Northbridge picture becoming clearer

BROAD brushstrokes have been laid for the Northbridge Urban Renewal Project with an extensive consultation process planned soon.

The project, managed by the East Perth Redevelopment Authority, will involve the redevelopment of a 1.6 kilometre tract of Northbridge bounded by Aberdeen, Fitzgerald, Newcas-tle and William Streets.

To date, the renewal of Tom Bourke House and St Brigid’s Court, named Piazza Nanni, has been accomplished.

EPRA CEO Wally Cox said the area would remain mixed use with a combination of commercial, residential and retail.

It is anticipated the project will make available 27.8 hectares of land for up to 460 new residences to house from 1,000 to 1,250 people.

The land is almost entirely owned by the WA Planning Commission and the Main Roads Department.

Dr Cox said forty development sites would be sold for mixed use over a five year period “fed to the market at a rate it can handle”.

Land sales are expected to realise between $20 million and $55 million and will commence in the first quarter of next year.

Sites for off-street parking bays will be made available, as will new parks and gardens.

It is anticipated a series of small new streets will be created between Newcastle and Aber-deen Streets with an emphasis on high quality landscaping.

Newcastle Street will acquire trees on median strips, while the pavement will be widened on Aberdeen Street in addition to a new bicycle lane and further landscaping.

“The aim is to turn Aberdeen Street into a pedestrian-orientated boulevard for new restaurant-like activities to build on what is already there,” Dr Cox said.

“It’s all about renewal, not about creating a separate or new community.

“However, we need to differentiate between heritage and old buildings.

“In some cases, we’re dealing with thirty years of neglect.”

Other challenges include contaminants from heavy metals and other pollutants left over from Northbridge’s history as the city’s first industrial area.

Dr Cox said genuine heritage and ambience were advantages of the area, with its proximity to the freeway making it ideal for entry and exit ramps on Lord Street and East Parade.

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