Housing move looks positive

THE long-awaited move of a state department to Fremantle took a giant leap this week with the WA finance department putting out a call for 20,000sqm of office space.

Finance controls the purse strings for other departments’ lodgings, so it’s likely WA Housing is still in line for relocation. It’s currently spread over four buildings in Perth’s CBD and wants to consolidate.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says he’s happy it will be a “short and sharp” process, with expressions of interest needing to be lodged by September 1.

He’s hopeful it will finally kickstart the stalled $200 million Kings Square redevelopment, although the council’s partner in the project, Sirona, may not be the only bidder.

Finance has specified offices must be within 600 metres of the Fremantle train station, which encompasses the port authority’s commercial precinct on Victoria Quay. It may also attract the interest of Ewan Holdings, which owns the car park on Queen Street opposite the Woolstores shopping centre, which is line for development under the council’s up-scaled Amendment 49.

Earlier in the week, Dr Pettitt gave a talk about inner-city development in South Fremantle and foreshadowed Sirona might refurbish the Queensgate building rather than demolish and rebuild.

“My preference is that if you could adapt it, that would be ideal—and we did valuations and there was similar outcomes—but it will depend on how much office space is required,” he said.


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