Trouble at court

London Court in Perth’s CBD is on the market for the first time in over 80 years.

Since it was built in 1937, the heritage listed building has been family owned.

Located between St Georges Terrace and Hay Street, London Court has 34 street-level stores and 57 office and commercial spaces across three floors.

Zena is the owner of Zena Hair Fashions, and has been situated in London Court for 52 years.

“I know that because my daughter was 3 months old when I started my business and now she’s almost 52,” she says.

“It’s been lovely, it’s a lovely place. You see people come here and everybody is in awe of [London Court]. It’s so different, it’s so beautiful.”

She says she is devastated to see London Court sell because of the uncertainty a new owner brings.

“It’s sad. It’s sad to see [the current owners] go. It’s sad that it needs to be sold. It would be nice to be reconverted back to what it was, but I wouldn’t like to see it demolished or changed.”

Zena has had her business in London Court for 52 years. Video: Olivia Declerck.

The owner of Ambrose Camera Repairs, Clinton Howard, says his business has been passed down through family and has been in London Court for almost 50 years.

“Ambrose was my stepfather’s name that I chose not to change. I’m dealing with my fourth generation of customers, so I kept it the same,” he says.

Whether redeveloped entirely into residential space or sold to international buyers, Mr Howard says the future opportunities for London Court are endless.

“The change of ownership will be problematic. It depends on the owner who buys it. They will either look for an income or look to change it or they’ll look to enhance what’s already here.”

Mr Howard says despite the uncertainty, he hopes the many empty office spaces could be put into use again.

One of many empty shops in London Court. Photo: Olivia Declerck.

“These spaces are empty because the cost to rent is too high for businesses who aren’t pre-established. London Court used to be lively with flowers and people, but now there’s less occupancy in the buildings and less people,” he says.

He hopes the new owners are from Western Australia and can appreciate the history of the court.

The owner of 50 year old family owned business Ambrose Camera Repairs, Clinton Howard. Video: Olivia Declerck.

Colliers International is managing the sale.

Retail sales and leasing manager for London Court Jonathan Rahardjo says office and commercial leasing has increased due to the news of the building being for sale.

“My personal leasing listing the last two days have been on wildfire,” he says.

Mr Rahardjo says he believes this is due to media coverage over the past few days.

Colliers’ property manager for London Court Rachel Hunter says she hopes someone from WA buys the building as they are more likely to preserve the iconic building.

“With heritage listing, there’s a lot of restrictions on what someone can do with the property. They can’t redevelop it and they can’t knock it down. I think that’s a good thing with a property like that because there’s so much history there.”

Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Rahardjo from Colliers International real estate. Video: Olivia Declerck.