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Jun 27, 2014

When earthworks began at the Emu Brewery site on Mounts Bay Road earlier this year they signified more than a decade of commitment by the town planning experts at Rowe Group.

While the site has had three owners since Rowe Group first secured development approval from the City of Perth and WA Planning Commission in 2003, the Northbridge company has been continuously retained as the ‘town planner of choice’ since 2001.

Alan Stewart, Manager Planning, at Rowe Group has provided planning counsel for the Emu Brewery site since the mid nineties.

“Our thorough knowledge of the site, coupled with our understanding of the complex issues affecting the site’s development potential has been unrivalled,” he said.

In mid-2013, Rowe Group secured approvals for current owner, AAIG, to build three high-rise towers, (incorporating two residential buildings and one commercial building) plus a ground level public plaza and retail precinct.

The $500m development is expected to be completed in stages over four to five years and will offer over 100,000m2 of commercial, retail, hotel and residential floor space.

Mr Stewart said a number of unusual factors – including a long-standing policy to preserve views to Parliament House and a 17m fall in the topography between Mount Street and Mounts Bay Road – resulted in some challenging urban design issues.

“It has been a unique and testing site due to its sheer size – almost 2ha – which has made it difficult for developers to find a project that can include a mix of land uses that are both viable and sustainable,” he said.

“However with each new owner, we have watched the designs evolve as they considered what had previously been approved and then proposed practical alternatives.”

Mr Stewart said he was pleased to see site works commence in January, signalling the transformation of the empty site into a large-scale, mixed use community in the heart of Perth.


“Upon completion, the development will completely transform the western edge of the City of Perth and become a key node between Kings Park, the city and the Swan River,” he said.

“Through the incorporation of high quality public spaces, pedestrian connections and retention of views of Parliament House, the current approvals have successfully maximised the plot ratio bonuses available for the site.

“Rowe Group is looking forward to watching the project evolve and will continue to assist the developer to clear relevant conditions as each stage progresses.”