Fire away. Please refrain from getting in to personal debates. Go to the Spam thread for that.
Anything in West Property today?
Anything in West Property today?
Sounds interesting...."Call to extend below ground line to McIver"
Depends where abouts, i've been driving on the freeway a bit lately and i've noticed that it's dead quiet in some areas and then picks up substantially at others.99% of the day the freeway is empty
Call to extend below ground line to McIver
The sinking of the railway line 'dividing Perth's CBD and North-bridge should be extended to Mclver Station in East Perth, opening up prime land for homes and businesss, according to James Limnios. head of Limnios Property Group.
The Perth City Link Project involves sinking the Fremantle line from Perth to Lake Street, taking the Wellington Street Bus Station underground and creating several pedestrian and vehicle connections between the city centre and Northbridge.
While welcoming the $600 million project, Mr Limnios said the extension of the sinking of the railway line to Mclver Station would directly link the area north of the rail line from Beaufort Street to Lord Street to the major new developments planned for East Perth and Riverside.
"For the past 100 years, the railway station has been like a 'Berlin Wall' that has divided the city and the current Perth City Link Project will only remove half of the wall," Mr Limnios said.
"The sinking of this second section of railway line would revitalise this important area of Perth which is largely under-utilised."
A strong advocate of planning initiatives that curb Perth's urban sprawl, Mr Limnios said better use of existing room within the city could save the Government millions of dollars in new infrastructure costs for roads, electricity sewerage and schools that are needed to house people in the south, north and east of Perth.
The land around Mclver Station would be suitable for several thousand residents, according to Mr Limnios. "What we need is mixed use development with retail or shops, showrooms and houses that are priced between $350,000 and $550,000 that could accommodate professionals and young families and we need as many of those as we can get around the city," he said.
Mr Limnios said there was also a need to identify other main arterial roads leading into the city like Fitzgerald Street, and change zonings to allow for hundreds of new homes in three or four-storey projects.
Mr Limnios, who is also a City of Perth councillor, said the financial cost of urban sprawl was highlighted recently in a report produced by the Victorian Government which found it cost an extra $40 billion in new infrastructure costs to proceed with its urban expansion plans compared with encouraging redevelopment in existing suburbs.
"This report cited research that found for every 1000 dwellings, the cost for infill development in existing suburbs was $309 million and the cost of fringe developments was $653 million," he said.
Perth is expected to be home to 556,000 more people in the next 20 years andfinding space for an extra 328,000 homes has put the spotlight on urban infill housing targets for the metropolitan area.
According to Directions 2031 and Beyond, the Department of Plan-ning's blueprint for the future of Perth and Peel, 47 per cent or 154,000 of the new homes will be built in infill developments across the entire metropolitan region, leaving 121,000 houses to be built in the central sub-region area. The Department of Planning expects the remaining 33,550 dwellings will be distributed across the outer sub-regions.
Mr Limnios said the lack of inner city living in Perth was highlighted recently by the National Housing Supply Council which found there were 57 city workers for every resident in the Perth CBD.
"Even in smaller capital cities such as Darwin, the ratio of workers to residents is around 11 to one," Mr Limnios said. "This is the target that, Perth should aim for and it would put us in line with other major capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne."
There was a graph with this if anyone is desperate to see it...Morley master plan a glimpse of future centres
Perth will one day consist of a number of activity centres, where business exists alongside homes, public open space and entertainment venues.
The plan to transform Morley has been recognised with two awards from the Planning Institute of Australia, which recognised the master plan as a template for future centres.
Urban design practice Hames Sharley received the certificate of special commendation in the urban design plans and ideas category and the prestigious WA Planning Minister's award for their Morley master plan.
The plan reconfigures a 60-70ha area in Morley and replaces a dated city centre with a pedestrian and business-friendly area, and will introduce thousands of new homes to cope with the area's projected population increase.
New parks and open spaces will also be included, as will a revamped bus station, pathways for better pedestrian access between amenities, and parking decks that will provide convenient access to retail and business areas.
