Doric Group is one of Australia’s largest privately-owned construction firms having developed a deep catalogue of capabilities over three decades, operating across multiple sectors. The company has a track record of delivering high-end, landmark developments to clients in the resources, commercial, infrastructure and defence sectors. Despite upholding a broad portfolio of projects, Doric remains committed to a set of core values including full transparency, sustainability and delivering on promises. In recent months, Doric has arrived at the end of a major construction cycle in Western Australia, which has yielded the completion of two symbolic redevelopment projects – the recently renamed Marketlane Subi and Yagan Square.
Doric was awarded the contract for Marketlane Subi (previously called Station Street Commercial Development) in mid-2016 after succeeding in a competitive tender process for the AUS$53 million redevelopment of the former Station Street Markets in Subiaco, Perth.
Plans for the multi-level, mixed use development consisted of a double basement and four storeys, with the ground and first floors allocated as retail space for a Coles supermarket and Target discount department store, along with speciality retail tenancies and a range of dining and beverage outlets.
Approximately 6000m² of office space was planned for the remaining upper floors of the building, while parking space for over 400 cars was also set aside within the development space. In addition, public art and landscaping was incorporated into the fabric of the building to instil a sense of vibrancy.
Doric’s clients for the project was Atlanta Investments and Seafocus Holdings. Marketlane Subi forms part of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s (MRA) broader strategy for the area.
In November 2017, the project was officially completed. Project Manager Mick O’ Dea tells AusBN that the construction period passed with no major setbacks after the project team skilfully managed a high number of design changes while also achieving the requested date from the Client for opening.
“The client was very pleased with the project meeting the ambitious opening date and gave us good kudos for finishing on time having absorbed so many design changes that are inevitable with large retail projects. The retail section opened on programme on the November 30th, with the final fit out of the commercial offices achieving practical completion on January 19th as also planned. ”
O’ Dea believes the key to the successful delivery of the project lay in the high level of collaboration between all the partners working on different elements of the construction.
“Everyone understood that there was a tight footprint on the project with complicated logistics and cranage involved. The delivery was tight, but all the business partners worked together and there was good coordination and communication every day.”
Doric worked closely with several sub-contractors throughout the construction, including Supreme Windows, Constructive PD and WBC, who provided a bespoke high performance external façade, Fortec, MPM Mechanical Services, Positive Electrical, JP Blue and Selected Plumbing to name a few.
However, Doric and its partners were faced with a number of challenges throughout the construction stage as O’ Dea previously alluded to, with the logistical situation complicated by restricted site and street access.
“The post tension concrete structure also posed some challenges with high floor levels and curved features,” he adds. But as an experienced construction company with vast capabilities, Doric and its contractors were able to meet and resolve all challenges presented along the way.
In the six months since its opening, Doric has garnered plenty of positive feedback from the public towards its Marketlane Subi project, with the external façade that incorporates public art within the fabric of the building adding significantly to the striking aesthetic of the building.
“The public are very receptive to the new building and appreciate that a lot of expense, design and effort went into the building façade.
“Doric is proud of this project. In the Subiaco area it stands out as a high-level, state-of-the-art building that will add some vibrancy to the area,” concludes O’ Dea.
Following hot on the heels of the completion of Marketlane Subi was the Yagan Square redevelopment project, which was officially opened in March 2018.
Once again part of the MRA’s overarching redevelopment drive in Perth, the mainly construct-only contract for the exciting Yagan Square project was won by Doric back in 2015.
Today, Yagan Square is a lively hub which incorporates retail markets, market hall, bars, cafes, green spaces and play areas, while the overall development also serves as a major connecting node for commuters and residents within Perth’s bustling CBD.
During the construction phase, Doric and its partners delivered the following work on the project:
Sub-structural and basement areas
Market Hall Building, including food and beverage tenancies (shell only), mezzanine space, office and control room and associated back of house facilities and public amenities
Northern Bar Building across three levels of bars and restaurants (shell only)
Rooftop restaurant (shell only) and associated amenities
Landscaped areas including amphitheatre, upper deck, shade canopies, playscape and water features with integrated art
William Street mall & market plaza
In addition to the construct-only components of the project, Doric also delivered several ‘design and construct’ elements including piling, façade, earthing and bonding. Project manager Richard Willis-Jones reveals that piling design was a particular challenge due to the close proximity of three railway tunnels.
“This required close collaboration with the Public Transport Authority to resolve issues and come up with a design that they were comfortable with.
“Earthing and bonding design was another challenge due to the close proximity to HV overhead railway power lines. A number of strategies were used, including bitumen waterproofing membranes in order to isolate Yagan Square from the PTA overhead lines.”
In addition, large amounts of landscaping items were sourced from Australia but shipped overseas for processing, which caused long lead times, However, Doric focused on letting these orders early and tracking procurement closely to minimise the impact of this on the project.
The end result of Doric’s hard work on the project has been a transformation of the area into a dynamic public space that is already being billed as the new beating heart of Perth.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive says Willis-Jones, before adding that the MRA seem very happy with the finished product while initial trading of tenancies have also exceeded expectations thus far.
Finally, Doric recently made the exciting announcement that it had formed a new company – Wu Yi Doric – targeting the Australian construction market, on the back of a strategic partnership between Doric and Chinese firm China Wu Yi.
The 50:50 partnership will combine Doric’s local know-how and deep experience of the Australian market with China Wu Yi’s financial clout and international experience to target large-scale construction projects in Western Australia and other States.