Grass, once stigmatised by property developers as the bogey-plant of the Perth foreshore, is set to make a 9000 square metre comeback at Elizabeth Quay because the Barnett Government’s Esplanade Reserve privatisation plan has not yet materialised.
oneperth.com.au can reveal that 9295sqm of turf is about to be laid at Elizabeth Quay on big blocks of land that have not yet sold to skyscraper developers.
That’s about 1000sqm more grass than the surface of Perth Oval where the Western Force and Perth Glory strut their footballing stuff.
And the grass makes a farce of the Barnett government’s goal to rid the state heritage listed public park once known as The Esplanade Reserve of turf by concreting, excavating, flooding and privatising most of it.
With the 2.7 hectare Elizabeth Quay inlet due for completion by the end of this year, Lots 2, 3, 5 and 6 (pictured) are yet to be sold.
Lots 5 and 6 are under negotiation with Brookfield, and expressions of interest on lots 2 and 3 close on October 22.
The blocks will be returfed progressively from November 14 to mid January next year, to discourage the emergence of dust and tumbleweeds.
A major rationale for obliterating The Esplanade Reserve was that the $2.6 billion Elizabeth Quay project would ‘activate’ the Perth foreshore in a way that an old-school public park purportedly could not.
But, back in May, oneperth.com.au revealed state officials did not expect Elizabeth Quay to be fully developed until at least 2030, which would have left big chunks of the project to languish for a decade and a half.
Prodded to action by the prompt oneperth.com.au
While acknowledging land sales had slowed in the city, The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority backed down on its projection, and claimed a 10-year development plan was now achievable.
Now, state officials have revised their gloomy forecast in writing, assuring the public that skyscrapers will start rising where the turf is about to be laid by 2019.
The government says the blocks will be temporarily “activated” throughout the year with “events, leisure activities and markets”.
Note: Amendments made to original copy to reflect details of ongoing land sales.