Perth developer’s plan to turn sleepy suburban shops into $100 million mega-mall
A sprawling, sleepy suburban shopping centre whose biggest offering for three decades has been a Coles and a Kmart is being transformed into Perth’s latest “town centre” complete with a mega-mall, apartments, and a family entertainment precinct.
Kardinya Park is a utilitarian centre with no frills, no landscaping, no dining, and a shade-free, pedestrian-repelling car park where previously the only claim to vibrancy had been local swap-meets.
But with its prominent spot at the South Street-North Lake Road intersection, the closeness of the activity hub formed by Murdoch University and Fiona Stanley Hospital, and the competitive advantage provided by the indefinite postponement of a $750 million upgrade for nearby Garden City, Kardinya Park is ripe for a revamp.
Public comments have opened on owner-developer Con Berbatis’ $100 million redevelopment application, which includes a cinema, adjoining 12-storey 99-apartment building, public plaza, alfresco dining precinct, an explosion in retail space from almost 14,000 to about 21,000 square metres, additional supermarket, public pool and rock climbing walls.
Concept plans from architects Hames Sharley and planners Element also show a new multi-deck car park, bike parking and end-of-trip facilities, a “wellness” precinct with potential medical, dental, diagnostic and veterinary tenants, childcare services, and a mechanic.
In a separate process, to facilitate the height and density increase that would be required to include the apartment block, the developer will this month submit an Activity Centre Plan to the state government.
This would also mean rezoning the residential streets falling within 400 metres of the shopping centre, facilitating the development of medium-sized apartments and townhouses within what is currently a leafy older suburb dominated by single family homes on large blocks.
The plans reflect multiple trends in Perth’s retail and urban development.
The first, to surround retail redevelopments with high-density urban infill projects, in line with state planning strategy to build more homes close to major roads, public transport links and high-activity areas.
The second trend is that of suburban mall owners rounding out their offerings to make them family-friendly destinations, combining the traditional charms of hassle-free parking with the kind of entertainment, recreation and dining options that encourage people to spend the day there.
The redevelopments of malls at Carousel, Whitfords and Belmont are an example, with modernised cinemas, playgrounds, licensed venues and inviting alfresco areas, sustainable gardens, live music spaces, and bowling and mini-golf.
The trend has seen numerous smaller, independent retail strips in inner-suburban Perth suffer. Parking is always more difficult and expensive on the strips, which seek to compete on character grounds, but see clientele increasingly lured towards super-malls' convenience and comfort.
The Kardinya Park project is also an example of the growing hand developers can take in planning matters in Perth, as they have for some years now been able to propose precinct rezoning plans to the WA Planning Commission to up-zone areas wider than their immediate development sites.
The City of Melville has opened the plans for public comment until January 31. View the plans and provide feedback via this website.
Pending approval, the developer hopes to begin earthworks in May and building in June, with an anticipated completion date of July 2022.
Source: WA Today
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