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    Council reveals plans to re-vitalise empty building stock around Perth CBD

    Kirsty Sier

    The injection of vertical schools is one of the ways the City of Perth plans to re-vitalise old buildings around the CBD.

    This week, the council revealed that it is investigating a number of ways to breathe new life into tired parts of the city – and in particular empty, C-Grade office blocks. This recent announcement comes off the back of several years of talk from Perth’s civic leaders, who have been seeking ways to modernise the city, increase density, and slow the rate of urban sprawl.

    As more and more older buildings within Perth CBD become unoccupied in favour of the new buildings being constructed, there’s been a push to find new ways to utilise now under-utilised building stock. This week, the City of Perth revealed to Western Australian newspaper WAtoday its preliminary plans for low-grade buildings around the CBD.

    “The current commercial vacancies in lower grade buildings in the City of Perth have been identified as a key priority for the city,” a council spokesperson told the newspaper.

    “As such, the City of Perth has been investigating reuse of older office buildings (C-Grade Office) and is undertaking design options and feasibility of six options, including an upgraded ‘A-Grade’ office; residential apartments; student accommodation; [a] vertical education facility; a mixed-use demonstration project; and a health and wellness hub.”

    A high-rise primary school for Perth CBD has been advocated for a number of years by community groups. A collection of such groups joined forces in 2016 in support of using vertical schools to fill empty office space in the CBD, with no success.

    This year’s state election also saw the Labor government promising the construction of a high-rise college in the CBD, which would move students from Perth Modern to Perth City Link. Labor has since abandoned that proposal, to focus instead on a multi-level secondary school to go next to Subiaco Oval.

    The outcome of the City of Perth’s study into re-vitalising housing stock in the CBD is expected to finish in August.

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