Category Archives: Uncategorized

Zhu Hai Residential Concepts

For a large site in the burgeoning Zhu Hai area, recently connected byb land bridge to Hong Kong, this Design Concept looks at complex Local PLanning Laws and Site Design Constraints and Opportunities, to develop a workable and feasible masterplan approach as well as a meaningful and appropriate design strategy for ongoing stages of work. This design review process ssisted the project to get ‘back on track’, achieving a sign off by a demanding client, within two weeks of work.

December 2021 Open Letter to Cairns Mayor

An open letter to the Cairns Mayor, Cr Bob Manning AO, regarding Community Development Opportunities within the Cairns Central Urban Frame, including:

_ An Indigenous Cultural Exchange Facility and Accommodation Longhouse

_ A Shipping Container Community Market

_ Expansion Options for the Cairns Yacht Club

More information can be found in the body of the letter, and links therein.

New Home for North Sydney Basketball Association

Following the surprise eviction of the centre from their current facility within Sydney’s Crow’s Nest, MWA are working with the Northern Suburbs Basketball Association to locate a new home for their facility. The Centre currently comprises 4x indoor Courts, bleachers for about 900 guests, Admin, Toilets and Change, and associated Food and Beverage and Sports Retail. THe Centre is currently conveniently situated over a public car park structure including about 500 cars, that serves to support access to the centre on peak days. The centre sees about 10,000 vistors per week and is a substantial community feature.

MWA have devised a strategy to locate the facility underground as part of the existing ‘The Greens’ Bowling Club at the South Eastern Corner of St Leonard’s Park. This Proposal includes for equivalent facilities as per above, in an underground location, as well as the reconstruction and renewal of the existing ‘The Greens’ Hospitality and Functions Centre, improved access and car parking, and reinstatement of all existing outdoor features including terrace areas, outdoor bowling greens, basketball courts, significnt trees and grassed open space areas.




New Large Yoga Studio for North Shore

MWA are participating in a site selection process to assist Sydney’s premier Yoga Studio business to find a home within Sydney’s North Shore. Yoga brings an incredible improvement in mindfulness and whole of body health for it’s practitioners at all ages, from young kinds right through to seniors . Unusually, there are no large format yoga studios within Sydney’s North Shore, as well as there being a particular shortage of large format, open floor buildings in the North Shore area. Inclusions for the facility are as follows: 3 to 5 large rooms each 10mtr x 14mtr, 2x Pilates Room 10mtr x 8 mtr, 2x Multi-Purpose rooms 8mtr x 5 mtr, Reception, Waiting Lounge, BOH and FOH Storage, Administration, Changing Rooms & Dry Sauna, Steam Room, Infra Red Sauna Rooms, Treatment Room, Lobby – Total Area 800sqm – 900sqm approx up to 1400sqm. Can include for wellness and allied health treatment and consulting rooms. An example Site is Tenancy 9 at HMAS Platypus, a recently refurbished Torpedo factory, within about 8 minutes walk of the North Sydney commercial core. Conversations about possible locations are ongoing.

Submissions on available spaces are welcome, please contact Matthew directly on

MWA Seed Finance Options


Property Development may seem difficult or high risk but it is not. If you are a property owner, considering renovations or rebuilding, you are carrying the same risks and meeting the same project complexities as a developer. The question then is one about scale. Development includes the same set of tasks, the same approval process, the same compliance objectives and requirements, and the same project feasibility risks whether it is large or small. Often, a larger project has more chance of success as it is, overall, more robust that a smaller project. A smaller project can be very on edge and make or break, as such, it can be very stressful for the Project Proponents (usually the Owner). Usually, because of rules of finance, Small Project Proponents are limited in their range of choices about how to develop their assets, in contrast to larger and more commercial developers, who have the benefit of big lending sheets, large teams of staff and consultants, established relationships with Local Authorities and Banks, and incorporated liquidation options, to make development easier, and more profitable.

MWA are launching a new initiative for Small Project Proponents, to transform themselves, through creative thinking and the right connections, from small fish to not so small fish; by providing to these Property Owners, the same team, skillset and finance options available to the big end of town, to improve the range of choice-making opportunities at the commencement of a project, to reduce the risk if failure if something goes wrong, to provide expert and highly competent management expertise in tracking a project towards its targets, and ultimately provide the Proponent a much higher financial yield than would have been able to be contemplated otherwise.