"Shopping centres are based on a model that was adopted in the 1950s and we now are re-evaluating that model to get employment and people living in the area," Paul Drechsler, managing director of Hames Sharley, said.
"This plan considers the economic and transport context of the city centre, utilising them as key drivers and it also embodies a fundamental shift in thinking as we move our focus from traditional retail-based centres to the creation of activity centres where employment and residential targets are to be achieved as well," he said.
City of Bayswater mayor Terry Kenyon said the master plan would provide the council with a blueprint for the future development of the Morley city centre. "This is a strategically important area for the city and it will help us deliver on our vision for Morley city centre as a great place for people to live, work, shop and socialise," Mr Kenyon said.
Morley is recognised as a strategic city centre in the State Government's Directions 2031 and Beyond which outlines how Perth can sustain-ably accommodate an increasing population and cope with-economic growth. Located 7km north-east of the CBD, Morley is the first city to get a master plan for its future makeover.
The plan also recognises Morley's future importance as a transportation hub and the role it will play in the Metropolitan Transport Strategy.
Rebound in CBD leasing catches sector off guard
Perth's CBD office market has made a swift recovery from the leasing slowdown, with net ahsorption this year expected to climb beyond 90,000sqm — the highest level recorded for a calendar year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Jones Lang LaSalle's head of leasing in Perth, Nick Van Hel-den, said the Perth office market had shown a remarkable recovery this year and inquiries had been extremely strong since the September quarter numbers were released.
"It's a surprise, I don't think anyone thought we would have this sort of a bounce back," Mr Van Helden said.
According to Jones Lang LaSalle, net absorption for the year to date totals 82,700sqm and with inquiry levels showing no signs of abating in the fourth quarter, the figure is expected to exceed the 87,000sqm recorded in 2005, the biggest yearly figure recorded.
"There are a number of deals expected to conclude before the end of the year, pushing net absorption past 90,000sqm," Mr Van Helden said. "This is equivalent to one-and-a-half times QV1 or almost 25 per cent of the total West Perth market."
Jones Lang LaSalle said net absorption in the June quarter was characterised by pre-com-mitted space but in the September quarter, there were new entrants to the CBD market while existing tenants were expanding. This trend continued through October and November.
Mr Van Helden said most of the pick-up in CBD activity had occurred in the past five months and was being driven by the resources sector's demand for office space.
"In 2011, we suspect vacancies will fall rapidly, incentives will start to come off and there will also be rental growth," he said. "Most leasing agents are now a little worried about 2011 stock levels."
The WA economy is expected to achieve prolonged growth as many emerging and developing economies experience strong growth and continued appetite for natural resources.
Jones Lang LaSalle said demand for office space was strong across all areas, with West Perth's vacancy rate also falling significantly
"All premium grade stock is now leased or committed with the majority of existing CBD vacancies in secondary stock," Mr Van Helden said.
Plaza upgrade geared to uni students
The transformation of the Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre near Curtin University is continuing with the third stage of the development, which includes a High Street, under way.
Because of its location, the centre is-a popular shopping destination for Curtin students and this demographic has played a part in the development plans.
Lease Equity's managing director Jim Tsagalis, who is responsible for leasing the development, said a lot of time had been spent on the design of the High Street to give it a traditional look, and building facades and heights had been varied to help with the authentic look and atmosphere.
A halo dome will straddle the centre of the High Street, which runs from Kent Street through the middle of the shopping centre to Walaanna Drive.
The High Street will open up the centre as a late-night cafe and restaurant precinct which will include alfresco dining and a new tavern.
The current building program will also include a tailored IGA which will have a special focus on produce from Margaret River as well as Asian food.
"Demand from tenants has been strong, with most being secured well ahead of the planned completion of the development," Mr Tsagalis said.
The centre is now 80 per cent leased and the High Street is due to be completed by the end of next year. A new upper deck carpark with space for an additional 247 cars and travelator directly to and from the middle of the High Street is also under construction.
