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Sales spur makeover revival for city precinct

The West Australian
Sam Jones

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 7:29AM

Experts say the Stirling Street precinct just north of the CBD is on track to be the city’s next area of revitalisation — with recent building development in the area showing promising signs.

Colliers International agency director Ian Mickle said the pocket between Lord Street, Stirling Street and Newcastle Street, home to HBF Park, would get a makeover spurred by the sale of three big sites — the Megamart site at 30 Beaufort Street, the GolfBox site on the corner of Lord and Newcastle streets, and the former Sunday Times building on Stirling Street.

“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 its relatively quiet part of Perth,” Mr Mickle said.

Stirling Street has had two student accommodation projects — an 11-storey complex with 700 beds and a 23-storey, 571-bed development — open, something Mr Mickle said was vital to the suburb’s revival.

“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,” he said.

Mr Mickle said because development margins were thin, lower land values gave developers the ability to break even far quicker than more central CBD developments.

“Recent transactions put land values in the area between $3500 and $5000 per square metre, which allows for a lower break-even level for developers than land rates of $6000 to $7000 per square metre on Wellington Street, on the other side of the railway tracks,” he said.

The former Sunday Times building, bought for $24 million by investment fund Elanor Investors Group, is earmarked for future development.

“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 Sitrling Street,” Mr Mickle said.

The 18ha area, which plays host to festivals and entertainment events throughout the year, sits on the doorstep of Northbridge and the CBD, an ideal location for residential-commercial mixed zoning.

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