Perth’s construction boom includes plans for tallest CBD building

Cranes are set to dot the city skyline again, with about 60 buildings under construction or likely to begin soon after gaining development approval from the council.

City of Perth 3-D modelling shows the dramatic impact of the new skyscrapers, with about 30 buildings earmarked for central Perth or Northbridge, about 20 in East Perth and almost 10 in West Perth.

The developments include plans for Perth’s tallest building — a $100 million, 62-storey hotel and apartment tower on the St Andrews Church site that will stand 249.5m high — 50cm higher than Rio Tinto’s Central Park.

A $200 million, 52-floor apartment and hotel complex on Milligan Street will be 179m high and become the fifth-highest peak in the central business district.

The range of coming developments shows Perth is increasingly becoming a place where people live and recreate, with most of the new buildings to be apartment towers or hotels.

Dark green: construction has begun, light green: development approval has been granted, blue: artist’s impression of buildings that could be built on the space.
Dark green: construction has begun, light green: development approval has been granted, blue: artist’s impression of buildings that could be built on the space.Picture: Image supplied by City of Perth

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi welcomed the expected influx of new residents.

“A balance needs to be struck, however, examples such as Barcelona, London and New York show us that high-density living ensures cities remain vibrant, develop character and become attractive in their own right to tourists and visitors because of what’s on offer,” Ms Scaffidi said.

The city’s own forecasts show just over a dozen people will move into the city, East Perth, West Perth and Northbridge every week for the next two decades, taking the local population from its current 27,000 to about 40,000 in 2036.

Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker said the imminent projects marked a distinct change in the city’s footprint, with Perth set to grow in length and breadth, breaking with the decades-old tradition of developing primarily along St Georges Terrace.

“Perth is doing what capital cities do — the central business district is becoming the jewel in the crown,” she said.

“It is a place of major transformation, where a mix of uses is making it lively and vibrant.”

Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Allison Hailes said planning for many of the projects had begun several years ago in better economic times.

Historically, not all projects that gain development approval from a council end up being built.

Ms Hailes said though the sector was increasingly confident about the economy, projects would be delayed if developers did not think there would be enough demand for them.

“The research is showing the Perth property market will improve in the next year or two, so developers are expecting that demand would have returned to a more positive level by the time the projects are completed,” she said.

“There is also interest emerging from investors in the Eastern States and overseas because Melbourne and Sydney are becoming overheated and there is an expectation they will slow down in the next couple of years.”

Source: The West Australian Newspaper