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Gosnells banks on upgrade

FACED with a dying business sector and growing crime rate, the City of Gosnells has embarked on a $80 million revamp of Gosnells Town Centre.

The Gosnells council has not yet finalised how much it will commit to the project but it is believed to be a significant amount.

Further funding is expected to come from the WA Government and the private sector.

Premier Richard Court has reportedly pledged support.

According to the Revitalisation of Gosnells Town Centre report, real estate values have been stagnant for more than five years while neighbouring property values have grown 2.64 times.

There are a growing number of vacancies with 55 per cent of properties along Lissiman Street currently empty. Gosnells has a low residential population.

Between 1991 and 1996, 71 per cent of clerical jobs in the town disappeared.

Currently the town has an abundance of car parks – with no cars.

Employment consultant Derek Kemp likened driving through the centre of Gosnells to “driving through the parking lot of a second hand builder’s yard”.

City of Gosnells city planner Stephen Thorne said twenty to thirty years ago, Gosnells was quite a different place.

“It had a country atmosphere about it – a dignity all of its own,” Mr Thorne said. “But Gosnells has been a loser in a battle with Armadale and other centres.

“Over the years the town centre has been stretched along Albany Highway.”

The revamp involves moving the town’s retail centre away from Albany Highway, instead running it along Stalker Road.

Stalker Road, which runs at 90 degrees to Albany Highway will be extended through the town centre and across the Canning River.

Mr Thorne said this was consistent with the approach taken by other councils.

The revamp will also focus on increased mixed use development, mixing residential with retail.

“For the past 20 to 30 years planning thought has been to disallow mixed use,” Mr Thorne said.

“We’ve been encouraged by the community to return Gosnells to mixed use.

“The most successful parts of Perth, such as Subiaco, have been mixed use,” he said.

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