Sky’s the limit for Joondalup city centre as mayor reflects on 10-year anniversary

Suited for success... City of Joondalup CEO Garry Hunt with Mayor Troy Pickard. Picture: Martin Kennealey   d453586
Suited for success... City of Joondalup CEO Garry Hunt with Mayor Troy Pickard. Picture: Martin Kennealey d453586

“IF I was asked to paint a picture of the Joondalup city centre in 10 years’ time, I don’t think you would recognise it from today’s skyline.”

These were the words of Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the reformed Joondalup council, following the dismissal of councillors in 2005.

On May 6, 2006, Mr Pickard was elected as Joondalup Mayor. Twelve new councillors including Tom McLean, Kerry Hollywood and Russ Fishwick, who will also celebrate their 10-year anniversaries, were also elected then.

Mr Pickard is now the longest continuous serving mayor, president or chairman since the Wanneroo Road Board (and subsequently the Shire of Wanneroo and City of Wanneroo) was established in 1902.

So where does Mr Pickard see the City in another 10 years time?

“The skyline of the city will change dramatically with significant built form,” he said.

“Land is expensive and we need to encourage height built form in the city centre.

“We removed height restrictions some seven years ago now, nil setbacks, removed 75 per cent of car parking requirements; all of those were barriers to encourage developers to construct multi-storey mid-high-rise buildings.

“A city centre needs to go up to create opportunities for maximum residential population on limited land mass and also to create opportunities for commercial operations.

“Though we have a strong service and retail base in the City already, the key employment drivers are achieved through commercial operations.

“For a given footprint, there are more staff who work in a commercial building than a retail building.

“So height is crucial and fortunately, the council realises that and created the environment that will encourage, when the time is right, developers to go up and more importantly, tenants to move in.”

The City is already experiencing the start of this high-rise development with the construction of the 17-storey $40 million Arthouse apartments on Grand Boulevard.

“All it takes is one,” Mr Pickard said. “I think Arthouse is the litmus test for the market.

“That’s a bold building and if they can demonstrate to the market that it works, that it stacks up, that there’s demand, people will be lining up at the planning department exploring options to build something similar.

“I can’t see it going much higher at this point in time, but I think the next wave of built form in the City will be 12-plus storeys.

“There’s a couple of major buildings in the pipeline that developers are in the final stages of submitting for planning approval.

“If Arthouse is followed by a couple of other major built forms, we could see potentially half a dozen significant buildings in the city centre within the decade.”

Mr Pickard said an increased inner city residential population would create more vibrancy in the city centre, particularly at night.

“At night time, our City is relatively quiet,” he said.

“We don’t have that critical residential population mass.

“When we have large numbers of inner city residents, there’ll be a trigger for that explosion of activation at night time and I think that will create even more vibrancy than what we’ve got now.”

As well as inner city living, Mr Pickard said there were still plenty of infill opportunities in the City.

He said an estimate of 24,000 additional dwellings was conservative and he expected “significantly more”, creating a change in the City’s housing stock.

“In the next decade, we’ll see a greater diversity of housing options above and beyond the four-by-two, which is fairly prolific in the City of Joondalup,” he said.

“We’ll see a lot more smaller abodes, single dwellings, two-by-ones, three-by-twos, which will provide an opportunity for Joondalup residents to age in place as they downsize but also create an opportunity for greater diversity in our community.

“Greater diversity of housing stock will drive greater diversity in who chooses to live in Joondalup; it renews suburbs.”

He said that though suburbs like Beldon, Heathridge and Craigie were “prime redevelopment” areas, he did not believe these would be in “the first wave of redevelopment” because their lot sizes were not big enough.

“I think you’ll see areas along the coast will be the early adopters of subdivision,” he said.

Also read: Mayor Troy Pickard now touts Joondalup as the ‘capital of the north’.

Then and now, at a glance:

Gross Regional Product              $4.037m (2005)              $5.875m (June 2014)

Unemployment                            5.8% (2011)                     2.9% (June 2015)

Population                                   156,000 (2005)              174,000 (2016)

Building Approvals                     $181.099 (2005-2006)       $398,764 (2014-2015)

Median House Price                     $484,132 (2010)              $644,062 (2015)

Highlights for the City of Joondalup over the past 10 years include:

– Gross Regional Product continually growing, with $5.87 million in 2014 compared to $4.2 million in 2006.

– Average of $348 million in building approvals per annum.

– Total value of $2.5 billion in residential building approvals between 2001-02 and 2014-15.

– Total value of $1.84 billion in non-residential building approvals between 2001-02 and 2014-15.

– More than $12 million invested in new community facilities.

– Almost $40 million budgeted in the 2015-16 capital works program, compared to $23.5 million in 2008-09 and $23 million in 2011-12.

– Almost $20 million spent on improvements to Craigie Leisure Centre.

– Lend Lease invested $300 million to create Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City – WA’s largest shopping centre

– Developments at Joondalup Health Campus total almost $400 million as well as other major commercial health developments such as Shenton House, which includes a Perth Radiological Clinic and Genesis Cancer Care.

– Investments by ECU have totalled over $134 million in recent years. As well as the Learning Precinct, Joondalup is home to training facilities at NECA WA College of Electrical Training and MTA WA Automotive Institute of Technology.

– The Quadrangle retail commercial development.

– $74 million development of Currambine Central shopping centre and a new commercial precinct with more than $40 million worth of investment and further developments in the pipeline.

– $11 million expansion at Joondalup Resort creating a new 450-seat conference centre.

– Approval for the construction of Arthouse – a 17-storey, $40 million high-rise apartment building.

– Named World’s Most Liveable City in 2011 at the United Nations-endorsed International Awards for Liveable Communities (for cities with a population from 150,000 to 400,000).

– Received the 2012 United Nations Environment Award – Excellence in Overall Environmental Management in the local government category

– The City delivered an International BiodiverCities Conference in 2013, attended by over 200 delegates from across the globe.

– The City developed an economic development strategy and was the first Perth metropolitan local government to launch a Digital City strategy.

– The City’s sister city relationship with Jinan in China continues to grow and mature.

– Ocean Reef Marina and the Joondalup Performing Arts and Cultural Facility are projects in the pipeline.