MELBOURNE (Oct 5): Melbourne Square, a joint-venture development between OSK Property Holdings Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Malaysia, will begin its groundwork in November this year and the first phase is slated to complete by end-2020.

Phase 1 of Melbourne Square, which carries a GDV of A$927 million (approximately RM3.06 billion), is 55% sold since its preview in April this year.

The phase 1 development comprises 952 residential apartments across two 68- and 52-storey towers (East and West Tower) and 91 residences in the podium, which is now under planning, as well as a 1-acre public park.

The entire development has a GDV of RM9 billion and consists of four residential towers, one hotel and serviced apartment tower, and one commercial office building with retail units, to be developed over five phases in eight to 10 years.

OSK Group executive chairman Tan Sri Ong Leong Huat said the expansion of OSK Property overseas not only brings a Malaysian homegrown brand to an international level, but will also elevate the company’s building standard in the future.

“Expanding our presence to Melbourne gives us an opportunity to learn from overseas experts and enhance our product quality. We can even bring these experiences and knowledge back to Malaysia and implement these standards on our projects," he told reporters during the Melbourne Square sales gallery official opening in Melbourne today.

OSK Property had unveiled its sales gallery and officially introduced the project to the local community at its site today.

EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan noted that Melbourne Square’s integrated development plan was the main attraction for the retirement fund.

“We are looking for sizeable development with integrated components that could continue to do well in different economic cycles,” he said.

This is also OSK Property’s maiden project in Australia and EPF’s second overseas property development partnership after the Battersea development in London.

Designed by Cox Architecture, Melbourne Square will transform a car park the size of Melbourne Cricket Ground into a vertical village featuring six towers.

The 5-acre freehold development lies at the junction of Power Street and Kavanagh Street.

It will be the largest mixed-use development in the greater central business district of Melbourne.

Within the development, there will be a 1-acre public park that will become a place for wellness and leisure for locals, and an attraction of the development.

The residential apartment and penthouse units have built-ups ranging from 49.4 sq m to 316.8 sq m (531 sq ft to 3,409 sq ft).

Selling prices range start from A$409,800, while each of the 20 penthouses are going for A$1.85 million.

The developer also unveiled the project to Chinese buyers in early April, and Malaysian investors in June this year.

Meanwhile, on the retail units, OSK Property CEO Ong Ghee Bin said the company is now in talks with Woolworths and Coles — two major grocers in Melbourne — to bring either one of them into Melbourne Square.

“There will be one childcare centre to be set up in Melbourne Square as well. This will attracts working couples as there aren’t many childcare centres in this area and it’s not easy for working couples to hire a domestic helper to look after their children,” he added.

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