THE release of long-awaited plans for the Northbridge Link may have grabbed the headlines, but the organisation responsible for delivering the project has unfinished business to attend to elsewhere in the city
THE release of long-awaited plans for the Northbridge Link may have grabbed the headlines, but the organisation responsible for delivering the project has unfinished business to attend to elsewhere in the city.
Premier Colin Barnett announced final plans for ‘the link’ last month, unveiling a public square as part of the state government’s vision for sinking the rail line and reclaiming land between Wellington and Roe streets in the city.
The East Perth Redevelopment Authority, which will oversee work on the Northbridge Link, has been working on its ‘New Northbridge’ project for the past nine years, and says the development is nearing completion, with many new mixed-use developments completed or substantially commenced.
The state government has invested $60 million into New Northbridge through EPRA, and estimates this will generate over $300 million in private investment.
Developers active in the revitalisation include Finbar, Psaros Constructions, Saracen Properties, Match, Trenside Holdings, Colgan Industries, Heyspring International and Golden Sea Property.
EPRA estimates the project will provide 1,200 new residents and 3,500 new workers to the area through mixed-use residential and commercial developments.
In addition to the residential and commercial mixed-use developments, $67 million has been invested in an expansion of Central Tafe, which is now at Stage Two.
EPRA acting chief executive Sean Henriques said the introduction of new workers and residents had increased activity in Northbridge, while the project had delivered services and facilities to support this growth.
“One of the key objectives for the project was to enhance and protect the area’s heritage and cultural values,” Mr Henriques told WA Business News.
“The area’s rich history has been enhanced through adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, innovative mixed-use developments and a commitment to social and affordable housing.
“More than 70 heritage buildings have been retained for adaptive reuse.”
Another important component of the Northbridge revitalisation is EPRA’s comprehensive redevelopment of William Street.
The authority is renovating and leasing 11 heritage buildings between Roe and Aberdeen streets and developing key sites.
The leasing program commenced in September and construction began last month, and during the renovation EPRA has provided both free and subsidised spaces to community and arts organisations, including a WAMI live recording studio
EPRA has also offered arts organisations that currently inhabit William Street premises subsidised permanent tenancies to ensure vibrancy and a unique atmosphere in the suburb.
The William Street works have been timed to be complete around the same time as the opening of the new State Theatre Centre next year.