Former Perth Girls School making way for $400m apartments

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THE Australian Development Capital’s $400 million redevelopment of the former Perth Girls School into a residential project has been approved by the state government’s DevelopmentWA.

The East Perth-based project, on the corner of Wellington and Bronte Streets, is set deliver 742 new apartments, including 100 social or affordable residences and 500 build-to-rent apartments, in what is set to become the largest BTR development in the state.

“This is a fantastic redevelopment project that preserves some of the great aspects of the historic former Girls School, while delivering an injection of new social and affordable rentals, and providing a new cultural hub that will attract people from across Perth,” said John Carey, lands minister.

The 242 built-to-sell apartments will be constructed across two 25-storey towers, while the BTR offering will span a 15 to 37-storey development, with the project to be amongst the first to benefit from the new 50% land tax concession for BTR developments.

“As part of the state government’s commitment to building more social and affordable housing, my hope is this iconic development will act as a blueprint for industry to deliver more affordable housing through clever and sustainable urban revitalisation,” said Carey.

While the social and affordable housing residences will also include a range of Special Disability Accommodation apartments.

“Mixing build–to-rent, social housing and affordable housing together in a well-designed, planned way is exactly what’s needed to create lively, sustainable and diverse communities,” added Carey.

“The introduction of a build-to-rent housing model is a smart way of alleviating pressure on both private and social rental sectors whilst providing a viable solution to the housing affordability and supply equation.”

The state heritage-listed former school building will also be revitalised, being refurbished into a creative mixed-use space, including a microbrewery, restaurants and cafés, creative industry offices, art gallery and performance spaces.

This creative space will be managed by not-for-profit organisation ARTRAGE Inc, who have been running events, including Fringe World, in the current venue for the previous three years.

In order to begin works on the northern site, the WA state government led an initiative over 2019 to 2020 to exhume over 360 graves from a burial site that was part of the East Perth Cemetery, which have since been reinterred at Karrakatta Cemetery.

The project is anticipated to see 300 jobs generated throughout the construction phase, with 150 onsite jobs created upon completion.

“Perth is now starting to embrace build-to-rent living, and this project is the largest of its kind in WA to date, which will be a huge shot in the arm for this sector,” concluded Carey.

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