s burgeoning wool industry from the end of World War I until the late 20th century, and was commandeered by the US Navy 7th Fleet as part of the combined allied World War II effort.
M/Group director Lloyd Clark said the $130 million Heirloom redevelopment had leveraged the existing structure to create a unique warehouse conversion.
Mr Clark said while the listing at 184/51 Beach Street had been positioned as a commercial enterprise, the dual zoning also fostered the prospect of a residential conversion.
“This particular listing…has created interest around the endless possibilities for a custom fit-out whilst designed around the exposed feature heritage red-brick, the 100-year-old jarrah columns and the exposed timber ceiling,” Mr Clark said.
“The space boasting 100 years of genuine Fremantle history lends itself to use as a café, restaurant, gallery, wine-bar or even a funky office. As the space is a shell, a complete custom fit out is available for the buyer.”
Mr Clark said the redevelopment paid homage to the building’s history.
“It was a goal to retain as many of the heritage elements as possible throughout the building and this was achieved by keeping or re-using over 85% of the original heritage fabric,” he said.
“New York-style conversions have become popular in recent years especially when considering living and/or working in a genuine warehouse environment, a limited prospect in Australia when compared to overseas.
“Developers had previously been 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.”
Design experts say heritage renewals have long been popular for businesses and commercial enterprises, but required an astute architect with foresight and respect for the history of the property.
Nedlands architect Suzanne Hunt said there was a sense of romanticism associated with refurbishing historical buildings, despite the obvious constraints of working within heritage protections.
“There’s a romance about it,” Ms Hunt said. “People just love heritage buildings.”
“If you go into a heritage building that has been refurbished well by an architect, you have this wonderful feeling of history. There is this wonderful layering of history, the old and the new, and I think that gives a lot of opportunities for different types of design that has more of a depth of design in it.”
“Heritage buildings give character and it doesn’t matter what purpose or business you’re putting in there, you’ve got this wonderful sense that the building is old, it has its own history and you’re just making more history.”
Ms Hunt said refurbishing heritage buildings was possible while remaining cognisant of the heritage listing and ensuring respect for the old fabric.
“If you’re putting a refurb or buying a heritage building, there’s a fallacy that you can’t do anything. That’s actually not true,” she said.
“Good heritage design is saying we’re going to respect the old building and we’re going to put something contemporary…If you understand the history of the building, you can reinterpret that history in a contemporary way through your design.”
By Nicole Cox, realcommercial.com.au, 3 June 2021
24 May 2021
Boutique apartment company, Match, was honoured to take home its third Heritage Award for its ...
Boutique apartment company, Match, was honoured to take home its third Heritage Award for its work in transforming Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores into unique residential industrial warehouse apartments.
WA Apartment Advocacy hosted the 2021 WINconnect Apartment Awards for Excellence over the weekend celebrating those who have played an instrumental role in introducing Perth to the idea of design and amenity-led urban living through apartment development.
Heirloom by Match is one of the largest heritage renewals in the State, and award judges acknowledged “…Match demonstrated fearlessness and innovation in transforming this heritage building into an exemplar of what the City of Fremantle can expect from future developments of a similar ilk.”
The site had sat largely unused for 20 years prior to completion in 2016 and now with all apartments occupied the judges said the project is “…a charming apartment community that pays tribute to its heritage roots.”
Managing Director of parent company M/Group, Mr Lloyd Clark said the awards are a great honour to be recognised and acknowledged by the industry and peers.
“Drawing on our experience with heritage renewals, we knew from the outset that this project would present challenges, however we also saw it as an extremely important opportunity.
“Match is in the business of developing signature properties. It is our firm belief that people want more from their homes, and today Heirloom residents are creating their own space amidst 100 year old Jarrah beams and original heritage features,” he said.
Heirloom by Match was designed by Dominic Snellgrove of Cameron Chisholm Nicol and constructed by national top tier construction company, Built. The development team worked in collaboration with the City of Fremantle, State Government and heritage authorities to achieve a positive outcome.
“Heirloom is unquestionably one of Match’s most significant development projects in the company’s 20 year history. Its location close to Fremantle’s café strip and between the river and the beach is ideal, and it has helped to activate the City of Fremantle and its growth” Mr Clark continued.
“The renewal process was sensitive in nature and proved extremely complex. However, the recognition and accolades we have received are both humbling and extremely rewarding.”
