THE newly-bought former Princess Road Tavern site in Balga is set to be redeveloped with a mixture of residential and commercial, which two residents and City of Stirling councillors believe will “bring new life” to the area.
The tavern and two bottle shops at the 9,696 sq m closed late last year and is currently zoned as ‘Development’.
Knight Frank commercial sales executive WA David Walser said the property was sold to a local buyer, who had a focus to “reactive” the site with residential and commercial premises, which would be constructed in stages.
Balga ward councillor David Boothman said he and Cr Keith Sargent were aware that residents had a strong interest in the site and looked forward to seeing the whole local centre being redeveloped and improved.
Cr Sargent said he hoped the new buyer was ready to develop the site with good outcomes that took into account the community’s needs.
Balga resident Amy Blitvich said the vacant site was a “waste of land” because it was a central part of Balga.
“There is a bus stop right outside; so very accessible for people wanting cheap alcohol and unfortunately it created a pretty unsafe environment,” she said.
“At one stage, all the furniture inside the tavern ended up outside the tavern… it just looked grotty.
“It just encouraged people to spend a lot of time there which I think it is time that people could be spending in the community.”
Ms Blitvich said the potential redevelopment was a great opportunity to “reinvigorate” the area, which now had a huge population of first-home buyers and young families.
Fellow resident Dayne Blundell-Camden said the site had lowered the tone of the area because it was unoccupied, overgrown and underutilised.
“Whatever gets developed there, it will certainly be an improvement on what we currently have there,” he said.
“There are already a couple of liquor stores in the area so there is a liquor store in Balga Plaza and there is also another liquor store in the other shopping centre at the west side of Balga.
“I think that whole area needs to be invigorated and refreshed a bit if that site is developed with some small business opportunities and some new residential, apartments or whatever they are planning.”
Mirrabooka Police acting senior sergeant Curtis Rowe said the site was part of the Balga team’s regular patrols because of the volume of people that visited Balga Plaza.