18th January 2021.
An institution of Perth's nightlife scene is on track to reopen in mid-2021 under a new sober look as part of a multi-million dollar project to turn a central Leederville block into an entertainment precinct.
Adrian Fini's FJM Property revealed plans to turn the Leederville Hotel and adjacent laneway into a food and retail precinct in June as part of a joint venture with Dale Alcock's ABN Group.
The newly refurbished Leederville Hotel will feature a new dining area, bar and kiosks that will open up into the revamped laneway connecting Newcastle Street to the old hotel carpark.
The precinct will draw its inspiration from Melbourne's laneway culture bringing shops, restaurants, food trucks, bars, cafes and art to the streets.
Already planned for the site are a 140-seat restaurant inspired by Leederville's "eclectic culture" and a takeaway kiosk in the vein of Sydney’s much-loved Shwarmama.
Artist impressions of the precinct released last year showed plans for two-level alfresco dining, outdoor nooks, and play spaces for children. The designs also included coffee windows for casual trade and balcony seating overlooking the landscaped garden.
Construction on the project is currently under way, with the first restaurants, cafes, and shops tipped to open to punters in August.
As retail strips across Perth continue to struggle to draw crowds, developers are increasingly turning to European-style laneways as the centrepiece of big construction projects, like Sirona Capital's FOMO development in the heart of Fremantle.
The $270 million commercial arm of the Kings Square redevelopment is organised around an Asian-themed laneway inspired by the hawkers' markets of south-east Asia and a more classic-looking pedestrian strip resembling Spain's popular Ramblas.
The redevelopment of the Leederville Hotel will complement ABN's $40 million headquarters and showroom currently under construction in the old hotel carpark where the drive-through bottleshop once was.
More than 700 office workers are expected to move into the area once the project is completed in mid-2021.
The City of Vincent has thrown its support behind the plans and has committed to funding part of the infrastructure, lighting, paving, and drainage works on the laneway.
"This type of laneway activation is something we all love when we're travelling and we're going to have it right here in Leederville," Mayor Emma Cole said.
"It will be a unique, high-quality laneway experience seen nowhere else in Perth, which will help draw visitors, shoppers, and foodies into the town centre."
Several of the tenancies available have already been snatched and FJM has now launched a competition for the public to name the new laneway.
The Leederville Hotel, known for its raucous Wednesday nights and dancefloor cages prior to its rebranding in 2014, is home to popular eateries The Garden and Bill's Bar and Bites, and sits in the heart of Leederville's popular entertainment strip.