Perth’s struggling economy could be given a long-term boost following the announcement that a proposal which would include the city’s tallest building has progressed beyond preliminary assessment stages.

In a joint announcement, State Premier Colin Barnett and World Trade Centre New York Association chairman Ghazi Abu Nahl said an unsolicited private sector bid to build a new World Trade Centre in Perth had progressed to the Stage Two detailed assessment phase under the government’s unsolicited bids policy and would now move forward into the detailed assessment phase.

Set to be located on 1.9 hectares of land between the Perth and McIvor train stations, the proposal will include two office towers of 75 metres and 36 metres in height with associated commercial, residential and recreational facilities which will include building above the train line.

Whilst the proponent has already brought the privately-owned Myer Megamart building, the proposal would also involve the purchase of state-owned land – the price for which would be made public once negotiated.

If it goes ahead, the development will deliver significant opportunities for Perth and could help the city to leverage its proximity to critical trading markets such as China, Japan and India as well as its friendly time zones as well as to attract investment and innovative companies into the city centre.

The city has been struggling to find new drivers of growth after the peak of the resource construction boom ended.

If complete, the taller of the buildings would rise to 75 storeys – well above the 52-storey Central Park Tower completed back in 1992, which is the city’s current tallest building.

Woods Bagot have been selected as the architects for the building, construction of which will happen under a staged process.

Barnett welcomed the development, saying the proposal was a sign of confidence in the economy and would help to connect the city to commercial opportunities in 327 other World Trade Centre locations around the world.

 “That a developer is willing to make this investment demonstrates strong confidence in the future of Perth and has the ability to stimulate diverse trade and investment opportunities for the State,” he said.