This may seem complicated but it’s not – a large project is no harder than a renovation. Trust us, we know – we have been there, done that. We know how to solve the biggest problems, reduce your risks, and make sure you achieve your targets and objectives for your Project.


Construction projects are usually limited in their scope (and consequently yield), by their budgets. Budgets are usually limited to either the mortgage or asset value and income of the lending client, or the future value of the project being lent to. Usually, the former option is available to a Smaller Project Development, but not the latter. The latter is reserved for the big players, and for the big projects.

The financial positions of Smaller Project Developers can usually vary greatly. Some have a reasonably sized property or asset portfolio that can be used to underpin lending to support forthcoming costs for the Smaller Development Project. However, usually, that mortgage or asset value is driven by the Smaller Project Developer’s income, which is, from the Bank’s point of view, a fixed constraint.

At the same time, returns on investment for Property Developments are very high yielding. A medium sized development might take three years to move from inception (first ideas or land purchase), through to yield or delivery (sale of product to consumers), however yields in this period are expected to be higher than 30% on investment capital – otherwise, for an experienced developer, the project will not get an investment ‘green light’. Some high yielding projects achieve yields of more than 30%, some up to 50% and sometimes, depending on market conditions and other somewhat unpredictable factors, yield more than 50%.

Therefore property development is an absolute blue chip investment strategy and use of capital – particularly in Australia where we have a secure mortgage market and relatively stable real estate values and employment. Successful business owners often turn their profits from their high performing business to property development, to consolidate and improve upon their wealth. Property provides security like no other – once a building is built and a title created, there is very little that can change that. This is why we see so much overseas capital flowing into Australia’s major cities, and directly into substantial property development projects. The Australian property market is very high yielding and by comparison, very stable.

As a Small Project Developer, income usually limits finance available for construction works. This is a shame, because often a site may be able to developed more comprehensively and yield more value (return) for the property owner. But for reasons of bank rules and finance limits, often those options cannot be entertained, and smaller scale, lower yielding and higher risk projects must be scoped and constructed.


MWA will, for select projects, provide partial or complete seed funding for purpose of managing all design and approvals costs associated with achieving a value uplift in the land holding arising from gaining the Development Approval for the Property Owner. This means that MWA becomes your Development Partner and will not only lend its skill, time and ability to your Project, but also it’s finances.

Once this value uplift is achieved, banks and other mainstream lenders are mor likely to refinance the landholding at an increased value, meaning MWA can receive a payment through this refinancing process, that is indexed to a proportion of the value uplift in the landholding.


Often, Property Owners as Small Developers may not know where to start. Development options for a site are complex, varied, multiplicitous, contradictory and somewhat hard to visualise. Due diligence issues may arise again as whatever development advantages might have been envisioned for the site before purchase, must now be tested against a whole range of project complexity before being deemed as obtainable. Local Councils often don’t make it any easier, offering a confusing set of rules and no resource for their interpretation.

MWA is expert in development planning and concept visualisation. We literally make it easy to find the right, and highest value, solution for a site. We understand what the rules are, what rules to comply with and what rules to break or bend. We understand the various logistical issues that underpin a project in terms of design and construction. We understand the market into which the project will be built, and the likely project yield calculations and scenarios.  

As your Small Projects Development Partner, we have a responsibility to you and ourselves to get this important phase of the project, right. We make the process of Due Diligence and development scenario definition, easy. We take the risk out of project planning and give confidence that the development scenario will work for the market into which it will be selling and the yields that will accumulate from these sales.


As your Small Projects Development Partner, we do all of this at no cost to you. As your Project Partner, we work collaboratively with you to achieve a shared agreement on the development scenario. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work and contribution to your project; we are very experienced in doing this and have confidence in ourselves and our abilities. We make the complex – simple, workable, unique, and high value.


Construction work is never cheap. Time costs in Australia for builders are very high. Most of the cost of construction goes into the time the builder spends in preparing or and constructing the Project. Risks are great and problems can be very serious. During construction, a good Project can quickly go bad, for a broad range of reasons. Achieving construction stage targets – time, budget and quality – are essential in meeting market expectations, project timeline expectations and pre-defined project yield scenarios. The expression ‘Time is Money’, is never more relevant to a Construction Project. A substantial amount of money must be outlayed before any return on investment is gained. There is no short cut or way out once this process is initiated.


