IT will have been a busy week at the headquarters of LandCorp with the state's development agency playing host to pitches from the short-listed developers for the Alkimos project 50 kilometres north of Perth.
Each of the three short-listed groups will have spent up to a day with a team from LandCorp outlining the broad thrust and accompanying detail of their proposal to develop what is expected to become a key element of the northern corridor.
Alkimos is an intriguing tussle, setting up a three-way fight between Perth-based Satterley, national listed player Mirvac, which long ago acquired local Fini Group, and Lend Lease's specialist division Delfin, which has not operated previously in Western Australia.
An announcement on the winner is expected by the end of the year.
Out in the market, each of these groups has different perceived strengths when it comes to their ability to design and develop a new urban centre on Perth's coastal fringe.
Alkimos is part of a 2,600-hectare area that includes Eglinton to the north. Alkimos itself is 710ha of land that sits above the growth areas of Butler, Jindalee and Brighton. About 285ha forms the first stage of the development, although planning will be integrated across the whole land area.
LandCorp chief executive Ross Holt said Alkimos was a lot more than a traditional land development.
He said sustainability was a key element of project, a vision that went beyond the environmental aspects of creating urban land from scratch.
"We encourage the private partner to be very lateral in the way they approach this," Mr Holt said.
"Getting major employment opportunities here is a key focus."
He said a coastal node, including a potential marina, offering a place for both tourists and locals was one example of trying to provide something more than a standard suburban development.
Aiding the development is the recent completion of the Marmion Avenue extension to Yanchep. LandCorp will also be seeking the extension of the railway line as soon as possible to ensure that transport options improve the liveability of the area and increase local employment options.
The state government has committed to building the rail line to nearby Brighton, although there is some conjecture about the timing of the planned stations at that development and further south at Butler.
In the interim, LandCorp said there would be developer-funded public transport through the area to improve the attraction and underwrite the sustainable credentials from the start.
"We want people to choose to live there rather than land being cheap," Mr Holt said.
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