CBD redevelopment aims to lure global retailers

Dec 20th, 2014

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Article by:
Kate Emery


More than $100 million is being spent on projects to lure global retailers into the Perth CBD, breathe new life into Cottesloe's beachfront and shake up Subiaco's shopping strip.

Plans have been lodged with the cities of Perth and Subiaco and the Town of Cottesloe for three projects that vary in scope but each aims to make its mark.

In Perth, Forrest Chase shopping complex faces a redevelopment that involves steel and glass redesigns of walkways linking the central shopping space to Northbridge, the cultural precinct and public transport.

Shopfronts would also be brought forward to boost the overall retail space.

A development application lodged by owner ISPT put a $67 million cost on construction.

But ISPT development services general manager Chris McCluskey said the total investment would be more than $100 million.

Mr McCluskey said a key driver behind the redevelopment plan was to bring more "global flagship retailers" into the CBD.

He said it was also part of the overall revitalisation of the city.

"It's a revitalisation, a renewal, a refresh," he said. "It's about the creation of a really strong flagship retail space.

"We're going to create something really special."

Forrest Chase sits beside the public space known as Forrest Place and houses about 40 stores, including a five-level Myer, Witchery, Laura Ashley and Cue.

If approved, the redevelopment would be completed by Christmas 2016.

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the proposed revamp would be more people-friendly and reflect the CBD's sophistication by removing "tired elements" and replacing fittings.

"The city council is a part of the process and we were unanimous in that we see it as part of the overall makeover of the heart of the city," she said.

In Subiaco and Cottesloe, State Government intervention to raise building heights is bearing fruit, with Cottesloe to get its first five-storey beachfront building since height restrictions were lifted. Plans for a 16-storey tower on the Subiaco Pavilion Markets site are also gaining momentum.

The retail and residential development proposed for the site of Cottesloe's Bluewaters cafe will be the first test of the council's appetite to approve taller developments, months after increased height limits for Marine Parade were enshrined in a new planning scheme.

Under the scheme, the height limit along most of Marine Parade is capped at five storeys, rising to six storeys at the il Lido restaurant site and eight storeys at the Ocean Beach Hotel.

Setbacks are required for buildings above three storeys and the ground floors of redeveloped sites are earmarked for commercial use, such as cafes, small bars and restaurants.

The proposed Bluewaters redevelopment has scope for up to three retail outlets - such as cafes, restaurants or bars - on the ground floor and residential accommodation upstairs.

Lease Equity managing director Jim Tsagalis said the owner, Frank Cullity Wilson, was part of the community and recognised it felt a degree of ownership over the beachfront.

He said development so close to the beach would always be closely watched but he was hopeful the "stunning development" would be approved.

Cottesloe mayor Jo Dawkins said the proposal would be the first to be considered since the Government defined height limits for the area.

Although the council would not vote on the development until early next year, she said it was designed by respected firm Kerry Hill Architects and complied with the town's local planning scheme.

"Council encourages high quality design which caters to the local beachfront climate, environment and amenity," she said.

At the same time a development application for the former site of the Subiaco Pavilion Markets, on the corner of Rokeby and Roberts roads, has been lodged. 

Planning Minister John Day overruled Subiaco's objections to the development in July, paving the way for 230 residential apartments, 100 hotel or serviced units and an arcade.

Unlike·the Cottesloe proposal, which has been lodged with the council, the Subiaco development will go to a development assessment panel.


Source: The West Australian, 20-21st December 2014

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