Developments for Westpoint

WESTPOINT Corporation has been granted a generous plot-ratio bonus on its Murray Street project as the City of Perth moves to encourage city development and vitality.

The West Perth-based firm is redeveloping the old Town & Country Bank building into hotel and apartment accomm-odation and was recently given council approval to build three extra levels on top of the eight-storey building.

Approval of the extra floors gives the developers a 32 per cent plot ratio bonus, despite the recommendation for refusal by the city council staff which, following advice from the Bonus Plot Ratio Advisory Panel, felt that only an 8.2 per cent bonus plot ratio was justified.

In exchange for the generous plot ratio bonus, Westpoint will sink $180,000 into the re-development and that of Wolf Lane, a pedestrian walkway that runs behind Murray Street shops.

The laneway links Murray and King Streets and Hay Street, via the Wesley Arcade, and has been previously earmarked by the city council for a major upgrade.

Westpoint also has committed to opening either a cafe or retail tenancy fronting the laneway.

Councillor Lisa Scaffidi, who moved the motion to approve the application, said the extra floors still complied with the city’s planning scheme and would not have a negative effect on the streetscape.

Cr Scaffidi said if the city council was serious about inner city living it should approve the additional floors, which would be used for residential apart-ments.

“To the average person it does not matter if a building is 10 or 12 or even 14 storeys high,” Cr Scaffidi said.

“What we have to ask is what will make this project viable so it goes ahead, and the extra floors fall into insignificance when you consider the benefits.”

The building, which is being refurbished at a cost of $10 million, will now consist of 190 hotel rooms, 60 residential apartments, conference rooms, plus ground floor retail and restaurant facilities.

Pacific International Hotel group, the sixth largest hotel operator in Australia, will manage the property.

Hotel suites and apartments were recently re-opened for sale to investors.

The Pacific group has guaranteed to lease back all hotel apartments and suites for 10 years at an annual net rental return of 6.5 per cent of the purchase price.

Prices for the hotel apartments start at $180,000, hotel suites start at $287,100 and residential apartments start at $271,000.

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