MRCB unveils second Australian development
Sonia Ramachandran 
An artist’s impression of the facade of 1060 Carnegie
RIDING on the success of its first development in Australia, MRCB Land (Australia) Pty Ltd has launched its second residential project in Melbourne called 1060 Carnegie. And it has done it in true Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) style – capitalising on accessibility and public transportation.

The mixed-use apartment complex is just a stone’s throw away from the Carnegie Railway Station (a five minutes’ walk away), Koornang Road shops (two minutes’ walk) and Monash University Caulfield Campus (1km away).

It is also just 2km away from Chadstone Shopping Centre, touted as the largest retail complex in the Southern Hemisphere, covering over 15ha with more than 500 stores.

The freehold development is also about 6km away from Elwood Beach, a top destination for wind surfing, boating, fishing, and swimming as well as a 10-minute drive to one of the “hip” places in the area, Chapel Street.

Only 19 units of the one-bedroom and 11 units of the two-bedroom units are still available, says Lim

In fact, MRCB Land (Australia) Pty Ltd director Alex Lim Hooi Kiang tells FocusM that 1060 Carnegie is already 70% sold.

1, 2 & 3-bedroom units

The company’s first project in Australia was Easton Burwood, comprising 126 units of apartments in Melbourne.

Lim says 1060 Carnegie is designed by renowned Australian architects Peddle Thorp and comprises a single 10-floor block featuring 173 apartments with the choice of one, two or three-bedroom units.

The bulk of the development is made up of 114 two-bedroom units, while 50 one-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units.

The one-bedroom units start at 500 sq ft while the two-bedroom units begin at 800 sq ft. The three-bedroom units are from 1,000 sq ft onwards.

Lim says prices start from A$430,000 (RM1.46 mil) to A$480,000, while the two-bedroom units are from A$580,000 to A$730,000. The 1,000 sq ft units start from A$735,000 onwards.

He says the three-bedroom units were all sold out with only 19 units of the one-bedroom and 11 units of the two-bedroom units still available.

Strata-titled suites

1060 Carnegie also features strata-titled corporate office suites on the second level covering 4,951 sq ft, retail units on the ground floor covering 12,701 sq ft as well as secure basement parking. In keeping with Australians’ love for the outdoors, Lim says there will be a 6,673 sq ft rooftop garden for the residents.

“It is a landscaped garden with chairs, benches and gas-operated barbecue pits for the residents to have a few drinks and relax. There will also be a small playground that will be fenced off as safety is a primary concern,” he says.

The apartments also come furnished with crafted bespoke kitchens and living zones, high quality finishes and appliances including timber flooring, LED lighting, reverse cycle air-conditioning and stone bench tops.

Bathrooms will feature modern fixtures and fittings and storage that complement the architecture. They plan for six lifts to service the complex.

Lim says the maintenance fees for the one-bedroom units is about A$2,000 per annum, while that for the two-bedroom is between A$2,800 and A$3,000, and between A$3,000 to A$3,500 for the three-bedroom units.

The development covers about 43,056 sq ft while its gross development value (GDV) is between A$100 mil and A$105 mil, says Lim.

The project is expected to commence in December and complete by 2019.

He says the name 1060 Carnegie was chosen because it combines the street name as well as the exact location of the project.

Lim adds they have yet to decide on whether to sell or lease the ground floor retail lots but assures buyers that they will be very selective on who comes in. “We will certainly cater for the needs of the residents over there.

“When I say we are very particular about who comes in, I mean that we will look after the prestige of the development,” he says.

On factors which make Carnegie 1060 a good location, Lim says it is mainly because of the “choice site”, which is one of the best connected with two train stations, four rail lines, a dedicated tram route and live bus routes.

“The [other] factors are the Monash University Caulfield Campus, the Chadstone Shopping Centre, the proximity to the train stations and then the main thoroughfare, Princess Highway, which is just in front,” he says.

Lim points out that another important factor is the expected minimum yield per annum of about 5%.

He says their target audience is diverse, with buyers from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in addition to the locals who buy for their own stay. Lim adds that since the project is located in an upmarket area, they are targeting the upmarket catchment.

Near Monash University

Australian real estate agency Castran Gilbert director Michael Lang concurs that the location of 1060 Carnegie is one of the main reasons that attracted investors.

“1060’s proximity to Monash University – which continues to be one of Melbourne’s top universities – makes it irresistible to the university community, especially international students who would also appreciate the project’s accessibility to Koornang Road eateries, supermarket, the exciting new sky rail, and Carnegie Library.

“1060 is also going to be very attractive to the young professional market, due to it being close to the Carnegie train station, which makes commuting to and from Melbourne CBD [central business district] a breeze. We expect high rental demand,” he says.

Lang adds Carnegie also enjoys a steady growth. “ reported a 12% median price growth in the last 12 months alone. I think that all these factors make 1060 Carnegie an outstanding investment option,” he says.

Lim does not expect the increase in tax on foreign purchases of residential property from 3% to 7% this year to have much effect on foreign buyers investing in this property.

“It is quite negligible. I don’t expect it to affect property sales because of the yield plus the fact that people will buy it for long term investment rather than a quick flip,” he adds.

On MRCB’s focus on Melbourne, Lim notes it is the fastest-growing city in Australia and was voted the world’s most liveable city for six consecutive years, according to The Economist’s global liveability survey.

“Melbourne is also the arts and culture centre of Australia. Therefore, it has tremendous potential for real estate development,” he says.

Lim points out the sites chosen for development are always accessible to both transport and universities as well as medical facilities. “That is reflected in all our MRCB developments,” he says.

Asked about the timing of the project, Lim says there is always a shortage of dwellings in Victoria.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Victoria welcomed a record of 127,500 people last year and the trend is expected to continue with thousands more expected to emigrate to Melbourne in the next 12 months,” he says.

Expansion plans

MRCB chief operating officer Kwan Joon Hoe says their first development in Australia, Easton Burwood, was their “pilot project” which proved to be a huge success, paving the way for the second one.

MRCB is also looking at New Zealand and Sydney for future projects, says Kwan

“That was only 126 units so now we are moving on to 170 plus units because we are familiar already. We know the market and we are confident that we can deliver a better and bigger project.

“Moving on hopefully we can ride on this success and keep growing,” he says.

On their future plans internationally, Kwan says: “We are actually looking if there is any new land, not only in Australia. We are also looking at probably New Zealand and others in this region.

“In Australia itself, we are also looking at Sydney. We are aggressive in seeking for opportunities but prudent in investing.”

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 246.