Developers' attention shifts to north Freo

Business News, Perth

19th January 2016.

APARTMENT development at the northern gateway to Fremantle is gathering momentum, with listed player Mustera Property Group joining the fray, more progress for projects along Queen Victoria Street, and a $20 million, 71-apartment development application being lodged for a project on Beach Street.

Queen Victoria Street and the North Fremantle areas have been a particular focus for the City of Fremantle since the state government amended its planning guidelines to allow for projects of up to five storeys along Queen Victoria Street in 2011.

While it has taken some time for developers to get on board, the area is becoming something of a hotspot for developers.

Late last year, Mustera announced it had acquired a five-hectare site on McCabe Street for $5.4 million, in close proximity to Gary Dempsey Developments' Taskers apartments development, where construction is continuing.

The Mustera site at 18 McCabe Street comprises a modern two-storey office and warehouse building, however, the developer flagged its future potential for apartments and townhouses.

The transaction is due to settle in June, funded by a combination of equity and debt.

Mustera's flagship, and first, development is the Victoria Quarter in Midland, a four-storey, 70-apartment project at the historic railway workshops precinct.

Local builder Jaxon was contracted to build the apartments around the middle of last year, with the project expected to be completed by December.

Meanwhile, pre-sales are under way for The Yard on Queen Victoria Street, a 45-unit project to be built by RHG Contractors under a design and construct arrangement worth $11 million.

The Yard, which was designed by Box Architects, is the fourth significant apartment project to come to market on the northern gateway to Freo, the first being a 45-unit development by Property Matrix, which was recently completed by Pindan.

Nearby, M/Group and Sirona Capital are rapidly progressing construction on their $130 million, 183-apartment joint venture at the old Fort Knox storage warehouse, Heirloom.

Heirloom, which is being constructed by Built, is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Construction is also expected to start soon on Defence Housing Australia's 165-apartment development at the old Fremantle Toyota site on Queen Victoria Street, with the car yard already having been demolished and the site cleared and ready for work.

One street closer to the harbour, a development application was lodged in November for a six-storey, 71 apartment complex at 1 Beach Street, a plan put forward by Hodge Collard Preston Architects on behalf of Endersby Enterprises Pty Ltd.

The $20 million Beach Street project is proposed to comprise two buildings with a shared common roof deck, as well as a small bar on the ground floor.

Also in the area, architecture and development firm DMG has cleared a development site across the road from the Swan Hotel, on the northern side of the old Fremantle traffic bridge, on Queen Victoria Street.

The plan there is to construct a five-storey, 10-apartment project, Portview Apartments, which will cost around $3 million to build.

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