The President Street Precinct developed by Re-imagine Properties spans a half city block and consists of five diverse former industrial buildings with varied uses, heights and heritage values. Developed over a three year period, the objective was to create a diverse mixed use offering anchored by a residential conversion in the largest building – the Steel & Barnett Building. This is a five storey former warehouse building designed by Harold le Roith.
The Steel & Barnett building has been converted to single room occupancy residential with shared facilities on the upper levels. As a collection of interconnected buildings this is a hybrid model for a true mixed use precinct containing a variety of shop spaces, a chemist and food court on street level with a crèche, medical centre and offices for Re-imagine Properties on the upper floors.
Within the inner city context this mix of uses caters to both community and commercial uses. As a framework for activity it is able to embrace both formality and informality in its engagement with the street. This can be seen in the way the retail areas and the food court space are able to incorporate small scale vendors as sub-tenants.
This is an example of urban regeneration that does not result in gentrification but embeds itself in real city life.