Guiding Perth's grand vision

3 minute read  17.07.2017 John Prevost

Prime waterfront land in Perth's CBD was being underutilised. MinterEllison is advising Perth’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) to help transform the precinct into a world-class urban destination.


Key takeouts

  • The MRA sought to reconnect Perth’s CBD to the Swan River to revitalise the city’s foreshore.
  • MinterEllison facilitated the MRA's place activation objectives for Elizabeth Quay through its expertise of statutory powers, land titling and real estate development.
  • This ongoing advice, negotiation and contractual expertise is helping to create the new development which has been transformative for Perth and which is internationally acclaimed.

The background

The redevelopment of Perth’s foreshore at Elizabeth Quay is a landmark initiative for Western Australia. This $2.6 billion project is part of a broader vision for the city to create a renowned waterfront precinct that combines public spaces, new homes, retail shops and offices.

MinterEllison has advised the MRA on its statutory powers and the intersection of these with other authorities, assisting the terms of site use and development, land titling and tenure issues. MinterEllison has also facilitated the negotiation of several large commercial and residential property transactions at Elizabeth Quay.

Reconnecting the city to the river

The State Government's vision was to reconnect the Perth CBD to the Swan River, a task not without significant physical and legal challenges. Among these were planning and environmental concerns, as well as a range of complexities in handling contaminated sites and heritage issues.

To ‘activate’ the precinct, a series of deals were struck with both public and private sector parties. For example, MinterEllison helped the MRA negotiate commercial arrangements on private land with the City of Perth, along with other public authorities and agencies that have interests in and around the Elizabeth Quay area. The firm drew up and orchestrated the bid tender process as well, which sought highly experienced development partners for the project.

A world-class destination

The result of this project has seen the disposal of several mixed-use development sites comprising residential, commercial and retail uses. This has included the negotiation of project agreements which will see the delivery of Chevron’s new headquarters in Australia, and a new Ritz Carlton Hotel and residential tower being undertaken by Hong Kong developer, Far East Consortium.

In addition, MinterEllison worked on negotiations for public works and the maintenance of these areas, as well as preparing contracts for the MRA to host interim public events with a range of stakeholders within the city.

While MinterEllison’s work has been crucial to overcoming complex civil and commercial issues, it extends beyond the concerns of physical construction. The team’s expertise has contributed to a city-wide vision for creating a world-class urban precinct and has helped set a precedent for future development of such scale and scope.