24/06/2022 - 16:28

Development threatens to 'destroy' Pickle District

24/06/2022 - 16:28

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Members of an arts district in West Perth, including Janet Holmes a Court, are opposing a $25.5 million proposal for a five-storey building in which a hardware store could be a major tenant.

Development threatens to 'destroy' Pickle District
The proposed five-storey development in the Pickle District, West Perth. Image: Meyer Shircore Architects

Members of an arts district in West Perth, including Janet Holmes a Court, are opposing a $25.5 million proposal for a five-storey commercial building in which a hardware store could be a major tenant.

Planning Solutions, on behalf of Saracen Properties, is proposing to build a five-storey development comprising a hardware store, a 130-place child care centre, seven commercial tenancies and a community event space.

The application flagged a fast food outlet, tavern with microbrewery, a grocer and cafes as options for the commercial tenancies.

Business News has sighted concept designs, by Meyer Shircore architects, with majority of one of the commercial spaces allocated to "a main warehouse, timber sales and outdoor nursery" though Bunnings is not named as a tenant.

A development application with an estimated value of $25.5 million was lodged to the Metro Inner-North Joint Development Panel on May 11.

The site covers 8,771 square metres of land bounded by Newcastle Street, Cleaver Street and Old Aberdeen Place in West Perth.

A group of local business owners, who have been promoting the surrounding area as an arts hub called The Pickle District, has objected to the proposed plans. 

Since 2014, the area has grown to be home to several creative businesses, including Linton & Kay Galleries, Holmes à Court Gallery and Old Habits, all located within 300 metres of each other.

According to The Pickle District group, the proposed development would demolish buildings housing businesses including coffee shop and arts space Cleaver Street Co, gallery STALA Contemporary and art studio Voxlab.

Holmes à Court Gallery owner and director and prominent businesswoman Janet Holmes à Court said she was well aware of the "threat" of the proposal.

“The proposed Bunnings development is slap-bang in the middle of The Pickle District and its impact will be insurmountable,” Ms Holmes à Court said.

“Not only will it erase small businesses and art galleries, but also shatter the heart of the Pickle District and future opportunities for the ongoing development of this area as a unique multi-arts destination.”


The proposed five-storey development in West Perth. Image: Meyer Shircore & Associates Architects

Pickle District Town Team spokesperson and artist Jon Denaro said the development’s impact would be devastating to the area.

“We are not opposed to development in the area, however, we want to see a development that honours the existing precinct and is geographically, and culturally valuable,” Mr Denaro said.

“The proposed development destroys everything we have been building, the community and the whole potential of the precinct.”

The applicant’s development report said this would be the first major mixed-use multi-storey redevelopment in the area.

The report said the site sloped from north to south along Cleaver Street, causing the development being three-storeys on Newcastle Street but five-storeys from Old Aberdeen Place.

“The proposal will provide the locality with not only a contemporary and site-specific design, but a development that will act as a catalyst for redeveloping the Pickles District within West Perth,” the report said.

“Taking advantage of these corner locations, the proposed development will comprise recognisable and iconic building features.”

The City of Vincent is advertising the proposal for community feedback on its website, which will close on Thursday.

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