A SIXTEEN storey apartment tower has been proposed for the low-lying Fitzgerald Street strip in North Perth, but six historic shops will be demolished if it goes ahead.
The shops on the Fitzgerald and Alma Streets corner date back to at least 1913 but are not protected by Vincent council’s heritage inventory. They were well known for housing the popular Roman Bakery run by the Tolcon family in the 1950s, and now host a variety of businesses like a nail bar and vacuum centre.
Celsius Property Group’s spent a few years buying up the buildings to make way for what they describe as “a visionary development” at 387 Fitzgerald that’ll be “good for the community, great for the future”.
They’ve predicted the 149 new residents across 99 apartments would generate $6.9 million consumption a year to help stimulate the local economy.
But they’ll need leeway from the state government to go higher than Vincent council’s usual five storey limit.
Not-for-profit Museum of Perth has called for Celsius to retain the historic shopfronts.
MoP’s executive director Reece Harley says Celsius and its architects ought to “come up with a design that incorporates these six historic shopfronts along Fitzgerald Street into their design – not just their facades – but the shopfronts themselves”.
He said the tower could be set back from the street, and Celsius could “keep the front sections of the shopfronts to create small commercial tenancies, and design an internal alfresco piazza or laneway.
“This kind of thinking is about creating a real sense of place: A mix of heritage and modern design, and retaining that authenticity that can never be replicated.”
He’s written to the developers with the ideas.
We put in a query to Celsius asking if retaining the buildings had been considered during design or if they were still open to it.
Celsius managing director Richard Pappas says they appreciate community input and they’ve set up a survey on the project’s website to collect comments.
“We have received lots of really encouraging feedback including a chorus of support for rejuvenation.
At this stage some of the more common comments relate to improving the strip, providing better shops, more cafes and bars, housing choice, better parking and traffic management.
“Following the community consultation we will collate the feedback and review with all stakeholders and intend on then engaging with government on our proposal and the community feedback.”