03/10/2006 - 22:00

East End ripe for face-lift

03/10/2006 - 22:00

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Perth architects Sandover Pinder are leaving Subiaco for the city’s East End after buying the historic Cremorne Arcade Buildings on Hay Street for $2.6 million in April, with plans to extensively renovate.

Perth architects Sandover Pinder are leaving Subiaco for the city’s East End after buying the historic Cremorne Arcade Buildings on Hay Street for $2.6 million in April, with plans to extensively renovate.

The firm anticipates the new studio will benefit from a number of planned mixed-use developments nearby that, within five years, will transform the area into a thriving residential and entertainment precinct.

Sandover Pinder plans to occupy an 800 square metre space on the first floor of the two-storey building, while leaving three ground floor areas totalling 700sqm for retail or hospitality use, and a basement area of 220sqm.

Executive chairman Michael Henderson said they had managed to keep the rustic appeal of the building by leaving its old fireplaces and brickwork intact, and removing the ceilings to expose timber beams.

“This [renovation] has involved maximising the beauty of the existing building and integrating it with modern design using plenty of natural light,” he said.

The new design encourages collaboration through open planning, flexible work spaces and a variety of meeting rooms which will cater to its growing staff of 20.

Aromas from its time as a Pizza Hut store have long gone, as have those from previous owners McDonald’s, who originally bought the property in 1986 for $2.25 million and are now positioned on the corner of Barrack and Hay Streets.

Sandover Pinder director David Karotkin said the ground floor tenancies had attracted a lot of interest, and the firm was keen to engage a tenant who, ideally, would be looking to open a café or modern retail store.

“The East End is ripe for a lift, and whether that will happen soon is really up to those behind the old treasury building, Criterion Hotel and Cinema City,” he said.

Sandover Pinder may soon get its wish, as Criterion Hotel owners Robert Tan and Kok Kwong Han are about to begin construction of a $32 million, 24-storey mixed-use development to the rear of the art deco hotel at 560 Hay Street, containing 112 apartments over three tiers. 

Opening around the same time in early 2008 will be a new state-of-the-art CBD Courts Project on the corner of Hay and Irwin Streets, currently under construction by Multiplex.

Still under a cloud of speculation is Cinema City, located next door to the Cremorne Arcade, and under conditional sale to Macquarie Bank.

The 4,389sqm site, previously owned by Westpoint Corporation associate Goldtag Pty Ltd, has existing planning approval from the City of Perth for a 27-storey residential and hotel development.

Ironically, the firm’s new studio is also located near one of its major design projects in the old Treasury Buildings, of which it is a consultant on the plan along with Donaldson + Warn, Palassis Architects and Melbourne-based architect Peter Elliot.

The state government’s contr-oversial design for the precinct currently comprises 15,000sqm of office space and 2,000sqm of space for shops, bars and cafes, which it hopes will re-activate the precinct beyond 5pm.

Mr Karotkin said the firm would not rule out any further development of its own on the Cremorne Arcade site in the future, which it purchased with existing planning approval from April 2005 for a $10 million, 17-storey residential apartment tower.

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