26/03/2008 - 22:00

High-density development for Midland

26/03/2008 - 22:00

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The Midland Redevelopment Authority's renewal project.

The Midland Redevelopment Authority is moving ahead with its renewal project at the former railway workshops site, having called for expressions of interest for the first major residential development in the area.

The 8,685 square metre site, containing 16 lots, will be sold to developers as a single package, suitable for a mix of terrace houses and apartments.

Midland Redevelopment Authority chief executive officer Kieran Kinsella said the group’s vision for the workshops site, released earlier this month, would suit some high-density development.

“We think around the heritage buildings that four to six storeys will be acceptable, provided the design of the building is appropriate,” he said.

“Eight to 10 storeys will be allowed further out.” Mr Kinsella said the project would allow for a larger scale development than had previously been undertaken in Midland.

“Our ultimate goal is to take Midland from a town centre to a city centre,” he said.

“We need to raise the height, increase density and create a city centre.

“It’s easy to do in West Perth or Subiaco or South Perth, but at the moment it’s not being done in Midland.” About 1,000 apartments, houses and lofts are expected to be built on the workshops site, as well as some commercial and office space.

TRG Properties Pty Ltd is one developer hoping to capitalise on the land release.

The company is currently finishing a three-storey commercial and residential project in Midland, on Keane Street, and has lodged an application for a second development in the area.

Nedlands-based Dibstone Property Group is also considering tendering for the MRA’s first site, with plans for a high-density residential development.

Director Ed Eames said the site would suit a reasonably large development of about 60 apartments.

“Basically, there’s a desperate need in Perth for affordable accommodation and those sites may provide the opportunity to create that,” he said.

“We’re hoping that the land costs won’t be too prohibitive and the area suits high-density development.

The only issue is construction costs.” The next tranche of lots to be released by the MRA are adjacent to the current site, with 18 lots in total.

The third stage of the project is likely to be the sale of a block of land near the former shunting yards, in the town centre, which would suit a commercial development with about 10,000sqm of office space.

Midland Redevelopment Authority director of planning Annelise Safstrom said the timeframe for the later releases was yet to be decided.

“It depends on how well the market receives stage one, as to whether these sites come on quickly or not,” she said.

Land prices in the Midland area have risen significantly, with Prime West recently buying a vacant 1.7ha site for $10.2 million.

The company has lodged a development application for a commercial office project on the site, containing strata title offices and a gymnasium.

The MRA is currently performing remediation work on the railway workshops area, which Ms Safstrom said would bring lots on to the market by the end of the year.

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