NEW HEART OF THE CITY

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - Belle Tay­lor

YA­GAN Square — Perth’s new beat­ing heart — is near­ing com­ple­tion and when fin­ished, it will re­con­nect the CBD with North­bridge for the first time in more than cen­tury.

To­day, The Sun­day Times can re­veal the first 10 ven­tures that will breathe life into the square, which is lo­cated within the arms of the her­itage-listed Horse­hoe Bridge next to Perth rail­way sta­tion.

The three-level at­trac­tion, set to open in early 2018, will fea­ture hos­pi­tal­ity and re­tail out­lets with a strong em­pha­sis on WA prod­ucts and pro­duce, mak­ing the area a cen­tral hub show­cas­ing the best the State has to of­fer.

From a big restau­rant and bar, a spe­cial­ist honey shop, to a mar­ket place with out­lets of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from fish and chips to gourmet toast, there will be a range of of­fer­ings tempt­ing tourists, city com­muters and week­end rev­ellers.

“This is go­ing to be Perth’s pre­mium meet­ing place,” Metropoli­tan Re­de­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Kieran Kin­sella said.

“It will be to Perth what Fed­er­a­tion Square has be­come to Mel­bourne in terms of be­ing a place for peo­ple to come out, to con­gre­gate, to have food and bev­er­age, en­ter­tain­ment and to en­joy the nat­u­ral am­bi­ence of the wildflower gar­dens and the na­ture play play­ground for the kids.”

Sand­wiched between the train sta­tion and the cen­tral bus de­pot, the $74 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment, part of the $5 bil­lion Perth City Link project, is ex­pected to see about 60,000 peo­ple move through the space daily.

A 20m long pedes­trian bridge con­nect­ing the north­ern and south­ern sides of the up­per level of Ya­gan Square has been in­stalled. Con­struc­tion of the Mar­ket Hall and Horse­shoe Lane build­ings, which will house food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tors, is also com­plete.

Later this month, the land­mark 45m dig­i­tal tower’s gi­ant cir­cu­lar screen will be in­stalled. It will tell sto­ries of the area’s in­dige­nous her­itage and show ma­jor sport­ing events.

The 22 food, bev­er­age and re­tail out­lets will have a strong WA em­pha­sis and a wildflower gar­den will be a “mini” Kings Park in the heart of the city.

“There’s a lot of trav­ellers at the mo­ment so get­ting peo­ple to come into the city and ac­tu­ally stay in the city and not go to the sub­urbs would be good,” said Emma Ainsworth, whose gourmet toast bar Henry Lit­tle will be part of the Mar­ket Hall.

The Shoe Bar will be one of the big­gest venues on site, with a ca­pac­ity of 300. The bar plans to open from 6am to mid­night, serv­ing cof­fee to early-morn­ing com­muters and cock­tails to the af­ter-work crowd.

Co-owner Kieran Glynn, who is also in­volved in the Hyde Park Ho­tel and Cob­blers Tav­ern, said he and his busi­ness part­ners had con­sid­ered El­iz­a­beth Quay, but de­cided Ya­gan Square was a bet­ter prospect.

“El­iz­a­beth Quay is very sea­sonal. It goes very well in the sum­mer but in win­ter maybe not so much, whereas (Ya­gan Square) is right in the city,” he said.

“It com­bines North­bridge with the city. We think it’ll be ter­rific. It’s go­ing to be the ab­so­lute cen­tre of the city.”

Josh Cata­lano, from the pop­u­lar food truck The Fish Boss, will be open­ing his first fixed ten­ancy in the square’s Mar­ket Hall. He said the WA fo­cus of the de­vel­op­ment drew him and his busi­ness part­ners to the project.

“When we heard about the other store­hold­ers that are go­ing to be in there and ev­ery­one be­ing from WA it was prob­a­bly the sell­ing point (for us),” he said.

“We’re pretty pas­sion­ate about WA and West Aus­tralian pro­duce.”

The MRA is ea­ger to have as many out­lets op­er­at­ing as soon as the square opens early next year.

It will be to Perth what Fed­er­a­tion Square has be­come to Mel­bourne in terms of be­ing a place for peo­ple to come out, to con­gre­gate, to have food and bev­er­age.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.