Blackburne Proposes Triple Tower Subiaco Market Project

Perth developer Blackburne has submitted an application with the City of Subiaco for a $235 million proposal to bring a dying part of Subiaco’s history back to life.

Blackburne has submitted a proposal for a major mixed-use development at 10 Rokeby Road, comprising three towers – ranging from six to 24 storeys – featuring 250 apartments and 2560sq m of commercial, retail and dining.

The proposal also includes redevelopment of the Subiaco Pavilion Market, a local cultural icon that’s remained dormant since its closure in 2007.

Opening in 1982, the Subiaco Pavilion Markets were a staple for locals as a cultural and civic institution for over 20 years.

Blackburne managing director Paul Blackburne said the markets will reopen an improved version of the old.

“We want to reference the past, but not repeat it,” Blackburne told The Urban Developer.

“Creating a market ‘feel’ throughout the week is our primary focus, and to do this there will be a mix of cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops around various ‘laneways’ that will run through the site.”

In March this year, Blackburne acquired the 5451sq m Rokeby Road site for $25 million from the former Victorian Liberal Party treasurer Andrew Abercrombie, who purchased it in 2007 for $35 million.

Blackburne routinely acquires one to three sites annually, and said this was the best site he’d seen in Western Australia in a decade.

“The market is improving and the owner had dropped his price so the project was viable if we could get a revised design approved, so we took the chance,” Blackburne said.

Abercrombie faced much adversity in his time owning the site with his redevelopment plans being repetitively opposed by the City of Subiaco before finally gaining approval for a mixed-use proposal in the midst of a rapidly declining Perth market.

Abercrombie got approval for 292 apartments and 2,563sq m of commercial in 2015, however due to the state of Perth’s market decided to change tact and offloaded the site for a $10 million loss.

Blackburne is highly optimistic he’ll change the site’s fate and provide a catalyst for economic development in Subiaco.

Since acquiring the site, the developer and project architect Hames Sharley have worked diligently to turn around a revised scheme in only six months.

The revised scheme offers a vastly different diversity of housing to the current existing approval.

The existing approval has a residential mix of 70 per cent single-bedroom dwellings, while the new proposal seeks approximately 60 per cent two and three-bedroom apartments.

Blackburne says the larger apartment types will attract owner-occupiers and suit families and locals looking to downsize, a strategy more in line with the developer’s brand.

Public amenity will include a podium level children’s playground which Blackburne says will further incentivise young families back to the Subiaco town centre.

Blackburne’s proposal will slightly increase the height of the site’s current approval however the developer states this will enable more public space on the ground floor and higher quality buildings.

“The new design’s primary focus is to provide a high quality development consisting of outstanding architecture and a community focused ground level that becomes the main village hub,” Blackburne said.

Pending approval the developer anticipates to commence construction in December 2019.