Heritage buildings retained as CBD rail works start
Key heritage buildings within the CBD will be protected as demolition works for the city section of the new Perth-Mandurah railway start today.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the construction of underground platforms in William Street, near the Wellington Street intersection, would create a new heart for the CBD, along with commercial and retail opportunities.
"The project opens the way to revitalise a run-down section of the city, while retaining its heritage values in a balanced redevelopment," Ms MacTiernan said
"Heritage structures in William and Wellington Streets will be incorporated into the development to create a dynamic mix of old and new."
Three significant heritage buildings in Wellington Street will be retained and incorporated into the overall precinct, which is expected to attract more than $80million worth of redevelopment.
"Keeping the Wellington Building (on the corner of William Street), the original Globe Hotel and the Baird's Building means that the streetscape will not greatly change," the Minister said.
"The façade of the Mitchell's Building in William Street will also be retained."
Ms MacTiernan said the Wellington Building was the most significant building in the precinct.
"This imposing building is one of only a few surviving examples of a corner commercial building from Perth's early architectural history," she said.
"The entire structure will be retained, despite the obvious challenges involved in supporting a building above underground railway platforms in an excavation about six storeys deep."
The development is part of New MetroRail's City Project, which also includes an underground station at the Esplanade and twin bored tunnels from the new station to the William Street platforms.
"The William Street platforms will be a southern extension of the existing Perth Train Station and, as such, will provide real connectivity between the train station, the Wellington Street Bus Station and the retail heart of the CBD," the Minister said.
"NMR's City Project is part of a crucial piece of public transport infrastructure that will create more than 6,000 jobs and inject almost $1billion into the Western Australian economy.
"Train services to and through the William Street platforms are scheduled to begin in late 2006.
"This city station will bring 27,000 people into the precinct every day, ensuring it will be a thriving, active, commercial and transport hub with heritage links."
Partial road closures in William and Wellington Street started last month to allow for preparatory work for the demolition, and further traffic management plans will come into effect at the southern end of William Street next week.
Ms MacTiernan said the redevelopment created an opportunity to provide direct, street-level links across the precinct, from Forrest Place to William Street, and between Murray and Wellington Streets.
For more information on the New MetroRail project, please visit www.newmetrorail.wa.gov.au .