Match had previously been awarded the Heritage Council’s ‘Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place’, and the prestigious Gerry Gauntlett Award; recognising an outstanding achievement of adaptive reuse in Western Australia for the Heirloom Apartments in 2017. Match was also recognised with the Gerry Gauntlett Award prior to this in 2008 for its highly acclaimed Home warehouse apartments located in Perth CBD and is responsible for other heritage-listed projects such as Maymont in Maylands and Clocktower in Inglewood, which effectively injected new life into the area, as well as a range of cutting-edge design-inspired apartment properties throughout Perth.
For more information visit www.heirloombymatch.com.au or contact 0432 660 066
11 January 2021
Perth landlords are being encouraged to leverage current market conditions that are allowing ...
Perth landlords are being encouraged to leverage current market conditions that are allowing for significant increases in their rental returns, in order to create new pricing benchmarks for when the Covid-19 restrictions are scheduled to end in March 2021.
The property managers behind one of Perth’s largest apartment rental portfolios, M/Property, said that current market conditions are optimal for landlord-led negotiations, with the industry forecasting a possible 20% increase across the rental market.
They believe that while tenancy and rental freezes as a result of Covid-19 have helped to push occupancy rates to an all-time high, the impact is likely to be ongoing as the market opens up.
Kiarna Blythman from M/Property says the industry has not seen this level of activity in 14 years and believes the environment has given investors a chance to review and reset rental prices after a long period of stability.
“Instead of negotiating rents down, applicants are now offering up to $50 a week more than the asking price to secure the property they want,” she said.
“We currently have just one apartment available and eight coming onto the market with a waiting list on our database. This is in vast contrast to our typical pipeline of 20 to 30 apartments and has given us the opportunity to negotiate a new level of revenue for our owners to lock in fresh agreements that benefit the landlord.”
Based on REIWA data, the average apartment rental rates have leaped from $335 to $355 per week since the June 2020 quarter, with limited stock and increasing population effectively putting more pressure on the market.
“We are very aware that some landlords have been disadvantaged by the Covid-19 policies and have been unable to evict tenants or review rents. However, as the deadline for restrictions will soon be lifted, now is the time for landlords to take action,” Kiarna continued.
“If property owners are successful in increasing weekly rent prices in a time of extraordinary demand, there is a strong possibility their actions will help to adjust pricing benchmarks for the long term. The accelerated pace and total sum of these price shifts may be difficult to achieve when the market opens up again.”
M/Property specialises in the marketing and management of residential apartment leases and currently has a combined experience of some 50 years.
For more information visit mproperty.com.au
15 December 2020
M/26 by Match opens to fill a much-needed gap for downsizers
Known for its large stately homes and idyllic river-side setting, Como is undeniably one of Perth’s most enviable addresses and, over many years, has proved itself as a perfect environment for hundreds of families. However, as children grow up and leave the nest, residents have invariably been forced to look outside the suburb boundaries to accommodate downsizing.
M/26 by Match is a boutique apartment complex located in the heart of Como. It is designed specifically for people who are well-accustomed to quality living and partial to staying in an area that has served them well for decades.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said the company’s market-led design process identified a fairly significant gap in the Como marketplace. He believes the M/26 by Match apartment complex has delivered a highly sophisticated and inviting environment that is perfect for people wanting to downsize.
“We couldn’t imagine living in a suburb for most of our lives only to find it had very few home options for when it became time to downsize. The challenge for us, of course, was to create an environment that could make the transition from large home living to an apartment as simple and stress-free as possible,” Mr Clark said.
“You only have to visit the M/26 by Match display apartment to experience a standard of luxury that is unique, not merely to Como, but across Perth.”
M/26 by Match comprises just 40 stylish and well-considered apartments, most with exquisite views of the Swan River and Perth City.
It is located within a tree-lined street just minutes’ walk from the popular café strip and famous art deco Grand Cygnet Cinemas, as well as a short stroll to the Swan River and easy access to the Freeway and CBD.
“Each luxury apartment has been designed to exude elegance and sophistication, with an importance placed on space, light and airflow. Attention to detail has been paramount, as our intention was to create an atmosphere that melded into the Como environment,” Mr Clark continued.
“And while the apartments have been designed for a downsizer market, there are many other market groups, such as young professionals, who are attracted to these qualities and the proximity to Perth’s CBD.”
Internally, there are two colour schemes available; light and airy Hamptons-style and bold and moody Manhattan. All finishes are of a high quality with floorplans that allow each apartment to open up and make the most of the stunning location with full-height glazing.
“The apartments and their location have already proved to be extremely popular with residents. This has been particularly beneficial for those who opted to use their apartment as an investment. Renters just love the space and many opportunities have been snapped up after the first opening,” he said.
