The buildings

The Edward Millen Heritage Precinct includes a series of heritage-listed buildings, which are set in the expansive 4.7 hectare master planned Edward Millen parklands.

Until recently only civic and community uses were allowed within the buildings due to State Government conditions imposed on the precinct.

These conditions meant that the Town has been unable to deliver beneficial and sustainable outcomes and redevelopment which the community would benefit from and expects. With the community engagement process complete and the change of land use now approved by the State Government, a variety of commercial-type uses can now be delivered, whilst maintaining strong community and cultural benefits.

The opportunity is now available to try and deliver a well-considered and respectful adaptive re-use heritage redevelopment result for the community. The aim is to for the buildings to be financially self-sufficient and to maintain the integrity of the buildings for future generations whilst delivering outcomes that benefit the community.

Heritage buildings

The heritage-listed buildings at the precinct are the Rotunda Hospital, the Mildred Creak Centre, Hillview Clinic, a former operating theatre, and a boiler room. 

As part of the commercial agreement for ground lease of the Ed Millen Precinct, these buildings will undergo significant repairs and/or redevelopment for an innovative, adaptive heritage redevelopment. 

Edward Millen House - Rotunda Hospital Building

The Rotunda building was constructed in 1912 and initially operated as a maternity hospital. It later functioned as a convalescent facility for sick and injured servicemen returning from WWI.

Incinerator and out buildings

The fumatory building and former ward block were added to the complex in 1921 and 1936, respectively. From 1936 to 1960 the hospital functioned on and off as a sanatorium for ex-service personnel who had contracted tuberculosis and was then converted to a hospital for special cases of patients not requiring the full nursing or medical attention of a general hospital. 

Mildred Creak Building

The Hillview Clinic was added to the Ed Millen site in 1968 for the use of psychiatric patients and was used for this purpose until 1971. In 1983, the W E Robinson units were established and, together with Hillview, was later named in honour of Dr Mildred Creak, catering for the treatment and care of autistic children.

Adaptive heritage redevelopment

The Edward Millen Adaptive Heritage and Landscape Redevelopment project is being delivered under the Land Asset Optimisation Strategy. The project aims to realise the full potential of the heritage-listed buildings and the expansive 4.7 hectare Edward Millen Reserve to minimise the on-going cost to maintain the precinct and maximise the benefit to the community of the heritage assets. 

Adaptive heritage reuse

Adaptive reuse is a process that changes a disused or ineffective item into a new item that can be used for a different purpose. Sometimes, nothing changes but the item’s use.

The adaptive reuse of a historic building such as the Ed Millen Precinct will have a minimal impact on the heritage significance of the building and its setting. 

To achieve this, the Town has been working with urban designers and architects and Blackoak Capital Ventures (the chosen commercial lessee of the Precinct) to gain an understanding of why the Ed Millen buildings have heritage status, to pursue redevelopment that is sympathetic to the buildings to give it a new purpose.

There are multiple environmental, social, economic and civic leadership benefits of adaptively reusing Ed Millen heritage buildings. 

Conserving the past, building a future

Guiding the Adaptive Heritage Redevelopment process for the Ed Millen buildings and surrounding landscape is a 2001 Conservation Plan -  The “Hillview Victoria Park Conservation Plan”. Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, July 2001.

The Plan sets out a Statement of Significance for the site which is the principal reference for development of the conservation policy. The gradings of significance sets out how each element and/or zone is to be conserved at Edward Millen Precinct is summarised below.

Zones of Considerable Significance (conservation highly recommended):

  • The entrance driveway and the areas of landscaping associated with the former Rotunda Hospital, together with the Edward Millen Hospital. 
  • The Stone Pines in the north-east corner of the site. 

Zones of Some Significance (should be conserved if the place is to retain its meaning and significance):

  • The tree canopy in the north-east corner of the site, notwithstanding the fact that none of the individual trees have intrinsic value, and some will need to be removed.

Zones of Little Significance (the zone or elements neither contributes nor detracts from the significance of the place):

  • The landscaping immediately around the buildings (except for the sentinel planting) and the sump.

In redeveloping the Ed Millen Precinct, the Town and its partners and contractors are prioritising the retention and management of the heritage buildings and site, understanding the important role it plays in protecting the environment, creating vibrant communities and sustaining local economies. 

By strictly adhering to the Conservation Plan, we are working to preserve the important past of Ed Millen Precinct, whilst building a future that adds vibrancy, sustainability and liveability to the heritage site, local residents and the wider WA community. 

The future: an historic and vibrant destination

In August 2021, Council accepted the Ground Lease offer from Blackoak Capital Ventures Pty Ltd for the commercial offering of a 1.4ha ground lease including the Rotunda Building and other associated heritage listed structures. 
As part of the commercial ground lease, Blackoak Capital Ventures propose to deliver the following key outcomes:

  • Deliver a world class destination that attracts visitors from the greater community, through an innovative and creative mix of uses operating in an environmentally sustainable way.
  • Create a hub with real community purpose by providing for both for-profit and not-for-profit services, delivering community access to the arts, craft, theatre and music, and creating public green spaces accessible to all. 
  • Preserve the history of the Edward Millen buildings, by the full refurbishment of the heritage buildings, sympathetic design, and incorporating a museum space into the project.
  • Contribute to realising the Edward Millen Park upgrade plan. 

About Blackoat Capital Ventures

Blackoak Capital Ventures - a strategic partnership between Blackoak Capital and Arget Ventures - is a Western Australian property business, focused on opportunities in development and other structured property investments through a “partnership approach.”
Blackoak Capital Ventures has extensive experience in developing and operating projects of the same nature, that deal with many of the same considerations and risks as the Edward Millen heritage redevelopment. 
These projects involve developing businesses, activating precincts and ongoing management of adaptive reuse heritage buildings, hospitality venues and markets.

The future of Ed Millen Buildings

By awarding Blackoak Capital Ventures and Argent Ventures the commercial ground lease, the Town is excited to work together to create a holistic, heritage adaptive re-use redevelopment of the historic Edward Millen buildings and ongoing management of the site/buildings/businesses, that will excite the Town of Victoria Park community and the people of Perth. 
This component of the project will include the following phases: 

  • Mixed hospitality offerings (including artisan café, bistro-dining and gastro pub)
  • Internal and external events and function spaces 
  • Vegetable and herb gardens and local produce store 
  • Genuine “Farmers Market” 
  • Artisan food and craft operators 
  • Woodfired Bakery 
  • Museum and other community use and services
  • Integration with Reserve through landscaping 

More information, including artist impressions of the proposed redevelopment to the Ed Millen buildings by Blackoak Capital Ventures will be shared when they become available. 


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