10/04/2007 - 22:00

Fresh view for Oxford Street

10/04/2007 - 22:00


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The Town of Vincent plans to seek formal expressions of interest from developers for a proposed $650 million mixed-use redevelopment of two hectares of rare land in Leederville.

Fresh view for Oxford Street

The Town of Vincent plans to seek formal expressions of interest from developers for a proposed $650 million mixed-use redevelopment of two hectares of rare land in Leederville.

Council has prepared a business case for the plan, which is understood to contain proposals for three high-rise apartment towers of either eight, 16 or 24 storeys across council-owned car parks on Leederville Parade, Oxford and Vincent streets.

The case also calls for a public piazza on the corner of Oxford Street and Leederville Parade and number of multi-storey car parks to be built, to provide long-term revenue for the town.

Council is expected to vote on the proposals in May, following a meeting with the state government in late April.

Mayor Nick Catania said he was determined to see the mixed-use developments and associated street upgrades completed within five years, and had been speaking to a number of interested developers since a concept plan was released in November.

“I think Oxford Street is really going to challenge Lygon Street in Melbourne as the ‘best main street’ in Australia when this is done,” he said. “We’ve taken two years to get to this point and want to get on with it before the Northbridge Link and other big tenders go out.”

Mr Catania said a joint venture arrangement between the town and one or more developers on the project could be viable, as long as the outcome provided a long-term revenue stream for the town.

“The high-rise parking will generate a good income for the town. Why increase rates when we’ve got assets there to use,” he said.

Mr Catania was confident the proposed high-rise towers would not have an overbearing presence on the town centre and would not threaten Leederville’s unique character. 

Town of Vincent chief executive John Giorgi also believes the proposed height and scale of the residential towers will not compromise the integrity of the precinct, which currently has no height limit imposed.

“The towers will mostly overlook the freeway and Lake Monger, so I think there’s a lot of flexibility there with building heights,” he told WA Business News.

“We’re reviewing our town planning scheme at present and looking at down-zoning Mount Hawthorn. What density we may lose there I think can be sensibly transferred to Leederville.”

Mr Giorgi said the town had sought a memorandum of understanding with the Western Australian Planning Commission and a $100,000 research grant to explore the application of the government’s Network City planning strategy to the project. 

It would also be making a case to the WAPC and others for a major revamp of the Leederville train station to improve access to the platform from the town centre, he said. 

Mr Catania hopes that, in time, temporary bollards will be installed on Oxford Street at its intersection with Vincent Street so the southern end of Oxford Street could be transformed into a public mall after 6pm for street entertainment and alfresco dining.

His vision bodes well for the owners of the landmark Leederville Hotel, who are planning a $6 million redevelopment of the historic hotel incorporating a micro-brewery, night club and alfresco restaurants.


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