A mystery hotel in western Perth has been “wound” by the State Government, with a $40 million project to turn it into a modern day shopping centre cancelled.
Key points:The WA Government is building a shopping centre on the former Woolworths property at the top of Woolworth Park, which it has been trying to buy since the 1970sThe project has been in the planning stages since 2016The project is one of several that the State is looking to build in Western AustraliaThe State Government’s proposal to redevelop the site has received the backing of the Federal Government, but the WA Premier has rejected the idea, saying it is too far-reaching.
The project, which would see the former textile and furniture giant transform the site into a shopping mall and residential complex, has been dogged by delays.
The West Australian Government said it had been “further delayed” by last year’s Federal Government decision to sell the property to the Australian Woolworth Company (AWC) for $15 million.
But a report from the WA Auditor-General revealed that the WA Department of Planning and Environment (DPPE) had already made changes to the design and plans of the project, including replacing the main entrance and building an entirely new building.
“The current plan for the redevelopment is to have a single entrance with retail at the north end of the property,” the report said.
“This entrance will have a new roof over it and a new glass roof that will be painted white to reflect light in the daytime.”
The report also revealed that a new pedestrian bridge had been designed and could be installed at the western end of Woolrich Park, but was not yet complete.WA Premier Colin Barnett told reporters on Tuesday that the Government had already consulted with the State’s public servants and had already approved the development.
“We are moving forward and that will mean a very different project, and it will mean more jobs and it’s going to create a much more vibrant area,” he said.
Mr Barnett also announced that the $40-million project had been delayed by the Federal government’s decision to buy the Woolworth building.
But the WA Opposition said the Federal announcement had been made without a proper cost analysis.
“What we’ve been saying all along is we’re not going to pay a $50 million price tag, we’re going to have to negotiate a price for that,” Premier Jackie Trad said.
Ms Trad said she was “confident” that the “cost” of the $50-million plan would be “fair and reasonable”.
“We’ve done a lot of work with the local community and it was really important that we did that and we’ve done that in good faith,” she said.
The state’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said the $38-million proposal would “provide a new shopping centre, new residential precinct and new community centre”.
Topics:planning,state-parliament,planning-and-development,woolworths-harbour-7100,walwyn-bay-7001,perth-6000,peru-4870,albany-4850,wa,qld,canberra-2600Contact Ashley WalkerMore stories from Western Australia