The 1980s, when bowling alleys were cool and Teen Wolf was “urban surfing.” Oh how the times have changed.
The City of Melville in Perth, Western Australia, is ready to scrap the old Melville Bowling Club in Alfred Cove and build a new, innovative surf park called “URBNSURF Perth.” The formal proposal was submitted in August, and last month the Melville city council voted in favor of moving ahead with advertising public comment, considered the first major hurdle. Hopes are that the Wave Park Group’s next-generation surf park facility, URBNSURF Perth could be open by Christmas 2018.
The project is being proposed and engineered by the Wave Park Group, licensees of the Wavegarden technology for Australia. Slated to go in at Alfred Cove in Tompkins Park, the facility will feature a 2.4ha lagoon requiring 22 million liters of water to operate annually—similar to the water usage of irrigating a grass field of the same size.
Included in the Wave Park Group’s proposal are plans to upgrade nearby storm drains, rehabilitate adjacent wetlands, as well as new additions to the surrounding park, including a mountain bike pump track, outdoor adventure and fitness equipment and additional parking for existing river front amenities. The price tag to build out the entire project is expected to be somewhere in the $25 million range. Preliminary estimates claim it will attract 300,000 people per year.
“We’ve been screening sites in Perth for almost three years now and believe the City of Melville has the right demographic qualities for this kind of facility, including many young families who we believe would really appreciate and enjoy it,” said Wave Park Group executive chairman Andrew Ross.
“Perth has the ideal climate for a wave park and it solves the problem of having to rely on Mother Nature for good surf conditions,” noted Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey. “ As the City continues to plan for the future and the long-term needs of all our residents, we are working to provide benefits to our community as a whole in terms of wellbeing, amenity and economics, and this proposal will need to present those outcomes.”
Side note, in recent years the waters around Perth have seen a significant uptick in shark encounters and attacks. So while URBNSURF Perth will serve as a remedy for extended flat spells, it could even save lives. Needless to say, area lifeguards are in favor of the project.
The Wave Park Group already has similar parks planned for Sydney and Melbourne.