Melbourne's most liveable parkside precinct

The undulating parklands surrounding Melbourne Square fosters a sense of community and wellbeingThe undulating parklands surrounding Melbourne Square fosters a sense of community and wellbeing

MELBOURNE is one of the world’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities, with a plethora of artistic, cultural, culinary, nightlife, retail, sporting, leisure and natural attractions.

The capital of Victoria, Australia, was ranked as the third most liveable city in the world under the 2023 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), after holding top spot for seven years running between 2011 and 2018.

It attracts people from all over the world – from tourists seeking captivating experiences, to migrants wanting a better quality of life and even investors looking for high-potential opportunities.

This has made it one of the planet’s most culturally diverse cities, a melting pot of traditions, cuisines and ideas which is welcoming, inclusive and most importantly, safe.

The healthcare, education and transport infrastructure is world class. The weather is mild, with moderate summers and winters. It all makes Melbourne a magnificent city in which to live, work, relax, play and enjoy life to its fullest.

Melbourne Square (middle) at dawn.Melbourne Square (middle) at dawn.

If that sounds appealing, then OSK Property’s RM8.76bil flagship development there –Melbourne Square – will be an excellent proposition.

Located in Southbank, a neighbourhood south of the Central Business District (CBD) alongside the scenic Yarra River, it is a short walk or tram ride away from everything that the city and its suburbs have to offer.

This visionary, master-planned development spans an entire 5-acre inner-city block and once completed, will encompass six residential and mixed used buildings interspersed among landscaped parklands.

Stage One (of five) was completed in April 2021, with Stage Two set to commence in the next quarter of this year. But already, it has created a dynamic and inviting public realm, which nurtures a diverse vertical village of residents.

Factors that were key in Melbourne Square winning a World Silver under the Master Plan Category of the prestigious FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence Awards 2024:

The plush living and kitchen areas of one of MSQ’s premium apartments.The plush living and kitchen areas of one of MSQ’s premium apartments.

City transformation

Melbourne Square is being developed by OSK Property, the real estate arm of OSK Holdings Bhd, in partnership with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Envisioned as a transformational, community-centric precinct and a lush, green gateway to the CBD, Melbourne Square’s completed components have already reshaped Southbank’s skyline.

It was designed in tandem with Cox Architects, Carr and Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) to create a rich narrative of built form, making it a landmark urban destination that both enhances the already vibrant community and redefines how its residents live.

Stage One saw the completion of stunning twin elliptical residential towers known as MSQ, which rise 236.7m and 184.3m into the sky and contain 1,048 plush apartments overlooking the city centre, the bay and Royal Botanic Gardens.

At its base is a retail zone which now houses a full-line Woolworths supermarket (the first in Southbank), a Pacific Asian Grocer, an 87-place Nido childcare centre, a homely restaurant and boutique cafe.

There are also generous private luxury facilities for residents, including a resort-style heated outdoor lap pool, wading pool, sun terrace, indoor pool with views over Melbourne, spa, sauna, yoga studio, music room, gyms, golf simulator, cinema, private dining areas and kitchen facilities, to name a few.

Melbourne Square’s key differentiator is its 14,700sq m (158,229sq ft) of combined private and public amenities, which includes the massive 3,745sq m (40,310sq ft) Kennedy Park (the largest in Southbank), a network of green spaces and an exclusive outdoor oasis.

This expanse of undulating public parklands provides a neighbourhood focal point, fostering a sense of community, and encouraging health, wellbeing and connection.

In designing the lush areas, a deliberate decision was made to significantly exceed Southbank’s open space area requirements – as OSK Property believes this is an essential feature in elevating quality of life for the community.

It has since become a central, convenient and safe place for people to come together throughout the day and across the seasons, being easily accessible on foot (just 10 minutes from the CBD) or by bike, tram, bus, train or car.

Melbourne Square’s first two towers have reshaped the city’s skylineMelbourne Square’s first two towers have reshaped the city’s skyline

Investment potential

Stage Two of Melbourne Square will be BLVD, a 74-storey residential building whose construction is slated to commence in Q3 this year.

Officially launched to the market last October, BLVD’s positive response has already resulted in over 50% of the building being sold.

It will have 602 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with built-ups ranging from 49.9sq m to 176.9sq m (538sq ft to 1,905sq ft), and selling prices starting from RM1.81mil, RM2.34mil and RM4.12mil respectively.

BLVD’s facilities will be spread across levels 8, 55 and 56 and include an indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, golf simulator, cinema/karaoke room, gyms, lounges, dining rooms, outdoor zen garden and a double-storey co-working space.

More retail space will come with BLVD and future towers, with approximately 1,750sq m (18,836sq ft) already earmarked, alongside a further 600sq m (6,458sq ft) for creative spaces.

The fourth tower will be a Build-to-Rent (BTR) tower with construction planned to start in Q1 of 2025. This will be a joint venture between OSK Property and GQ’s BTR platform backed by Gurner and Qualitas.

This would also be designed by Cox Architects and deliver a further 500 residences alongside extensive communal amenities.

“This joint venture with GQ represents the next evolution of our Australian pipeline and allows us to go where the market is, recognising the under-supply of rental accommodation in Melbourne.

The private luxury facilities include a resort-styled, heated outdoor lappool.The private luxury facilities include a resort-styled, heated outdoor lappool.

“OSK Property has a strong reputation as a high-quality developer in Malaysia, and given the success and proven track record at Melbourne Square – we would like to think the Australian market can see that we are trustworthy and will deliver,” said OSK Property Australia CEO Woon Chong Boon.

In an effort to connect the neighbouring arts precinct with Melbourne Square and to bring art to the community, OSK Property also ran an art competition themed “Together, In Nature” to design a new, large-scale sculptural landmark as a visual gateway to Southbank.

Troy Emery’s “Guardian Lion” was announced as the winning artwork in April. The colourful, 18m x 15m (59ft x 49ft) piece will provide a sense of companionship like a friendly, neighbourhood cat and be highly visible by day or night from the motorway.

Emery’s concept drew inspiration from traditional Chinese architecture and Japanese symbolism, whereby lions and dogs guard entrances to shrines and signify strength. He also looked to Victorian folklore to give the piece – Australian context, specifically referencing a Melbournian story of the mythical ‘Grampians big cat’.

Safe to say that no other precinct in Melbourne has ever offered such generous combined private and public amenities, or delivered valuable local services that truly resonated with the community.

Which is why Melbourne Square will be the gateway to experiencing life to the fullest, cherishing both the ordinary and extraordinary, while combining urban convenience with a connection to people and place – all in the city’s most liveable parkside precinct.

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