Mixed-use sites and data centre to revive city neighbourhood.
The pocket of Perth just north of the train line, between the Perth and McIver stations, is on track to be city’s next revitalisation focus with residential and student accommodation projects set to be complemented by the sale of big development sites.
Located between Stirling, Newcastle and Lord streets, the mixed-use area that was once in decline, has caught the eye of buyers who see the long-term potential in an up-and-coming part of the city.
Colliers International Agency Director Ian Mickle said three big sites—the Megamart site at 30 Beaufort Street (9579sqm), the Golf Box site on the corner of Lord and Newcastle streets (6368sqm) and the former Sunday Times building (6085sqm) on Stirling Street, which were sold by Colliers International, would play an influential role in the area’s makeover and create new opportunities for Perth to address its density targets.
“Because of their size and ownership, these sites have the capacity to accommodate significant projects that will bring much needed density and commercial activity into this relatively quiet part of Perth,” Mr Mickle said.
“We know a successful mix of residential density and commercial activity lays the foundation for activated streets where businesses can prosper and by those standards, this corner of Perth is moving in the right direction.”
The 18ha area has the CBD and Northbridge on its doorstep and is next to the Perth Cultural Centre, the city block between William, Roe, Francis and Beaufort streets, which hosts a year round programme of festivals, art and entertainment.
As well as the McIver and Perth stations, the area is also close to Beaufort Street bus routes, including the CAT bus that travels between Northbridge and Elizabeth Quay.
The Golf Box property, an amalgamated sale involving 15 strata lots, was purchased by data centre operator NEXTDC and construction has started on a new facility that will help meet growing demand in Perth and the region for data storage services.
After failing to win support from the State Government for a twin towers development, World Trade Centre licence holder Ghazi Abu Nahl, who purchased the Megamart building for $50 million in 2016, is considering a revised office, hotel and apartment complex for the site that would also have an 8000sqm science and innovation centre and 4000sqm of exhibition space.
The former Sunday Times building, which was purchased in February for $24 million by investment and fund management business Elanor Investors Group, is also earmarked for future redevelopment.
“In the short-term there is holding income from the partially leased two-storey office building but with a zoning that allows for a 24,340sqm to 36,500sqm tower and commercial, residential, hotel and retail uses, this former media property has the potential to anchor the city end of Stirling Street,” Mr Mickle said.
“There are also a number of sites in this precinct that will compete for the right to deliver the 25,000 square metre office requirement for WA Police.”
With development margins especially thin, the Stirling Street precinct also has competitive land rates.
“Recent transactions put land values in the area between $3,500 and $5,000 per square metre which allows for a lower breakeven level for developments than land rates of $6,000 to $7,000 per square metre on Wellington Street, on the other side of the railway tracks,” Mr Mickle said.
Stirling Street is home to two student accommodation projects which opened earlier this year and new apartment projects.
The 11-storey Campus Perth, at 80 Stirling Street is in a former office building that has been converted and extended to accommodate a 700-bed student accommodation facility, while The Boulevard, at 89 Stirling Street, is a purpose-built student accommodation project with 571 beds in a 23-storey development.
Apartment developer Blackburne completed the Oracle apartment project in 2017 and the first residents are moving in at Stirling Capital’s Verdant Perth.