08/04/2009 - 22:00

GRA plans to keep rising to challenge

08/04/2009 - 22:00

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EXPANDING from one office to three in the past two years has helped cement Northbridge-based town planners Greg Rowe and Associates as one of the largest firms of its kind in the state.

EXPANDING from one office to three in the past two years has helped cement Northbridge-based town planners Greg Rowe and Associates as one of the largest firms of its kind in the state.

After opening its first regional office in Mandurah in 2006, GRA made another regional move when it opened in Geraldton in late December 2008.

The business's principal, Greg Rowe, said projects such as the Oakajee Port and other resources projects in the Mid West would provide an opportunity for the company to service project developers operating in the region.

The company has already stamped its presence in the region, having been involved in the town planning of the 2,500-lot subdivision Glenfield Beach Estate (Ocean Heights) in Geraldton.

The company is also working on a subdivision guide plan for more than 700 canal homes and the creation of a new marina complex at Glenfield with a public beach, 184 boat pens and a tourist commercial precinct.

The company has also secured planning approval for a five-storey commercial building at the Marine Terrace office site, with construction planned to commence later this year.

In recent times, the firm has been involved in a number of WA's most recognisable developments, including Port Bouvard in Mandurah, the Raffles Hotel, and the redevelopment of Steve's Hotel in Nedlands.

Mr Rowe said the company had grown to specialise in more challenging planning projects, building expertise in canal developments and subdivisions of environmentally sensitive land.

"We are often appointed to difficult projects and, as a result, we have built a reputation for setting planning precedents, fast tracking timelines and saving our clients undue expense," he said.

The company is currently working on major town site planning including the Gidgegannup Townsite Plan and the Jandakot Structure Plan, the latter representing one of the largest greenfields sites in proximity to Perth city and one of the company's largest urban design projects.

GRA is ranked as the state's fourth largest town planning firm in the WA Business News Book of Lists, with a team of 19 planners in WA out of a total staff of 40.

Roberts Day Town Planning and Design was again ranked as the state's largest planning firm, with a total of 26 town planners based in its WA office.

Burswood-based RPS Koltasz Smith has lifted its ranking from the previous year to become the second largest planning firm in the state.

Last April, the former Koltasz Smith was bought by UK-based environmental consultancy RPS Group plc and has since added to its team of town planners, with 20 based in WA.

Subiaco planning firm Taylor Burrell Barnett boosted its ranking to be the third largest in the state, with 20 planners.

TPG Town Planning and Urban Design rounded out the top five planners for the state, with 19 planners based at its St Georges Terrace office.

- See the Book of Lists, page 24.

 

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