The company behind Chellingworth Towers is a step ahead of the JDAP decision

The company behind changes to the proposed towers at the Chellingworth dealership made a last-minute pitch before a planning panel’s decision on Friday, announcing it has plans for further development in Perth.

A four tower development at 97-105 Stirling Highway was originally proposed by Grange Development and Costa Property.

The Joint Assessment Development Panel initially rejected the proposal, but later approved it after changes were made, including reducing the complex to three towers.

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After negotiations before the state administrative court, the number of apartments was reduced from 301 to 231.

The Gurner Group has since joined the project, proposing new changes that they say will increase community utility and make the proposal more workable.

Changes include increasing the number of apartments to 368, reducing the rentable office space from 4764 m² to 1281 m² and creating a much larger ground floor pedestrian area in the city centre.

The Nedlands Chellingworth Motors Porsche dealership site is being demolished to make way for the towers.
camera iconThe Nedlands Chellingworth Motors Porsche dealership site is being demolished to make way for the towers. Recognition: Google Maps/RegionalHUB

The JDAP will decide on Friday, August 5 whether to approve the changes or whether they must be submitted as a separate application.

The City of Nedlands claims that the changes merit an entirely separate application as they “change substantially the approved development” and “change the nature (of) the development from a fixed mixed-use development to a predominantly residential development”.

Gurner Group founder Tim Gurner told PerthNow before the decision the changes were “minor” but took the concept from “okay to great” and were “important to the future success” of the complex.

Mr Gurner said the changes would bring more natural light into the floor area and increase the accessible pedestrian area from 1200m² to almost 3500m².

“We believe it’s a better outcome for the project, but we have the flexibility to work with JDAP and the Council,” he said.

“We will build these buildings. There is no question that we will proceed with a plan. But we believe this has the greatest benefit, and we’ll argue our case.

“We’re not a combative developer, we work hand-in-hand with everyone we need to get the right result.”

Mr Gurner said the reduction in above-ground business leases would have commercial rather than community implications.

“All we’ve done is reduce the commercial office space above the ground floor,” he said.

“Commercial space is difficult in this location and we want to make sure what we build can be rented or sold.”

Gurner has released additional images of a waterfall in its development at Chellingworth.
camera iconGurner has released additional images of a waterfall in its development at Chellingworth. Recognition: Gurner group/delivered

Mr Gurner said the ground floor among the changes will be “strongly activated with retail and hospitality that has full sunlight to the north as opposed to a dark, enclosed area”.

Changes also include increasing the number of one- and two-bedroom apartments with fewer three- and four-bedroom apartments.

The property developer cannot comment on the negotiations to reduce the number of apartments in the SAT process because Gurner is not involved.

“We are focused on finding the right mix and product variety for the market to achieve a wide range of affordable products and ensure a diverse community and a successful project,” he said.

Mr Gurner said the original concept was “too exclusive and too expensive” and that Gurner’s changes would create a greater variety of housing products.

The companies hope – subject to approvals – to start selling apartments early next year before starting construction in the second or third quarter of 2023.

Gurner founder Tim Gurner.
camera iconGurner founder Tim Gurner. Recognition: Gurner group/delivered

Mr Gurner said his company – which has around 10,000 homes under construction across Australia – is looking to expand its Perth portfolio, with the Chellingworth site being its first WA project.

“We want a big presence in Perth,” he said.

“We didn’t come to Perth to develop a site. We love Perth and the city and we want to build buildings that are great for the city.”

Mr Gurner said they were looking at locations in the western suburbs and closer to the CBD.

https://www.perthnow.com.au/local-news/perthnow-western-suburbs/company-behind-chellingworth-towers-makes-pitch-ahead-of-jdap-decision-c-7734932 The company behind Chellingworth Towers is a step ahead of the JDAP decision

Nate Jones

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