THE old Pells Army Surplus Store site at 403 to 405 Wellington Street, Perth, has been bought by a trust tied to Perth lawyer Theofilos Kakulas.
Mr Kakulas said while the 175 square metre site had not cost “a fortune to buy”, he was not sure what he would do with it.
One of the options is to turn it into a multi-storey retail outlet. Mr Kakulas said he was looking for a brand name company that had drawing power to occupy the site.
Some of the names he would like to attract include Retravision and Officeworks.
“I’m intending to put up a sign on the site saying ‘owner will develop’,” Mr Kakulas said. “I’m looking for someone to come to me with an idea.
“To me, because of the location, it doesn’t have to many people walking past. It needs something that’s a well-known drawcard.
“If I was able to build upwards I may be able to lease some of that airspace off the right-of-ways.”
Mr Kakulas said one of the things that drew him to the property was its laneway access with Barrack and Murray streets.
“In Melbourne, anything with lanes are turned into features that people walk down,” he said.
“That hasn’t happened here but it wouldn’t surprise me if it starts to before too long.”
There has been talk about developing the laneways around the CBD around for the past 20 years, however to date, little has come of it.
Mr Kakulas is also hoping the Barrack Plaza development, proposed by Joe Scaffidi for the old Railway Hotel site on Barrack Street, will go ahead.
“If Barrack Plaza gets off the ground it will help enormously,” he said.
But Mr Scaffidi has some problems with the site. He is locked in a legal dispute over the right-of-way that runs alongside the property with the owners of the Grand Central Backpackers on Wellington Street.
According to a City of Perth document, Mr Scaffidi’s development application for the 15-storey development lapsed on September 25.
He only has development approval to carry out site preparation works.
The Pells site, immediately adjacent to the new Woolworths development, has been vacant since the army surplus store collapsed on November 21 2000.
A City of Perth order calling for the demolition of the damaged Pells structure was served on the buildings owners Mr and Mrs Dziencol in January of the following year.
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