ASX-listed developer GDI Property Group is planning to convert the six-storey car park into apartments with a 12-storey office tower above.
GDI Property Group has revealed its plan to convert Perth’s Pier Street car park into a $150 million, 19-storey residential and office tower.
The ASX-listed developer has lodged an application with the City of Perth to develop a 12-storey office building on top of the six-level car park and ground floor commercial, converting the car park into apartments.
Speaking to Business News, GDI managing director Steven Gillard said the planned 51 apartments at the site, on the corner of Wellington and Pier streets, would be developed on a build-to-rent model.
“It’s build-to-rent, but people can take it for the long term,” he said.
“Maybe it’ll be taken as student accommodation, because they’ll be nice studios, with polished concrete ceilings, in a great location opposite the train line.”
GDI's plans for a $150 development on the corner of Wellington and Pier Street. Image: Benson McCormack
Five levels of the existing car park are set to be converted into dwellings, which could potentially house nearby Royal Perth Hospital workers or university students.
About 130 carbays will remain, for residential and commercial use.
The 301-311 Wellington Street site, which GDI bought for $30.25 million in late 2021, is set to be built in the same way as the developer’s other Perth sites, using timber and steel while adapting the existing building.
Mr Gillard explained that this approach, referred to as adaptive reuse, was far more energy efficient and cost effective than traditional methods of demolishing and building.
“Our timber-hybrid developments, which go hand-in-hand with engineered adaptive reuse of existing buildings, are a step change in the way new buildings can be delivered in the Perth CBD,” he said.
The development is expected to use about 10 per cent of the embodied carbon during construction than a traditional office building, due to GDI’s reuse of an existing structure and use of recyclable materials in the build.
It is also expected to save on operational energy costs, by installing solar photovoltaic cells and a façade with efficient heat storage capacities.
Mr Gillard said developments such as this would help big businesses meet their environmental, social and governance targets.
“A number of particularly the listed companies … the first thing they asked us about is ESG, investors have to invest into environmentally friendly companies,” he told Business News.
“We look at buildings through a different lens now, particularly in acquisitions, we’re always looking at how can we, how can we weave this timber and adaptive reuse model into anything that we look at,” he said.
The office tower in the Wellington Street building, to contain about 27,000 square metres of net lettable area (NLA), will mark GDI’s third hybrid timber-steel development in Perth.
The group also recently gained approval for a $174 million office tower in Mill Street, set to comprise more than 30,000 square metres of NLA.
GDI said it would wait for pre-commitment from an anchor tenant to build its Wellington Street development, departing from its approach to Westralia Square 2 (WS2), where it has almost finished its 11-storey office tower.
As the property group started building WS2 in late 2021, there were no major tenants that had committed to the space.
The Westralia Square building, adjacent to GDI’s Perth office at Westralia Square 1, is now about 60 per cent leased, with deals to two major tenants announced early this year.
The Wellington Street move comes as construction of Edith Cowan University’s city campus commences, which is expected to bring about 6,800 students into the CBD.
The development application is expected to be considered by the City of Perth local development assessment panel in coming weeks.