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West end’s new lease of life

WITH one office refurbishment nearing completion, two office developments under way and three others waiting in the wings – plus several residential developments either on the go or on the cards – the west end of the CBD is jumping.

The availability of development sites and development opportunities is drawing developers into the west end, defined as the area west of King Street, and a flurry of cafes and restaurants are springing up to catch some of the action.

A major factor driving the growth is the construction of the $245 million Woodside building, which is expected to bring a staff pool of around 2,000 people when Wood-side Petroleum and Transfield Worley move in to the neighbour-hood at the end of the year.

Most industry observers expect the Woodside move will have a huge impact on the precinct’s vibrancy. It is also predicted that a wave of organisations connected to Wood-side will follow the energy giant into the west end, further enhancing opportunities for retail and food outlets to cater for the increased working population.

And the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre is tipped to have a positive influence on the vitality of the area

Colliers International research manager David Cresp said Woodside would have a large impact on the precinct and would provide a significant boost to retail.

Mr Cresp said a shift of organisations into the area had not yet happened, however a further drift westward may occur as the Wood-side building was completed.

Burgess Rawson investment sales director Kingsley Lewis said he expected to see more engineering and finance consultants, construction companies and transport companies move into the area to be close to Woodside and other resource companies in the area.

“Residential developments are also very important in that area,” he said.

Hawaiian Management is a long time backer of the west end. On top of its proposed 239 St Georges Terrace development, the company has a share in a syndicate with Mirvac Fini for a 10,000 square metre office development on Milligan and Murray Streets and will complete refurbishing 182 St Georges Terrace this month.

The other proposed office development for the west end is located on the corner of Milligan and Wellington Streets.

Hawaiian Management development manager Stuart Duplock said that while the 239 project was still waiting pre-committal, the Milligan and Murray Street project was get-ting closer to commitment from a major tenant and had been short-listed by predominantly 2,000-4,000sq m tenants from the resources and government sectors.  

He said buildings such as Wood-side, QV1 and, if it gets off the ground, 239 St Georges Terrace, created demand in the area.

“182 St Georges Terrace presents itself fairly and squarely as an ideal property for companies providing ser-vices to Woodside,” Mr Duplock said.

He said growing numbers of cafes and restaurants planned for the area also were attracting tenants, particularly for tenants that may have gone to West Perth in the past.

Another development currently in construction is the ‘Next’ building, a $13 million refurbishment and construction project by a syndicate involving local developer/architect Jean-Mic Perrine.

Mr Perrine was also behind The Box, a 29 residential apartment development completed in June last year. The Box Deli, located on the ground floor of the building, is also one of the most recent and successful west end food outlets.

A 115 serviced apartment development by the Wright brothers is going up at 428 Murray Street.

A local syndicate led by Total Vision Design has proposed a 26-apartment project on 448 Murray Street and WA Business News understands that West-point Group plans to progress with a 1,000 dwelling residential development on its 1.8 hectare Spring Street site.

Riding on the back of these developments and future increase in local population is an emerging number of new cafes and restaurants.

Stephen Scaffidi and Geoff Hayward are planning a new wine bar in QV1, The Melbourne Hotel has revamped its ‘M’ Cafe and its alfresco area, and Spirit Sound Bar has been refurbished.

Other reasonably new faces in the west end are The Belgian Beer Café Westende, Carnegies and The Box Deli.

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