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Midland on the move

OFTEN considered a poor relation to other satellite centres, such as Joondalup, Midland is about to undergo a renaissance.

And like so many upgrades – Perth’s King Street and the Subiaco Centre development – much of the change is to be driven by retail.

Plans are on the board for upgrades of two of the town’s major shopping centres – Midland Gate and Centrepoint.

The Midland Redevelopment Authority is commencing construction work on the old Midland Railyards site.

Over the next few years the WA Government will spend several hundred million dollars on the Midland area.

It is hoped the regional centre will become a hub of new industries.

The WA Police Service is housing its computer aided communications system there and is believed to be planning to base its forensics branch there too.

There are also hopes to draw the WA Chemical Laboratories to Midland when its East Perth home is demolished as part of the East Perth redevelopment.

Midland Gate Shopping Centre’s owners, The Commonwealth Superannuation Fund and the Common-wealth Property Investment Fund, appear likely to go ahead with a $120 million expansion of the site.

The expansion includes an eight-screen cinema complex and entertainment precinct, a refurbished 400-seat food court and about 40 new specialty shops.

The owners agreed to major changes to their original proposal. A Harvey Norman superstore has been dropped from the plans, reducing the proposed floorspace from 62,760 square metres to 58,000 square metres.

They also will be funding a Central Area Transit-style bus service from the Midland railway station to the shopping centre, with stops throughout the Midland CBD.

Directly across the road from the railway station, the Centrepoint Shopping Centre also could be undergoing a transformation.

Centre owners the Steffanelli Property Group and the Midland Redevelopment Authority have developed a concept plan for its development, which was endorsed last week by the Swan City Council.

Part of the plan involves making Centrepoint more pedestrian-friendly.

Swan City Council CEO Eric Lumsden said some of the things being planned would allow Midland to develop more of a mixed character.

“Midland has lacked a significant focus. It’s been difficult to link up its various elements in a sympathetic way,” Mr Lumsden said.

Midland Redevelopment Authority chairman Ian Laurance said that, in another 10 years, there would be people living working and playing on the old Midland rail yard site.

“And that site will be closely linked to Midland’s centre,” Mr Laurance said.

“We hope to revitalise Midland as a regional centre and put back as many jobs as were lost when the railyards closed.

“But we are hoping to make Midland a 24-hour place rather than one that closes at 5pm.”

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