“As a design-focused apartment developer, it is truly a pleasure to offer such an acutely niche and beautiful property to the market. We welcome all our new residents and wish them the very best in their next stage of life.”
M/26 by Match includes one and two-bedroom apartments with large balconies, high ceilings and stunning sunscreens. The building has created a distinctive addition to Mary Street, Como, with the installation of a stunning artwork sculpture by Ayad Alqaragholli at its entry.
For more information contact www.m26apartments.com or call 0432 660 066.
With the wall of cash dividends hitting investors’ accounts over the coming months due to surging iron-ore prices, there is one question top of mind: What to do with the cash?
Industry analysts are predicting the dividend windfall from BHP Limited (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue (ASX: FMG) could top $65 billion over the year, in addition to the $7 billion from the Big 4 banks. With the current cycle of almost zero cash rates, the race is on to find sustainable income-producing investments.
Amid the noise of an exciting investment market, there are solid, high-yielding investment opportunities in the periphery of the action that offer both security and good returns.
How to find property assets that stack up
Australians love affair with property has become even more pronounced since the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic panic set in. We are both staying and investing locally. House prices from the east coast to the west coast have sky-rocketed and commercial and industrial assets are in hot demand with a raft of banks and non-bank lenders ready to lend money.
The level of appetite and competition in this space is highlighted in Stamford Capital’s latest Debt Capital Markets Survey, which tracks lender sentiment and the latest trends in the real estate debt market.
Based on responses from over 100 lenders, including banks, non-banks and private financiers, the survey found a “dramatic swing from the bleak outlook a year ago” when capital dried up, leverage levels decreased and lending criteria tightened.
Carried out in March this year, the survey found lending appetites were back at pre-COVID levels with increasing deal competition from a growing pool of non-bank lenders expected to compete more heavily on price and force down interest margins.
Private capital chasing higher yields in the booming property market has seen a large increase in the number of new non-bank lenders offering construction and investment loans this year.
While the pool of debt is available, and still relatively cheap, the trick is trying to find the property assets that stack up. This is where an experienced property fund manager can sort the wheat from the chaff. Sourcing the asset is one thing, knowing if you are paying too much is another. Selectivity is the key.
Mining the macro and geographical factors
Looking at macro factors and geographical location is also vital. Where are the industrious activities happening? City or regional, coastal/ports or mining? The mining industry for example has seen a significant uptick since June 2020. Mining exploration in Western Australia is almost at record levels and the capital raising pipeline is strong.
The Australian Securities Exchange notched up 42 IPOs in mining-related businesses over the past 12 months to April 2021 and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, is well ahead of other hotspots including Toronto, with 28, and London with two, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
With the recent news of a $500 million investment in the Kalgoorlie-Goldfields region by Lynas Rare Earths, along with a $400 million commitment from Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) for the acquisition of a collection of Northern Star (ASX: NST) mines on the western side of Kalgoorlie, and BHP recently revealing it has struck a deal to supply nickel from the region to Tesla, the region is experiencing a level of sustainable economic activity not seen for many years.
So, it appears on a macro level, locations near to, and supporting the burgeoning mining exploration and production sector seem sensible. Resources need resources, including human capital. But accessing large commercial and industrial assets in those regions is not an option for many individual investors.
A golden commercial opportunity
It takes a skilled property fund manager to find the asset and assess it on its merits.
In the case of commercial property, is it tenanted, to whom, and for how long (WALE)? What are the costs associated with acquiring and managing the property? What is a fair acquisition price and how will it be funded? If everything stacks up, then a due diligence process will follow. Lenders are appointed and capital is raised (normally to the tune of 50% debt funding by banks/lenders and 50% by investors).
For both groups, returns need to be negotiated. And in the case of capital provided by investors, a yield or distribution based on the rental income received will be passed on monthly or quarterly, for the life of the investment, which usually stretches to between five and seven years.
Perth-based M/Group has recently gone through that process on a macro and financing level and plans to invest in a large format, fully leased 6000 square-metre commercial asset in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia forming the Boulder Road Property Trust.
In the heart of the Goldfields, Kalgoorlie is home to 30,000 people, swelling to 40,000 in boom times. With three national tenants locked in for a WALE (Weighted Average Lease Expiry) of 8.08 years, the fund is targeting monthly distributions to wholesale investors of 8% pa for a period of seven years (unless the asset is sold prior and capital returned). That’s 7.5% higher than the current cash rate. Importantly, the tenants are high quality and essential to the locals and the resource sector – RSEA, Autobarn and Heatleys.