Multimillion-dollar makeover to boost suburb's investment prospects

By James Fitzgerald

One area in Western Australia is set to benefit from a $58.4 million redevelopment which could attract more residents and unlock its investment potential.

The Scarborough Master plan, released by the Western Australian government on Tuesday, outlines a wide ranging redevelopment proposal for the seaside town. 

Premier Colin Barnett’s plan will provide more housing, a water playground, a park with skate facilities, community and function centre, new cafés, restaurants, kiosks and public art.

Mr Barnett said that these changes would be engineered around Scarborough residents' wishes to get “closer to the beach". 

“The new-look Scarborough will do just that,” Mr Barnett said.

“This will build on the area’s identity and provide visitors with an active foreshore that people of all ages can enjoy all year round.”

Changes to the beach include the instillation of high-quality showers and restrooms, more shade, seating, and opportunities for deck chair, umbrella and surfboard hire.

Mr Barnett added that the infrastructure of the beach’s surrounding areas would also be improved.

“New lookouts, decking and boardwalks will enable better access to the beach while family friendly areas will provide green spaces, playgrounds, alfresco dining and event spaces,” he said.

“This unlocks Scarborough’s potential as a great place to live, visit and work.”

Planning minister John Day expects the government’s investment to encourage greater private investment into the area.

“We are looking for high quality developments that support the character of the area and enhance amenities for both residents and visitors,” Mr Day said.
“The plan encourages mixed-use development, increased density in appropriate areas and a range of accommodation options. More than 2,800 new dwellings and 26,000 square metres of office and retail space is expected to be created.”

Rory O’Rourke, director of O’Rourke Realty Investments, expects the redevelopment to accelerate Scarborough’s modernisation.

“Scarborough has worked hard to shake off its lower social-economic image,” he said.

“Solid beach infrastructure is invariably a location’s calling card, so this kind of investment can only yield positive results.”

Mr O’Rourke said that the proposed building of 2,800 new dwellings will strengthen the area’s property market, despite Western Australia’s recent population decline.

“In 2014, the Chinese, Indian and Japanese prime ministers all visited Western Australia with business delegates from their respective countries,” he said.

“The strength of the region’s natural commodity sector will bring those migrants (and more) back in due course.”

Mr O’Rourke pointed to Scarborough’s 2014 property price growth of 8.8 per cent as a sign that the area’s recovery is “well on the way.”

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