New look for 3 Oceans' Scarborough towers

New look for 3 Oceans' Scarborough towers

Sat, 24/03/2018 - 05:30
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3 Oceans' new proposal (L) comprises slimmer towers, fewer apartments and a reduced number of car bays. Image: Hillam Architects

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Chinese developer 3 Oceans Property has unveiled its new design for the old Contacio nightclub site in the Perth beachside suburb of Scarborough, with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority seeking public feedback following an extended mediation process.

Late last year the MRA shocked the market by rejecting 3 Oceans’ initial plans for the seaside plot, which comprised two towers of 43 and 35 storeys, saying it constituted significant overdevelopment of the site.

3 Oceans ran a comprehensive public consultation process prior to submitting its plans, which had garnered significant community support.

The new plan comprises slimmer towers, with the number of apartments reduced from 345 to 324, and hotel rooms down from 159 to 148.

Under the revised proposal, the towers now comprise buildings of 43 and 38 levels.

Car parking has been reduced in the new proposal, from 834 to 750 bays, in response to MRA concerns over the traffic impacts of the development.

A pedestrian bridge providing access to the beach over the busy West Coast Highway has also been removed from the proposal.

"We know there are many technical concerns around the bridge element and some of the key referral agencies that believe there are alternative investments that could be made that will deliver similar outcomes," 3 Oceans managing director Dyno Zhang said.

"3 Oceans therefore will investigate these options such as bicycle boulevards, dedicated bus lanes and improved traffic signalling."

Mr Zhang said mediation with the MRA was combined with a peer review by three highly-regarded architecture groups, including former New South Wales state architect Peter Mould.

"Following the MRA’s refusal in December the project team went back to the drawing board whilst retaining the overall concept of Iconic Scarborough which received strong community support.

"The podium is significantly scaled back with increased setbacks, the addition of a central plaza providing greater connectivity between the different retail elements of the building and improved retail planning."

Mr Zhang said 3 Oceans had focused on providing further tourism amenity in the new proposal, with a three-level art gallery and viewing platform to be complemented by a WA Coastal Experience Centre and a market hall showcasing WA produce.

He said 3 Oceans had responded to the MRA’s concerns around overdevelopment by reducing the size and configuration of the podium and the base of the towers.

“These elements have been substantially reduced in size and impact and the public uses within the base of the building have been reconfigured,” Mr Zhang said.

“The appearance of more slender towers sitting atop of, rather than blending in with the significantly scaled-back podium is proposed, which also offers improved view corridors.”

Earlier this week, Premier Mark McGowan made headlines by publicly backing the development for the second time, while at the same time acknowledging the proposal had to go through the MRA’s approvals process.

The MRA’s public consultation process will last for three weeks, with a decision on the revised proposal expected to be handed down by the end of April.