“We’ll work that through, but you have got to remember, next door the Edith Cowan University campus is about to be built that will bring 10,000 students into the city into that very location every day once it’s finished in 2025.”
The new ECU campus would be located adjacent to the square and is currently going through development approvals.
Le Vietnam proprietor DJ Lee told 6PR with Gareth Parker on Monday he had been asked by Yagan Square management, state entity DevelopmentWA, to relocate to make way for the redevelopment to a “dead spot” for foot traffic.
“We just said no,” he said. “And they said, ‘Well, either you move into the new dead spot, and we’ll fit it out … but you have to sign a five-year lease’.
“So you’re locked in for another five years and in the hope that Yagan will get busy again or simply just get out. So I was like, ‘done, easy’ – I know what I’m going to do.”
Mr Lee said without knowing what redevelopment ideas would actually be going ahead it made it difficult as a tenant to stay on.
The cafe owner, who will still have a Le Vietnam outlet on Barrack Street, said the design of the square may have contributed to the patronage issues, given no one knew there were shops inside.
“In Paris and in Italy … they had a similar concept of a Yagan Square … where when you exit the train or the bus station you kind of had to walk through the whole complex in order to get out,” Mr Lee said.
“Whereas this one here, you kind of bypass the whole lot.”
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