Huge interest shown in refurbished GPO
Links to CBD landmarks such as one40wUliam and an award-winning refurbishment of the heritage building is attracting huge interest from retailers to be the GPO's new tenants.
Colliers International has reported negotiations are under way on three of the nine available tenancies less than a month after the leasing campaign was launched.
The Forrest Place icon adjoining the one40william development has undergone a major refurbishment to deliver about ISOOsqm of prime retail space on the ground floor.
The 96-year-old home of Perth's General Post Office was awarded a four-star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, the first refurbished WA building to receive the rating.
Colliers International associate director of retail leasing Peter Millard said the level of interest, particularly from upmarket and unique retailers, had been strong from the outset of the leasing campaign.
"The GPO building is an iconic address and blends classic heritage aspects with the best of interior fit-out and facilities," Mr Millard said.
"The inquiries we have fielded so far have included everything from food and beverage retailers to leading jewellers."
Mr Millard said retailer interest hi the GPO would be further boosted with the opening of the pedestrian link to one40william.
He said only a handful of tenancies remained available in the $400 million Cbus development and the opening of the pedestrian link would further define the buildings as a striking retail destination.
"When you look at the fact that there's also 35,000sqm of new office space at one40william, a further 46,000sqm being created at Raine Square and the underground train station at the corner of Murray Street Mall and William Street, the potential for retailers to capture that market is huge," he said.
Mr Millard also said retailers were realising the benefits of the Forrest Place Masterplan.
The GPO's retail tenancies range from 42sqm to 106sqm.
Pricey Perth office lags
Perth has held on to its ranking as Australia's most expensive office rental market but remains a long way behind the world's most expensive office markets — London and Hong Kong, according to CB Richard Ellis' semi-annual global office survey.
At $US59.63 per square foot ($US554 per square metre), Perth was ranked 35th in the survey and is now the most expensive city in the Pacific region.
Sydney was the only other Australian city to make the top-50 list, moving up to 39th from its previous ranking of 42 with rents at $US57.12 per square foot.
CBRE executive director for global research Kevin Stanley said the survey recorded the movement in the rankings between the March and September quarters.
During this time, the Australian dollar rose 5.4 per cent against the US dollar, while the New Zealand dollar rose 3.8 per cent against the US dollar.
According to CBRE, the apprecia-.t-jon helped push markets from the Pacific Region up the rankings, even when local rents had fallen.
"While rents in Perth have fallen about 4 per cent through the middle of the year, the rise in the value of the Australian dollar against the US dollar has held the market steady in the rankings," Mr Stanley said.
Brisbane recorded the biggest gain for an Australian in the survey, going from number 74 in May to number 60 in November, while Adelaide came in at number 94.
Melbourne also climbed up the rankings, going from 85 to 77.
"A rental increase of just 2.8 per cent coupled with the rise in the value of the Australian dollar was enough to see this solid result," Mr Stanley said.
London's West End is the world's most expensive office location with rents at $US193.69 per square foot while an office in Hong Kong's bustling Central district costs $US184.21 per square foot.
Central also recorded the fastest year-on-year occupancy cost rise with a 34.2 per cent increase.
Inner central Tokyo was the third most expensive office market at $US158.08 per square. The most expensive office in the US was Midtown, New York where rents were $US66.59.
Plaza links Alluvion to city centre
Another building officially joined Perth's cluster of high-rise towers with the opening of the Alluvion office building on Mounts Bay Road last week.
A joint venture between Cape Bouvard Investments and Charter Hall Group, the 22,400 square metres of office space in the A-grade building was fully leased before it was finished.
The 21-storey building offers panoramic views of the Swan River and Kings Park, has good public transport connections and is joined to Westralia Square and through to St George's Terrace by its plaza.
Charter Hall sold its 50 per cent stake in the building to the Commonwealth Property Office Fund before the building was finished in June. Tenants include Cape Bouvard Investments, Clough, Sumitomo Corporation, Euroz Securities, North West Shelf Shipping Service Company and Perdaman Industries.
