The Friendlies Chemists Subiaco owner said the City should capitalise on the central location, and build affordable and long-term parking on a large scale.
He said councillors could find inspiration in ‘lateral thinking’ designs like the 1111 Lincoln Street carpark in Florida.
‘We could build shops and market space on the bottom, a few levels of parking and perhaps a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city,’ he said. ‘It would only need to be four or five storeys ” it might cost a bit of money initially, but it would be an investment.’
Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said the City could not afford to build multiple storeys on the site.
Mr Tindale said money was set aside in the 2013-14 budget to level the land and add about 50 new car bays, some long-term.
‘Previously, we did not get sufficient interest in the (Forrest Street) land in terms of return,’ he said.
Mr Tindale said the City’s parking priority was in the south ward next to the QEII Medical Centre and the parking plan would be rolled through the Rokeby Road precinct later.
‘There is already plenty of long-term parking in Subiaco, like The Colonnade, but it is just not used,’ he said.
‘I can understand retailers in particular would want more parking on their doorstep, but there are other needs to be met.’
Cr Rowe said it was disappointing that plans to build a multistorey carpark on Forrest Street had been sitting idle on his desk for 25 years.
He said the City should look at selling some of the Brownfield properties that the State Government gifted the City to pay for the development.
‘I worry that people see the full carparks and think, ‘it’s much too hard to get in to Subiaco, I’ll just go to the Floreat Forum or Claremont Quarter instead’,’ he said.
‘I get very upset about the aggressive pricing and attitude of private carparks in this city.
‘It is a terrible mindset. We want people to come to Subiaco and relax and linger, not drive around trying to find a bay or stress they will get a ticket.’
Mayor Heather Henderson said Subiaco needed to balance the need for carparks with the community’s desire for public transport, pedestrian and bicycle friendliness.
‘More carparks equal more cars,’ Mrs Henderson said.