Don’t develop in isolation

Having access to land for a development or precinct is one thing; knowing what to do with it is a whole other ball game.

It is not simply a case of “build it and they will come”. If it is not planned correctly from the beginning, a development can quickly become a costly white elephant.

Pracsys is undertaking the economic analysis of a site next to the Mandurah train station which Landcorp would like to buy and develop over the next 10 years.

A transit orientated development (TOD) is directly impacted by transport, but there are broader issues than the traffic passing through. The fact that people are coming and going from an area does not necessarily make it a viable concern.

Planners need to determine what the site can bear in terms of residential development and, therefore, commercial and retail.

 The relationship between retail and residential development is relatively straightforward: the former is generally driven by the latter. Less clear is the relationship between residential and commercial space.

It is pointless to park a lot of commercial floor space without understanding what it would mean to the immediate area and surrounding region. How much commercial floor space is currently available, what is it used for and how functional is it?


The viability of a new precinct needs to be examined within this context. What would the development add to the area? Who will be attracted to it, what can it support and what will drive demand? How would it be connected to other precincts in the region?

There must be a specific strategy in place to ensure the viability of any development before a sod is turned. The number one lesson is: Don’t develop in isolation.