THE RENOVATED Rechabites Hall will be the “jewel in the crown” of a revitalised William Street, says the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA).
MRA executive director Veronica Jeffrey said the “significant restoration” plan was “worth the wait”.
“We wanted to get everything else right and in place and to have Rechabites as the jewel in the crown. We are really pleased with the outcome,” she said.
Ms Jeffrey said the combination of Adrian Fini’s architectural expertise and Marcus Canning’s arts knowhow delivered a dynamic result.
According to Planning Minister Donna Faragher the new multi-use venue will serve as a combination of arts bar and performance venue.
“The variety of spaces and uses within this one building will provide opportunities for a broad range of people to engage with and enjoy this historic hall,” Mrs Faragher said.
The $3 million refurbishment plans include a basement bar and performance space, food service at ground level, a primary performance space and backstage facilities, as well as a small bar and rooftop terrace bar.
Ms Jeffrey said since 2009, sixteen heritage Northbridge properties on William Street have been renovated, and now accommodate 28 tenants.
“We are encouraged by the number of WA businesses, local independent businesses, on William Street,” she said.
“Some are commercial and many are cultural organisations.”
Ms Jeffrey said the MRA had strived to ensure any vacancies on William Street were short-term, adding that pop-up events, exhibitions and shops made sure “there is always something happening on William Street”.
In 2012, the William Street precinct received an Honourable Mention at the 2012 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Happy Heart Pty Ltd has carriage of the project, led by Mr Fini, developer of the old Treasury Building and Alex Hotel, and Mr Canning, chief executive of FringeWORLD.