Eco World International's Jeffrey Ong on Yarra One and future Australian ambitions

Eco World International's Jeffrey Ong on Yarra One and future Australian ambitions
Mark BaljakJuly 17, 2018

The recent commencement of construction on Eco World International's first Melbourne apartment project shapes as a beachhead for the ambitious Malaysian-based developer.

Australian expansion plans are on the agenda for Eco World International; Yarra One joins another sizeable development backed by the developer in Sydney's booming Parramatta. The $242 million South Yarra development will include 255 apartments above an open-air public workspace podium, in a building designed by Fender Katsalidis.

Launched in 2017 as Eco World International’s first foray into the Melbourne market, Yarra One's progress has given the developer cause to plan a long presence in the Melbourne market.

In addition to outlining Yarra One's project-specific traits, Eco World International's General Manager, Jeffrey Ong, also delves into the firm's site purchase strategy and future expectations for their Australian operations.

Eco World International's Jeffrey Ong on Yarra One and future Australian ambitions
Yarra One's recently marked the commencement of construction drew EcoWorld International to the Claremont Street site over other prospective Melbourne development sites?

Jeffrey Ong: It was the location of Claremont Street, in the heart of South Yarra, that drew EcoWorld International to choose the site for their first Melbourne site. The iconic suburb is renowned for offering residents a desirable lifestyle with its enviable access to amenities without the chaotic disposition of other inner city suburbs. 

The opportunity to choose a centrally located development site was one that could not be passed up, with no other property development sites left in South Yarra that strategically connect Chapel St.

U: Are permitted sites such as Yarra One favoured over purchasing development sites which have yet to reach planning?

JO: Permitted sites such as Claremont Street are more likely to be in favour when compared to a site with a planning scheme. With this in mind, if EcoWorld International comes across a great location without any planning schemes then it will assess the capacity for such a site.

The decision on whether to purchase a site will always be based on the individual site's potential to meet local needs.

U: Can you provide some insight on the buyer demographic to date, and how many apartments remain for purchase within Yarra One?

JO: At this stage, EcoWorld International has sold over 60% of Yarra One apartments with completion slated for the second half of 2020.

In terms of the buyer demographic, there is currently a strong mix of owner-occupiers and investors who have purchased apartments.  

U: What features did EcoWorld International introduce to Yarra One after attaining the site? Effectively what gives the development the EcoWorld International touch?

JO: EcoWorld International has offered a range of unique features that are exclusive to the Yarra One development.  

A defining feature of the Yarra One project will be the Victorian first, sustainable car-sharing model which will offer residents the option to hire a Tesla from the comfort of their apartments. EcoWorld International aims to be environmentally-responsible in all developments and this car-sharing model is a conscious and unique effort to future-proof Yarra One.

The development will include facilities that aim to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. These facilities include a dedicated wellness retreat with a gym and outdoor spa, a yoga and dance studio.

There will also be a private terrace, dining room, library, and wine room for residents.

Eco World International's Jeffrey Ong on Yarra One and future Australian ambitions
Resident amenities take precedence within the complex

The Yarra One rooftop will offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Melbourne with fire pits and seating to create a luxurious communal area for residents to enjoy.

Yarra One will include pet-friendly facilities for residents with a dedicated dog wash area, along with other amenities specifically tailored to care for pets.

The development is set to include an Australian first-of-its-kind residential co-working space, accommodating for the growing trend in agile working environments. There will be membership options to use the space that will provide residents with the ability to work close to home in a well-equipped office.

There will also be an open-air public workspace in The Atrium for residents and individuals the South Yarra. The workspace will be located on level one and will be equipped with laptop and phone charging stations, as well as a café and tranquil canopies of greenery.

U: Aside from the South Yarra and Parramatta projects, does EcoWorld International have intentions for additional projects in other Australian cities?

JO: We're continuously looking for new development sites in Australia. We strongly believe that Australia, especially the Melbourne and Sydney market, is ripe with opportunity. 

The warm reception towards Yarra One from locals and investors alike has been a very positive and humbling experience for us and we are encouraged to strengthen the EcoWorld brand in Australia by rolling out more quality products to cater for the needs of buyers, delivering iconic projects for years to come.

U: Would EcoWorld International wait for demand for large-scale Melbourne apartment projects to return, or would they follow many other current developers in potentially taking on small-scale owner occupier developments in Melbourne?

JO: We're looking at all projects that have the potential to suit the company’s hallmarks which has the primary focus to cater for local needs of the Melbourne residents.

Whether there is a demand from first homeowners, downsizers or for prestige property, wherever the demand lies, we will ensure there is a project to meet the needs of Melbourne.

Eco World International's Jeffrey Ong on Yarra One and future Australian ambitions
Yarra One's hero perspective

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

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