07/07/2011 - 00:00

Commercial interest as councils plan to bridge Leederville’s great divide

07/07/2011 - 00:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

THE towns of Cambridge and Vincent want to reunite the elements of the old area of Leederville divided by the Mitchell Freeway as part of a plan to develop key pockets of land isolated by modern transport infrastructure.

Commercial interest as councils plan to bridge Leederville’s great divide

THE towns of Cambridge and Vincent want to reunite the elements of the old area of Leederville divided by the Mitchell Freeway as part of a plan to develop key pockets of land isolated by modern transport infrastructure.

A bigger pedestrian bridge, possibly including shops and cafes, is high on the agenda to replace the existing structure with something more substantial to unite the precincts of Leederville and West Leederville, where both councils have considerable development plans.

The area is ripe for development and is one of several major redevelopment areas near transport links close to the city, including: a big plan for the Canning Bridge precinct joining Applecross, Mount Pleasant and Como; and the potential for a railway station and development at the Kwinana Freeway near Perth Zoo.

The Leederville crossing is just part of the major redevelopment plans of the two councils, with significant high-rise development proposed on the north side of the freeway and two more distinct commercial zones on the south.

Cambridge has already bought land required to accommodate a bigger bridge on the southern side of the freeway as a part of a major revamp of the town’s south-east corner, which will change Cambridge Street to form more of a high street, allowing much more significant commercial development in the area immediately north of the West Leederville railway station and prompting more development in the existing commercial area west of Loftus Street.

There is already healthy commercial interest in the area, with private developer Carcione Group proposing a more than $20 million, six to seven storey mixed-use development on Loftus Street, just south of the existing Australia Post building. Plans developed by architects Meyer Shircore and Associates were approved more than a month ago.

The WA Local Government Association is also understood to be proposing the development of a four- to five-storey office block to house its operations in the area west of Loftus Street.

North of the freeway, along Loftus Street, the Water Corporation has been working with the Town of Vincent on plans to redevelop its large footprint bounded to the north by Newcastle Street.

The Water Corporation is looking at potentially constructing three new buildings as well as an extension of its head office, which currently occupies the site.

The utility is seeking approval to extend its existing office to consolidate its headquarters workforce into one location.

It is proposed the other buildings will occupy the Newcastle Street frontage, including one as high as 18 storeys. The proposals are for buildings that could accommodate 240 home units and another involving 80,000 square metres of mixed-use office space.

The Town of Vincent is also looking at two big buildings on the car parks that currently buffer the Oxford Street retail precinct from the freeway. Both could be as high as 18 storeys, with one potentially earmarked as a hotel site.

A piazza on the south-eastern end of Oxford Street is also part of a proposal badged under the Leederville Master Plan.

Vincent CEO John Giorgi said the councils had funded a joint study of the area to see if bridging the freeway was feasible.

He said a pedestrian bridge was the most likely outcome, although the councils had discussed the prospect of building a structure that could take public transport as well.

“The council has always wanted to improve the east-west transport across the city,” Mr Giorgi said.

“Whether you can go the whole hog and open up to buses and the like I think this study will look into that.”

He said the new development would link into Oxford Street without taking away from the “grunge” feeling the existing retail area had.

Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers said the linking of the two towns would help give the area the scale needed for proper development.

“We need to think about it as one area,” he said.

“On their own they are both suboptimal. Together you get greater amenity.”

Mr Withers said the development of the commercial districts not only gave the city a bigger rate base, it would also provide the demand required to attract shops and cafes residents wanted.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options