With the rapid end of the mining boom taking Perth by surprise several years ago, the residential market is now beginning to show signs of recovery with new large-scale urban renewal projects set to transform the city's skyline over the next 5-10 years.
In the aftermath of the mining boom's slow down, Western Australia was faced with high land costs and construction rates, low housing affordability and a dwindling working population that lead to stagnation and slow economic growth.
However, experts are now predicting that Perth is well positioned for growth, with the city garnering interest from a variety of local, national and international investors – offering a unique opportunity for residential and commercial developers to enter the market.
The stagnation in the economy has ultimately led to a unique transitional phase where developers and investors alike can position themselves to capitalise on the upcoming cycle of growth – something that is not available in the other capital cities.
A number of large-scale urban renewal projects are demonstrating the growth of the region, especially in the CBD where projects such as Elizabeth Quay, The Towers (with the inclusion of a Ritz Carlton) and Perth Hub in Perth City Link are set to rejuvenate Perth's identity as a true "river city" and to cement its status as a sought-after destination on the world-stage.
“Ideas for Perth's city waterfront have been at the forefront of the development industry's mind for years, and the development of the area creates a vision for Perth that will continue to add cultural, social and economic benefits to the area,” Jonathan Davis from Cottee Parker Architects, lead designers on The Towers Apartments and Ritz Carlton project said.
“Perth City has long struggled with its identity as a river city, and projects like the Elizabeth Quay urban renewal will help the city continue to attract a high level of quality investment in the area, while creating a hub for both residents and visitors to enjoy.”
At the heart of the transformation of the Elizabeth Quay precinct is "The Towers", a 379-apartment mixed-use precinct – which is already over 70 per cent sold – that is set to transform the area into a vibrant city destination that will set the standard for Perth living, while inviting tourists from across the globe.
With the inclusion of a 204 suite Ritz Carlton Hotel, one of the world's most iconic hotel brands, in The Towers project, the area is set to offer a gateway experience that links directly to key tourist attractions while creating a thoughtfully designed space that showcases Perth as a vibrant tourist destination.
“The MRA (Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority) set ambitious design guidelines for each development site around the Quay.
"The Towers project has acted as a good test of those guidelines and allowed us to see how we could work together to deliver a unique project that would set the benchmark for future projects in the area,” Davis said.
“We worked to create a place-appropriate and uniquely Western Australian project and hotel, where the tower forms are shaped by the wind, the colours represent the idyllic WA sunsets and the interiors are inspired by the coastal and river shorelines.”
Going further than the design aesthetics, The Ritz Carlton Hotel also works alongside the residential apartments to ensure the 24-hour activation of the Quay precinct – further creating an urban space that can be enjoyed by residents and tourists outside of key CBD business hours.
“The Quay is a contemporary iteration of the entertainment areas, bathing pavilions, sports pavilions and ceremonial gardens that have always made this area an important urban space in Perth,” Davis said.
“Ensuring that the area could be enjoyed after work or over the weekends was a key precinct guideline that the entire project team worked to meet, and creating a dynamic mixed-use precinct was crucial for us to meet that goal.”
Ambitious projects like the rejuvenation of Elizabeth Quay, The Towers and The Hub are set to make an impact on the shifting skyline of Perth, but these large-scale projects can only be delivered through the constant effort of all of project stakeholders – including Far East Consortium, Probuild, MRA and Cottee Parker Architects.
“The project team's robust relationship throughout the entire development process has been an integral part of ensuring that we make an enduring contribution to the urban landscape of Perth.”
The Towers construction is well under way and set to be completed in 2019.
The ongoing development of the remaining land parcels is set to boost Perth's economy while sending a message of confidence during this period of uncertainty and growth in the region.