Work has finally begun on Perth’s long-awaited Waterfront project, with 10 hectares of prime riverfront land about to be transformed into an inner city aquatic playground.
In line with other major projects such as Perth City Link, Riverside and the Perth Cultural Centre, Perth Waterfront is part of a long-term plan to create a free-flowing corridor of activity, extending right through the inner city from Northbridge to the Swan River.
Perth Waterfront will cost the government an estimated $440 million and stretch along the Swan River from Barrack Street to William Street, with the highlight being a 2.7-hectare inlet, surrounded by a split-level promenade.
It is expected to attract a lot of property investment enquiries, with over 1,700 new residential apartments planned, nearly 40,000 square metres of new shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and a massive 150,000 square metres of new office space.
This development has something for everyone, from those looking for spectacular inner city accommodation, either to live in or as an investment property, through to locals and tourists simply wanting to enjoy everything the iconic Swan River has to offer.
The new inlet, where the Esplanade is now, will be called Water Square and will have a 7,000 square metre island in its centre. It will feature a marina for boats, much like Sydney’s Darling Harbour, and provide public ferry access linked to both bus and rail. The entire inlet will be around 150 metres wide and 200 metres long and is designed to bring the Swan River into the city.
As well as a public jetty and a pedestrian bridge, the inlet will also include an area called the Landing. This will be a series of terraces located on the northern edge that will offer an inviting public space to relax and enjoy the river and also a venue for outdoor entertainment, complete with a floating stage.
The pedestrian promenade, which is the centerpiece of the development, will extend around the inlet roughly three metres above the water and will be scattered with kiosks, cafes, shops and public spaces.
Perth Waterfront will also feature a nationally significant Indigenous Cultural Centre at the southern end of William Street. Covering some 9,000 square metres, the centre will be a striking architectural and cultural landmark and is expected to be a major drawcard for tourists.
The first stage of Perth Waterfront will be to remove or relocate existing trees and structures from the Esplanade Reserve and upgrade roads and infrastructure. Roadworks will include construction of a new two-way road from under the Narrows Bridge to William Street and the conversion of William Street, south of the Esplanade, to two-way traffic.
Statistics for the project include:
- Approximately 3,300 jobs to be created during the construction phase
- A total cost, including government and private sector investment, of $2.6 billion
- An estimated 4 million visitors a year predicted after completion
When completed in 2015, Perth Waterfront will be another shining example of why Perth is now considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world.