22/10/2009 - 00:00

Industrial focus for Jandakot proposal

22/10/2009 - 00:00

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THE developers planning to turn land around Jandakot Airport into a major commercial and industrial precinct have shifted their focus to industrial tenants as the project nears a final environmental approval decision.

THE developers planning to turn land around Jandakot Airport into a major commercial and industrial precinct have shifted their focus to industrial tenants as the project nears a final environmental approval decision.

The Jandakot Airport Master Plan sets aside 170 hectares of airport land for conservation use, 225ha for a fourth runway expansion, and 156ha for the creation of a commercial industrial precinct, which is being marketed as Jandakot City.

Property developer Ascot Capital bought Jandakot Airport Holdings from a consortium of three companies in February 2006.

Ascot Capital director Greg King said plans for a large-scale bulky goods distribution centre and a homemaker centre anchored by Harvey Norman had been scaled back in the short term due to lingering effects of the global financial crisis.

“The homemaker centre has taken a bit of a step backwards with regards to what's happened with the global financial meltdown," Mr King said.

“Our real focus at the moment is to attract commercial industrial tenants."

He said the planned industrial precinct would allow for the creation of more than 250 businesses, with the potential for 7,000 employees to be based at the site.

“It's a significant parcel of land that will support the Western Australian economy both from an aviation perspective and a commercial perspective," Mr King said.

“There's not, in our belief, that kind of availability of commercial industrial land, proximate to transport links, available in the Perth metropolitan area."

The master plan's viability hinges on the receipt of environmental approval from the federal government, a decision the developers expect to be finalised by January 2010.

Jandakot Airport managing director John Fraser said $40 million had already been invested on improving the airport's infrastructure, and a further $60 million would be spent improving power, water, sewerage and transport links.

Mr Fraser estimated the final investment value of the proposed development would be close to $1 billion.

“We've started the development of Jandakot Airport and we believe that, once the land is prepared and further infrastructure developed, Jandakot Airport is set up to service the future potential of the WA economy," Mr Fraser said.

The proposed development has been a source of contention because a number of endangered species, including Carnaby's black cockatoo, inhabit the Banksia woodland, which makes up the majority of the site.

Mr King said if approval were received, the clearing of the land would take place in a measured, environmentally sensitive manner, on a measured basis over a five-year period.

Mr King said he was confident the commercial and industrial precinct would secure significant tenancies, with more than 600,000 square metres of office space proposed to be available.

“Our challenge has been to market the product and get people to realise that Jandakot Airport is close to the city, it is close to road links, and it has massive advantages," he said.

“The other thing that is important for people to bear in mind as to why this piece of infrastructure is so important is to have a look at the amount of money that's been spent around us.

“The Roe Highway, Kwinana Freeway, the train stations, the Fiona Stanley Hospital, there's a huge amount of state funded infrastructure that's been paid for.

“To not develop a site which gears off and supports this infrastructure is crazy."

Discussions with potential tenants were subject to confidentiality agreements, but had progressed to a stage where he was confident that land would be in high demand, Mr King said

“When you develop a large precinct the initial battle is to attract the initial tenancy, because once an estate becomes established it becomes easier to attract activity," he said.

“A significant portion of our land that is currently available will be committed should the discussions we're having, which are quite far advanced, come to fruition."

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