A developer wants to build an ‘arts-centric’ center in the Pickle area of West Perth, but faces opposition from those who make up its current character.
Developer Saracen Properties Pty Ltd is behind plans to redevelop part of the ‘old industrial area’ by demolishing its current rentals located in a block between Cleaver and Newcastle streets and Old Aberdeen Place to make room for a multi-faceted building.
The block is currently home to tenants including used car dealership AutoTribe, Heart for the City Church, Perth Gourmet Trade, Stala Contemporary Art Gallery and Cleaver Street & Co. Studio, which hosts coworking spaces, meeting rooms and room rental.
This site is part of what is currently known as the Pickle District, described as “a booming arts hub nestled between the city, Leederville and Northbridge”.
“This development will be the first major multi-storey mixed-use redevelopment in the locality, acting as a catalyst for the development of the surrounding land, bringing much-needed activation to the area,” said a report from Planning Solutions on behalf of the developer.
Plans for the block include a five-story complex with seven retail outlets, a community multi-purpose space, a Bunnings store, a daycare center and community event space.
The lower levels will accommodate retail, food and beverage land uses, such as cafes, a microbrewery or a grocery store.
But VoxLab creative director Bec Juniper – whose business is on the block that would be knocked down as part of the development at 5 Old Aberdeen Place – spoke on behalf of the Pickle District and said the team were united to stand together. oppose the project.
“The area in which the development will be carried out is in the heart of the district, which is currently a thriving artistic and cultural hub and home to many small and medium-sized businesses,” she said.
“A Bunnings and daycare center isn’t the first thing you think of or expect to experience when you visit an arts hub – it really is that simple.
“As for foot traffic, it will be dominated by cars and trucks, as with all Bunnings pickup and babysitting scenarios.
“In fact, it could be a complete nightmare for both uses – kids, moms, shopkeepers, trucks and buggies…not a well thought out idea.”
Landowners Jason Potalivo and Luke Saraceni said they know the arts community has embraced the Pickle neighborhood as a central meeting point, but they’re both ready to create an “arts-centric type of redevelopment “.
“We have in mind first and foremost that we have to try to adapt this concept of an arts center,” said Mr Saraceni, in the photo.
He said they bought the land knowing it was “a run-down industrial area”.
“We’ve made sure we’re not just building a hardware store here… we’re replacing more space than we’re knocking down in old buildings for arts-related purposes and we’re talking to a number of potential arts-related operators . to go into this area,” he said.
“If you look at our plan, not only do we have a hardware store, but at Aberdeen street level we have a whole level of retail, arts and events related spaces.
“We have large warehouse-type uses on this basement level that can accommodate large, noisy events that won’t interfere with anyone as there are no residences around.”
Mr Potalivo said there have been discussions with existing tenants about relocating to the future complex.
“Most of the approximately 17 properties are occupied, but over 50% of leases and tenants signed on the basis that this block was going to be a redevelopment site,” he said.
“Not everyone is upset because they knew this day would come – it would be up to 12 months before these tenants were forced out.”
But Ms Juniper said discussions with the developer were not an option.
“We tried to see if we could work with development,” she said.
“We were compromised from the start because it (the development) is not suitable or compatible by the nature of the different business entities and needs – and the Pickle District is a city team entity that represents a dozen of ‘entities in its interests.’