The decrepit Brownlie Towers will be demolished by the end of 2019, as one of the first big steps in the newly renamed Bentley Regeneration Project.
On April 6 Minister for Housing Peter Tinley announced the beginning of the regeneration project, now named Bentley 360, and an expectation that Brownlie Towers would be demolished “within 12 to 18 months”.
Mr Tinley also increased the estimate of the number of homes built in the area from 1500 up to a maximum 2500.
“It’s great to hit the start button on something that has been sitting around this district for a long, long time,” he said.
“It’s absolutely essential we activate this site in a way that is consistent with community expectations but also can deliver the outcomes in types of accommodation for the sorts of people that would like to live here.”
Social issues, out-dated apartment interiors and a long-term plan to move residents to alternative accommodation in anticipation of Brownlie Towers’ ultimate destruction has seen tenancy numbers in the 301-unit block drop to from about 220 in 2015 to 22 in 2018.
Despite the towers being due for destruction less than a decade after $24 million upgrades to their exterior were completed, Mr Tinley said he did not believe the previous work was a waste of money.
Bentley 360 is expected to be completed over the next two decades and once finished has been touted to be kitted out with retail and dining spaces, student accommodation for the nearby Curtin University, a new 460-apartment building and a community centre.
Mr Tinley said the State Government would assist families currently living in public housing in the affected area remain in the region if they wished, and said the amount of public housing would remain the same as before.