Karratha’s new building opened
Retail businesses on the ground floor of The Quarter are expected to begin opening by the end of next month as the fences came down last Thursday to reveal a new public space filled with art and greenery.
About 70 per cent of commercial space is either in negotiations or already leased out and more than 50 expressions of interest have been made for the 46 service workers apartments next door.
LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said given the state of the economy and the fact the building had just opened, these were impressive figures.
“Potential (apartment) applicants ... they are only now just starting to go through and convert that expression of interest into an application,” he said.
“Those applications are assessed to make sure that the tenants that will go in there are actually service workers for the City of Karratha.
“On the ground floor we have a food and beverage outlet, we have a bank that’s committed, we have a beauty salon, so there’s quite a range of facilities.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said The Quarter would provide more opportunities for existing and new businesses to establish a presence in the city centre.
“It’s not hard to stand here and compare it to a significant activated centre in Perth and say there is really a Pilbara Cities vision,” he said.
“There is a need for new spaces for small businesses in Karratha and affordable housing for those who work in them and The Quarter is now helping to provide those opportunities.
“Government (will) operate on one of the floors here and I’m told that even one of the big mining companies in town is showing significant interest in another floor.”
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said talks with potential hotel developers for stage two of the site, currently occupied by the public green, were promising.
Mr Marra said LandCorp had received some “very serious” expressions of interest for the hotel site.
Doric chief executive Vince Mulholland said almost half of the workforce involved in building The Quarter had been local.
LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.