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Developers eye carpark
Mayor Kevin Morgan. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

While the height of hotels, apartments and shops has grabbed most attention, it's the big block of land without a building that has developers salivating.

The No.2 carpark could well be the next battleground between Cottesloe Town Council and the State Government.

With about 175m of ocean frontage and about 7500sqm, the dilapidated area is ripe for a makeover.

Inquiries flag underground parking with mixed use such as shops, cafes and toilets. Ocean Beach Hotel owner Stan Quinlivan believes it should be redeveloped by an arm of the State Government.

"What should happen is a two-storey carpark with shops along the front," Mr Quinlivan said. "They could cut into the hill and have an oval or nature park on top."

Prominent Cottesloe real estate agent Jamie Loh has similar views.

He would like to see four or five-storey serviced apartments with ground floor shops and bars on the Marine Parade frontage.

Another idea is for backpacker-style accommodation, which is unlikely to be included in other "mixed use" projects.

But the land is an A-class reserve and any change of use is likely to take an Act of Parliament - and generate council opposition.

Mayor Kevin Morgan said selling parts of a public reserve to make money to maintain that reserve was "the highway to hell".

"The sad reality is that it's probably going to happen because it's Premier Colin Barnett's personal viewpoint," he said.

Planning Minister John Day said there was merit in having some development with retail and multi-level carparks at the back or underground. It was not under active consideration but should be looked at.