Appetite for change is on the horizon

PropertyESP recently attended the Perth Cities Summit co-ordinated by John Carey Member for Perth.  With over 350 people in attendance, everyone was seated randomly and provided with 35 ideas that had been derived from the previous workshops hosted in Northbridge, East Perth and West Perth.

These ideas included a variety of themes which aligned with PropertyESP’s agenda including:

  • Revitalise Heirisson Island as an indigenous cultural hub
  • Create Renew Perth to activate vacant properties
  • Ensure a full year long events and activation plan for the City
  • Establish the role of Night Czar or Mayor to drive night time economy
  • Facilitate the construction of a cable car from Elizabeth Quay to Kings Park
  • Cut red tape around use of the Swan River to create more life and vibrancy
  • Establish Perth as a canopy city
  • Abolish al fresco and street activation fees for small business

However at the end of the session the top five areas which the attendees chose included:

  • Partner with Noongar people to recognise indigenous culture and history in the City (33%)
  • Establish Perth as a canopy city (21%)
  • Create Renew Perth to activate vacant properties (19%)
  • Set an ambitious population target backed by innovative planning (17.8%)
  • Establish Perth with clear community precincts backed with precinct planning (9.2%)

While the final results have not been released – it was clear from a number of people on our table, and the panel, that there was a need for action rather than ongoing planning which only ultimately creates inaction.

And as Marion Faulkner from Committee of Perth stated, we as a city need to embrace a state of mind that is can-do.

The fact is, 350 people attended a session on a Saturday morning because we are passionate about change – and change for the better.  But in fact all of us need to now invest in our City – if not with financial contributions then at least our energy.

And now is the premium time with the suite of infrastructure projects that will be delivered in 2018.

PropertyESP urges the people of Perth to no longer be passive – but rather passionate about how Perth can grow – and how we can catalyst change.  The question is – are you up for the challenge?

 

 

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Night time economy part of WA’s future

With all the inner city development occurring, a colleague of PropertyESP recently attended the Australian Night Time Economy (NTE) conference in Melbourne.

This conference dealt with the fact that the night time economy, which for so long has been associated with bars, restaurants and adult entertainment in fact was evolving and in the UK this economy represented $66 billion in trade alone (or 6% of GDP).

Closer to home, Brisbane’s NTE grew by 25.2% from 2009-2014 from $4.97 billion to $6.231 billion.

With changing work habits, multicultural diversity and in fact a 24 hour global clock, we are less and less inclined to think that night time is just for hedonistic activities.

But this means that if we want to transform some of our City into true night time economies we need to think across planning, place making and regulation.

This means that we need to consider pop up markets in car parks.  And temporary installations. And be more liberal with parklets.

This also means that we need to entwine our fashion, food and entertainment outlets and more so be open for custom.

That means that sometimes we have to take a risk and in fact subsidise these concepts to allow for creativity and sense of destination.

With so many areas undergoing rejuvenation in Perth at present – this is the perfect breeding ground for innovative night time solutions.

The question is – are we going to seize this opportunity?

The team at PropertyESP dare you too!  The time is certainly ripe for disruption!

Desire for East Perth to gain 24/7 heartbeat

Samantha Reece recently attended the East Perth session of the Cities Summit that has been co-ordinated by Member for Perth John Carey.

Over 60 people attended this session which comprised of businesses, developers, residents and interested parties.

Quite predictably the session dealt with the areas strengths, its problems and what the community would like to see occur.

East Perth was liked because of its walkability, the gardens and open spaces, Claisebrook Cove and the fact that the area felt calm and relaxed.  In particular the residents enjoyed the fact that while they were living in the City it felt like they were in fact residing in a suburb.

However, there were certainly rumblings about the impact of foot traffic once the Stadium was completed and inexplicably this turned into concerns about safety.

But what was very clear was that East Perth has a Monday-Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm heartbeat and hence outside these times East Perth appears somewhat of a ghost town.

Some of the residents however enjoyed this low profile stating that they could travel to Northbridge and Perth for their entertainment.  But this tends to fly in the face of what a TOD (and that is the basis for East Perth) is all about.

There was a sense that East Perth was missing small bars and night activation and that the vacant business premises detracted from the overall vitality.

The community certainly wanted to activate the area around Perth Mint and also turn Wellington Square into a pleasant space to recreate in – rather than avoiding it all costs.

The audience talked about movies in the park, markets at the WACCA car park, setting up pop up shops in the vacant premises and overall a more cultural atmosphere.

This obviously has a cost factor associated with these activation strategies and while John Carey may be seeking the City to hire a place maker for East Perth – it also needs people.  There is no doubt that East Perth has been undercooked for density – like Subiaco – but this is an aspect that can be rectified as we move forward.

With the Stadium due for completion in 2018 this will certainly increase flow through traffic – but will they in fact stay and recreate in East Perth?  And this is very much the issue of the chicken and egg scenario.  Do you create the amenity so that people stay – or do you wait for the crowd and then create the activation?

Either way – there are some real opportunities for East Perth on its horizon and this community can either embrace it – or turn their back on it.  But from the conversation we observed, there is a real desire to turn East Perth into a 24/7 destination and that will take input from all parties and not just a place maker hired by the City of Perth!

Perth still has $400 million of redevelopment in the pipeline

Samantha Reece recently attended the Property Education Foundation’s (PEF) Retail briefing with representatives from Westfield (Kate Holsgrove), Perron Group (Andrew Byars) and Vicinity (Andrew Hall).

And while Carousel, Cockburn Central and Morley Galleria are all poised for redevelopment – Perth CBD is also looking to undergo a major spruce up.

Jim Tsagalis, Director Lease Equity outlined a number of upcoming projects that would transform the City of Perth including Forrest Chase’s $100 million face lift and QVI and Raine Square’s estimated $300 million in remodelling.

Additional projects such as the addition of around 1,000 sqm at 480 Hay Street incorporating the 356 room Westin Hotel, would also inject another layer of food and beverage.

Jim stated that these developments coupled with Yagan Square and Elizabeth Quay would revolutionise the way Perth interacted with its national and international counterparts.

As he said – these extra projects will now create a night economy – and that is a great balance to what otherwise is a relatively 9am-5pm City.

 

There is no doubt that Perth can still feel somewhat buoyant as the capital investment that is still being injected into commercial fit-outs and retail expansion can only have a positive effect.  And that is certainly worth celebrating!