By Andrew Clugston
Melbourne’s CBD continued to out shine other Australian capital cities when we played host last month to 20 of Malaysia’s largest and most successful property developers.
The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia (REHDA) chose Melbourne for this year’s three-day business mission from September 3 to 5. Seeking development and investment opportunities for its members, REHDA chose Melbourne’s CBD as the place to focus on.
Facilitated by the Victorian Government’s investment promotion agency, Invest Victoria, the delegates were presented with a number of Melbourne CBD development sites currently on the market.
Elenberg Fraser, the architect of many new ground-breaking developments such as Victoria One, Lighthouse and EQ Tower, was on hand to demonstrate the possibilities available under Melbourne’s current progressive planning regulations.
Many delegates, such as SP Setia, are familiar with developing in Melbourne’s CBD having almost completed their first project, Fulton Lane, located on Franklin St. For many others however it was their first time in Melbourne and the visit proved to be a real eye opener as to the possibilities available.
However, construction in Melbourne’s CBD does have its challenges. With its tight laneways, heavy traffic and business interruptions, developers need to explore innovative construction methods.
The Little Hero building, located at 16 Russell St, is a fantastic example of implementing world leading innovative construction techniques to overcome the challenges presented by inner city development.
By utilising the unitised building techniques, whereby much of the building is constructed off site in a factory, the development was completed in just nine months. Despite the tight laneway access, construction was completed in approximately half the time required for traditional construction methods.
Keen to understand the technology behind this innovative construction technique, the REHDA delegates were taken on a tour of the factory to view this world-class process first hand. It became clear to all in attendance that this technology has the ability to revolutionise construction of tight, inner-city blocks.
The highlight of the tour for many was the cocktail function held in Invest Victoria’s large function rooms. Located on level 46 at 55 Collins St, the venue provided the perfect opportunity to showcase Melbourne at night with sweeping views of the CBD skyline. The evening was attended by around 200 of Melbourne’s property professionals providing an opportunity to facilitate further bi-lateral trade between the two countries.
The positive feedback and success of the business mission demonstrates that Melbourne, yet again, is the number one destination for attracting foreign capital to develop our great city.