THE City of Perth has unveiled a plan to revitalise the Gasworks Building and its surrounding precinct on Wellington Street, with the creation of an artistic hub for the fashion and photographic industries as its central vision.
The project has been allocated a total of $3 million in the city’s five-year capital works plan, in $1.5 million instalments in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
No timetable has yet been set for the Gasworks revamp, but the project brief set out a ‘short-term’ vision of less than 10 years for the entire precinct, with a Gasworks building refurbishment completed by 2015.
The plan has flowed out from the city’s ‘What If’ project, where it identified under-utilised areas of the city in need of repair or upgrade.
The ‘What If’ project proposed the Gasworks precinct be established as a business incubator for the fashion industry, combined with photography, workshops, retail assets and fashion parade facilities.
The Gasworks Building contains several old buildings, including a two-level shop building at the front, the four-level Padlock Building at the rear and a two-level building and warehouse.
The two-level shop building and Padlock Building are currently partially leased to community television station West TV.
The Padlock Building is also currently used for fashion photography, with studios on several levels.
Gasworks Lane, formerly known as McLeans Lane, was flagged as the third CBD laneway to get the reactivation treatment from the council after its successful enhancement of Wolf Lane in 2008.
The City of Perth has already completed upgrades and restorations at Howards Lane and Grand Lane.
The updated project brief for the Gasworks incorporates the idea of a fashion and photography precinct, but also includes a ground level cafe at the laneway side of the building and commercial tenancies facing Wellington Street.
At the other end of the lane, landowner Access West Developments (AWD) previously received a development approval from the City of Perth for a $4 million addition of two storeys to and the refurbishment of the existing building at 100 to 104 Murray Street.
Key components of that proposal included the removal of Ambar nightclub from the basement level to extend car parking facilities and the establishment of a bicycle store that would be accessed from the laneway.
Prevailing market conditions and the scarcity of finance for commercial property projects are understood to have derailed that plan and AWD no longer has a development timetable in place.