Hotels in favour with investors
The number of hotels changing hands in Australia climbed 80 per
cent in the year to June 30 as investor attention switched to growth and development potential in the hotel sector, with a special focus on Sydney as the favourite investment destination.
The figures were contained in the latest research from Colliers International, which found the strong rebound in transactions was worth $1.4 billion, and that buyers from Asia were among the most active.
The research also included Collier's annual hotel industry survey, which canvassed key industry players, including asset managers, private and wholesale fund investors, developers and consultants.
More than a third of the survey group control a hotel portfolio valued between $100 million and $500 million.
With business and investor confidence on the rise, 51 per cent of respondents indicated their investment strategy for the next 12 months would be focused on growth and more specifically, on development opportunities.
"We have seen confidence returning to the industry on the back of improved occupancy and average room rates," said Colliers International research analyst Tammy Smith. "Nationally, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth have emerged as the prime targets for hotel development."
Ms Smith said the report also revealed the surge in investment activity had been driven overwhelmingly by Asian investors seeking a stable home for funds and opportunities for expansion.
"Australia does present a very attractive option for overseas investors, and if we look at the transactions over that 12 month period, it's clear that Asian investors have dominated the market," Ms Smith said.
She said a prime example was Singaporean investment group CDL Hospitality Trust, which snapped up a portfolio of five hotel properties in Brisbane and Perth for a total of $175 million.
"One of the key attractions for these investors is the transparency in our market, and the resilience of our economy — which was highlighted by our ability to ride out the global financial crisis, and positions the Australian market as both a safe haven for investment and a good base for further expansion," Ms Smith said.
"On top of that, the overseas investors we're seeing in the market generally aren't being restricted by the debt issues that are impacting local buyers."
The survey also revealed that more than a third of the respondents believed Australian hotel values had declined by between 11 and 20 per cent since 2007, mainly because of falling occupancy and average room rates, which in turn had decreased hotel profitability.
However, industry players also reported a feeling of optimism had returned to the market, with more than 70 per cent of those surveyed describing it as being in an upswing.
Looking at the next 12 months, 78 per cent of respondents believed Sydney would show the strongest growth in average room rates, and 62 per cent believed Sydney would also show the best occupancy growth.
Despite a shortage in hotel rooms, Perth recorded the steepest drop in occupancy rates for the year to June 30, with a 2.7 per cent fall to 78.2 per cent, the research found.
Perth also had the biggest fall in revenue per average room, record-inga 5.8 per centfallfrom $132.41 in June 2009 to $124.69 in June this year.
Perth's hotel market was hit by a slowdown in the resources sector in the past financial year, which saw occupancy and room rates fall away," Colliers International's Nick Di Lello said.
"However, Perth also suffers from a shortage of hotel accommodation in the CBD, and we can expect to see that begin to bite over the coming years."
Mr Di Lello said Colliers International was currently working with three international hotel groups on discussions with site owners to build or incorporate hotel facilities within a number of current CBD projects.
"The discussions have been very positive and the brands that are waiting to establish new sites in Perth are some of the best in the world," he said.
"It is obvious to these major global hotel names that Perth in the short-to-medium term will become the resource sector hub for Australia, and as a result will require the hotel facilities to cater for international corporate clients."
EMCO to transform old print-works site
The East Perth Lamh print-works site will be transformed into the new headquarters for the non-profit organisation Youth With A Mission (YWAM) by WA commercial building company and property developer EMCO Building.
Demolition work has started on the landmark site, with the old warehouse set for a major renovation and extension.
EMCO's general manager Ron Keogh said the $6.5 million building would be used as the main centre for YWAM.
"This is a very important project for YWAM and we're excited to be able to deliver an extensive fit-out which will transform the warehouse into virtually a new buildings," he said.
YWAM has more than 300 volunteers serving throughout the city and internationally and it is hoped the new building will raise the organisation's profile.
Mr Keough said EMCO had worked together with YWAM to ensure the organisation would receive a quality project within budget.
YWAM provides aid and education to communities in many countries.