Once the Development Approval is achieved as above, via assistance from the MWA Seed Fund Facility, the improved Land Value can become Security for purpose of financing the Construction Works phase. This then allows the project to move from ‘Dream’ (An approved Design) to ‘Reality’ (Sale of the Built Outcome at Profit to the Small Project Developer).

The MWA sed fund facility allows a project to move from a concept to a point where the improvement in value is enough to guarantee finance for construction works. MWA has as part of its working relationships, mezzanine finance facilities to provide finance during construction works up until point of sale.


Builders are not your friends. They are not aligned to your needs as the Small Project Developer, in constructing a project. Their motivation is to build what is drawn and specified at the lowest cost in the shortest time frame possible charging the maximum possible amount for this effort. Mistakes will be charged for, delays will be charged for, inconsistencies or omissions in the documentation will be charged for, changes will be charged for. The relationship between a Client and a Builder can change dramatically over the life of a project, for this reason.

A Client / Builder relationship must be an objective one, with clarity provided in all respects. This avoids or reduces the chance for misinterpretation and dispute.


For certain Projects, MWA offer a Design / Build Solution, where our interests in the successful completion of the project are vested with yours, we become aligned around your project needs, rather than opposed. As well as this, we know how to scope, define, draw, specify, coordinate, and instruct a construction project. We know how to deliver a project. We are experts in project delivery. We will achieve your targets, because we know how to achieve them, and because they are our targets too.


Knowing what works in the market and what is of value is complex. For a Small Project Developer, there is forthcoming a bewildering array of choices about a project that will inform it’s success or failure at market; this complexity is compounded by the forthcoming demand from consultants for information required from the Project Principal (The Small project Developer), in order to ‘bed down’ the documentation. Consultants will just draw everything once and once something is drawn, it is very difficult to change. Consultants are themselves on very tight budgets and timelines that are beyond the reach and control of the Small projects Developer. This just adds risk and anxiety to the Project for the Small Projects Developer.


MWA are very experienced in what works at market and where questions exist, can quickly, expeditiously and expertly engage with market experts to correctly define a project brief and market requirement. MWA are expert at project definition in terms of market sales, and work expertly and confidently in creating reliable project yield calculations, integrating with assessment of various development options in early phases of the Project.

MWA have performed this service for some of Australia’s most demanding and high level property developers; this skill at once integrates site planning, site use, site logistics, project yield characteristics, and robust and reliable interpretation of design constraints and opportunities. We will impress you from the outset as to how we can quickly, easily and clearly define a project, despite these complexities. As your Development Partner, we are your best ally in creating a successful project.


If you are a Property Owner and are contemplating various development scenarios for your Property, please contact Matthew directly for a no obligation discussion around your Project Needs. From there, MWA can provide a complete proposal defining for you a complete Process in defining the Preferred Development Scenario, and support you in achieving your Project Goals.


Carradah Park Footbridge

Following resumption of lands on northern edge of Berry;s Bay by RMS for Westconnex Tunnel Works, these works will require that the existing at grade pedestrian track along the water’s edge may be required to be removed as a consequence of spoil needing to move across the waters edge for loading or off loading. MWA provided this Proposal to north Sydney COuncil to appraise the opportunity to implement a footbridge to the northern side of this RMS slandholding, allowing ‘roll through’ access to be maintained for pedestrians during RMS works, as well as providing an interesting and unique permanent additional to the Berry;s Bay pedestrian framework.

Union Street Precinct Urban Gateway Project

This Project initiates a scoping study for two key landholdings in McMahon’s Point, with close proximity to the North Sydney Urban Core, immediate access to the lovely Blues Point Road Urban Domain, and exceptional views of the Sydney City Skyline across McMahon’s Point and Lavender Bay. The Project Proposal creates a ‘gateway’ for the Union Street precinct, retains and enhances the existing retail shopfront and hospitality function, significantly improves the value of the two adjacent land holdings and resolves all functional requirements associated with apartment living on the two sites.

MWA Health Design Process Example

Heath Projects are some of the most complex and significant buildings that exist. While working as Studio Design leader for Health Projects at Woods Bagot (Sydney), Matthew led development of this detiled Design Report running in parallel with his work in leading this and severl other health projects,in order to demonstrate to the Client his advanced capacity and awareness of a Health project, in all of it’s relevant parametres and metrics. This Report and Project led to a significant improvement in the working relationship between the Wood’s Bagot Health Architecture Team and this important Institutional Client, such that it lead to further commisions and engagements on projects of higher value and increased complexity.