02/04/2014 - 17:21

Work starts at Old Emu Brewery

02/04/2014 - 17:21

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Work starts at Old Emu Brewery
Work starts at Old Emu Brewery. Photo: Attila Csaszar

There are signs of progress at one of the city’s most infamous vacant plots of land, the Old Emu Brewery site on Mounts Bay Road.

Preliminary site works are under way, with national construction company Probuild carrying out earthworks and piling operations.

A development application for the site was approved by the City of Perth development assessment panel in July last year, for the construction of three towers, ranging from 31 storeys to 41 storeys.

The approval was issued for a 120-room hotel, 268 apartments and 30 storeys of office space across the three towers, as well as a public plaza accessible from Mounts Bay Road, Mount Street and Spring Street.

The land is owned by privately held company AAIG Pty Ltd, which purchased the site in 2010 for $49.5 million.

It’s estimated the three towers will cost about $350 million to complete, while a contract for the comprehensive works package is yet to be announced.

A City of Perth spokesperson said the only building application approved for the site was for forward works on the 41-storey residential tower.

Requests for comment from AAIG had not been responded to when Business News went to press.

The forward works are the first tangible progress seen at the site in around five years, with the plot of land the subject of six separate development proposals, all of which have failed to proceed.

Owned by Bond Corporation in 1987, the site was sold to FAI Insurance in January 1989 for $160 million.

The Western Australian Planning Commission issued a five-year development approval in 1995 for a four-level office and retail building, an eight-storey office building, and two apartment towers of 19 and 43 storeys

The site was sold to the Westpoint Group-controlled Emu Brewery Developments in 2003 for $25 million, after no progress was made on the previous proposal.

In November 2003, a proposal to build three residential towers, three low-rise buildings and a six-story carpark at the site was approved by the WAPC.

That proposal was revised in August 2004, to comprise two residential towers and three low-rise buildings.

The plan was again changed in August 2005 to comprise residential towers of 52 and 61 storeys, and a low-rise commercial building fronting Mounts Bay Road.

The plan never went ahead and Westpoint slipped into receivership in 2006.

KordaMentha then brokered the sale of the land for around $50 million to Turnstone Nominees, a joint venture between Saville Australia and Babcock and Brown.

Saville had planned to construct a $1.3 billion office and apartment project, comprising a 41-storey residential tower and 10,000sqm of office space.

That proposal failed to progress when Saville slipped into receivership in 2009, but not before Melbourne-based builder Contexx was contracted to provide early works.

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