17/08/2004 - 22:00

Edge HQ signals a diverse approach

17/08/2004 - 22:00

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The Subiaco Redevelopment Authority’s (SRA) support of social and economic diversity has found expression with the news that Edge Employment Solutions is to establish a new headquarters in Subi Centro.

The Subiaco Redevelopment Authority’s (SRA) support of social and economic diversity has found expression with the news that Edge Employment Solutions is to establish a new headquarters in Subi Centro.

Edge is an employment agency for people with disabilities and its custom-built offices are being designed under universal access principles.

SRA chief Tony Morgan said a key for Subi Centro was to play out diversity through more than just housing.

“In 2003 the SRA identified the land in the Subi Centro project area suitable for potential use by not-for-profit groups,” he said.

“Following an expression of interest process, Edge Employment Solutions purchased the land and will now develop it for their operational database.

“A development application submitted to the SRA was approved last year and construction on the Hood Street site has now commenced.

“The million dollar, two-storey building will boast 770 square metres of floor space, undercover parking and state-of-the-art access for people with disabilities.”

Mr Morgan said Edge’s decision to move to Subi Centro was significant for the SRA as it demonstrated that the area was desirable to a range of businesses with different needs and purposes.

Also significant was the impact it would have on expanding the precinct’s economic base and diversifying its social demographic, he said.

Earlier this year the State Government unveiled a $4 million social housing development aimed at making Subiaco more available to less affluent Western Australians.

The proposed 20-unit building will be based in Subi Centro, winner of the State UDIA award for urban renewal.

Under the Government’s housing diversity policy up to 55 social and affordable housing units will be delivered in Subi Centro during the next three years.

Mr Mogan said it was imperative for the SRA to play out diversity through more than just housing.

“Subiaco will have the Sustainable House and now a commercial development which follow universal design principles,” he said. “We want to demonstrate that universal access is an inherent part of good urban design and planning.”

Edge managing director Susan Robertson said the building, designed by architect Richard Szklarz, demonstrated that the use of universal design principles did not necessarily mean extra costs.

“Edge’s move to Centro proves that commercial development can easily incorporate universal design principles, allowing easy access to all members of the community, and that incorporating these principles at the planning stage is not financially restrictive for developers,” Ms Robertson said.

Edge has been based in Subiaco since 1998.

Ms Robertson said the new headquarters, in close proximity to Subiaco train station, would give people with disabilities easier contact.

Edge was established in 1984 and is a non-profit, non-government employment agency with an annual budget of $2 million and 45 staff.

Edge has assisted 1,243 people with disabilities into more than 3,200 award wage jobs and currently provides employment support to more than 500 people with intellectual, physical, sensory and psychiatric disabilities.

Three quarters of all workers employed by Edge are employed in major corporations or government agencies.

Edge’s new headquarters is due for completion in March 2005.

 

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