The 10 year transformation of Northbridge into a revitalised residential and business centre has won EPRA the highest industry acclaim from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).
EPRA was awarded a UDIA Award for Excellence in the Urban Renewal category for the revitalisation of 27 hectares area of Northbridge left dilapidated by the construction of the Northbridge Tunnel.
The project also received the prestigious UDIA President’s Award which is selected from the winners of the 14 award categories recognising best practice in urban renewal.
The judges’ comments stated that they were impressed by the commitment that has been shown to understanding the complexity of diverse urban communities, in this case offering a solution that is “all things to all people”.
“New Northbridge represents an outstanding achievement in Urban Renewal and is a deserving winner of the President’s Award,” the judges said.
The project, which began in 2000, has restored Northbridge’s status as a cultural and commercial hub, adding more than 460 new residences and 70,000 square metres of new commercial space to cater for Perth’s bourgeoning population, which is expected to grow by more than a million people over the next few decades.
EPRA CEO Tony Morgan said planning for the project drew on the 150 year history and cultural diversity of the area, successfully integrating heritage buildings with today’s community needs and demands.
"EPRA has worked for more than 10 years to redevelop the area of Northbridge and create an urban environment that invites people to enjoy the benefits of inner city living,” Mr Morgan said.
“In the late 1990s the area had become run down, large areas were vacant and less than 350 people lived in the area, our vision was to restore the heritage value of the area and reclaim Northbridge’s status as a vibrant inner-city neighbourhood.
“More than 80 per cent of the area has now been transformed and around 2,000 people live in the New Northbridge project area, with thousands more drawn into the area each day to visit the shops, lanes, parks and public spaces that have been created.
“EPRA is pleased to receive this accolade from UDIA and shares the award with the many business owners, developers and residents who have supported the redevelopment,” said Mr Morgan.
70 heritage buildings were restored as part of the project and around $60 million invested by EPRA to re-engineer streets, add new public spaces, cycle ways, art and parklands. More than $300 million is estimated to have been spent by the private sector on new residential and commercial premises.
More than sixty new social and affordable housing dwellings have also been added to provide housing options for students, key workers and younger residents to live in the area.
The project is one of six urban regeneration projects currently managed by EPRA to revitalise Perth’s inner city areas and create vibrant and welcoming public spaces for the people of Perth to enjoy.