I am so thrilled about development just a stone’s throw away from the Fremantle Townhall that I can’t get enough of the demolition along Queen Adelaide Street.
The boring buildings have gone and the Westgate car park is to follow suit, to make way for the all new Hilton Doubletree hotel that will be built on that site.
The City of Fremantle now needs to be pro active and develop plans to make Princess May Park an attractive green oasis in the CBD with creative seats and shade structures. The former Boys School would make a great cafe, art gallery or small bar.
I am not a very macho man so earthmoving machines normally don’t do much for me, but to see this pile of rubble at the Port Cinema site at Princess May Park in Fremantle made my day already (and it’s only going to get better with perfect weather and festival events!)
This is the very welcome start of the construction of the Hilton hotel on the Point Street carpark site and something Freo desperately needs. The more tourists we can accommodate to stay overnight, the better it will be for our retail economy and hospitality industry, so I can’t wait till the hotel opens in 2016.
It was organised chaos at Fremantle’s Clancys today, as staff were in a rush to get the place ready for the “very sssssoft opening” on Friday, where any glitches can be ironed out.
I like the vibrant colours and new feel of the place, which is still very much our own Clancys. Booths have been installed inside and the alfresco area at Princess May Park has substantially grown. The new inside toilets have a bit of class, there is airconditioning and also heating outside, and music will be piped everywhere, including the kitchen.
The menu will remain very much like the old one, but the new relocated kitchen looks stunning as well,with a few more state of the art deep fryers and other gadgets, so go and check out Clancys this weekend!
Justin Rogan, the manager of CLANCY’S in Fremantle, showed me around today to point out the improvements they are making to the building. It looks promising!
They are building a whole new kitchen, cool, store, and staff room on the south-western corner, while the old toilet block has been demolished and the toilets are relocated to the former kitchen area.
The alfresco areas on both sides of the building are extended and will be under cover, with heating in winter and cooling in summer.
Clancys is going back to the 80s with booths installed in the room where the stage is, but the interior design will all be in the same Clancy’s style as City Beach, Dunsborough and Canning Bridge. The estimated re-opening time is mid to late August, so not far away at all. If you can’t wait that long, hop on the bus to Canning Bridge or spend a long weekend in Dunsborough.
The whole area at Princess May Park will transform even more with renovations of the former Boys School-FTI building, and the building of the Hilton Hotel on the Point Street carpark site. Good things are happening in Freo, just a bit of patience needed!
The renovations at Fremantle Clancy’s Fishpub are progressing well, and by the look of it there will be a larger alfresco area at the back of the pub at Princess May Park. That will give more parents the opportunity to sit outside and watch over their children, who can safely play in the park away from traffic.
Clancys will open again in mid August, so stay tuned. I’ll keep you up to date.
It has been a long time coming, but finally one of Fremantle’s oldest heritage buildings, the Fremantle Boys School Building occupied by the Film and Television Institute (FTI), has received $850k funding from the City for the first stage of its restoration.
Built in 1854 and located at 92 Adelaide Street Fremantle, the building is highly valued for its heritage connections, but given its age, requires significant restoration work to ensure its structural integrity for the benefit of future generations. The first stage of restorative works will include asbestos management planning, chemical analysis of mortar mix to ensure compatibility, stonemason repairs to chimneys and parapets, new gutters, storm water management and the replacement of a portion of its roof shingles. All works will be done in full consultation and collaboration with the City’s Heritage Coordinator.
“The City places great importance on its heritage stock and as one Fremantle’s oldest heritage buildings and given its visible location and usage, the restoration of the FTI-occupied building has been one of our highest priorities,” said City of Fremantle Technical Services Director, Peter Pikor. “Certain aspects of the building have deteriorated over a number of years and following a thorough investigation, it was decided that the best resolution was to use a staged approach to restore the building. This approach will allow a detailed analysis to be undertaken at the completion of each stage to address risk issues and clarify the scope of following stages,” Mr Pikor said.
Stage one restoration works are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2014 with additional stages subject to council funding approval.
FICRA John Dowson‘s complaint in the Fremantle Herald today about the Fremantle Markets’ condition and questioning what the City of Fremantle is doing with the money they receive from the market operators made me wonder if the City has got management systems in place to make sure that money that has to be vested into certain areas is actually spend on it. Clancys has been paying nearly $ 76,000 a year for the last ten years but not much has been done at all at Princess May Park, with director Peter Pikor stating on Wednesday that money allocated 3 years ago to replace the roof of the FTI building is now no longer enough to get the work done. What has been done with the $ 760,000 Clancys paid over ten years?
The same question applies to Arthur Head where the city has been collecting rent for at least 20 years without doing much to maintain the crumbling buildings, walls, fences, etc. Where did the money go to, is it in an Arthur Head account?
The City of Fremantle does not have a good track record looking after the heritage buildings in its care, the Town Hall is a sad example of that, so why is council contemplating taking on the Warders Cottages in Henderson Street while it is neglecting one of the most historically significant areas of our state in Arthur Head. Walk around and see walls falling to pieces, fences pushed over, not repaired, unpainted, while money suddenly is being spend on two Pilot’s cottages because new art related tenantst are encouraged to move in. The interior walls of the Round House are already losing the new mortar, put in there last year, at an alarming rate, the wall in front of the historic prison in falling down the stairs and onto the carpark below, paths are not maintained, signage is inadequate or non existing, I could go on. Where are the management plans!
P.S. Rumours abound about Freo architects wanting to build an 11 storey hotel at Bathers Beach near the Round House. In your dreams!
It was an interesting Fremantle Strategic and General Services Committee meeting at council chambers this evening, with big items on the agenda. The Bathers Beach improvements recommended by the officers and the working group were largely not accepted so that saga will continue. Councillor Jon Strachan said he could not support more grass in a drying climate. That was supported by Councillor Doug Thompson. To plant two more Norfolk trees was considered the wrong species, although the area already has several of them.
Councillor Doug Thomson said there is no justification for more grass and asked why it was recommended. Councillors Sam Wainwright and Dave Coggin expressed frustration that the master plan for the area had not been considered. A heritage assessment will now be done before full council meeting in two weeks and back to the drawing board.
I was part of the stakeholders group of professional business men and feel we all wasted our time on trying to do the right thing for the Bathers Beach area. Our group was never asked to consider the master plan or look at improvements on the east side of the railway line. Semantics took over tonight and the necessary changes will not be made. That is highly frustrating and a waste of community input and time. Five of us gave up 12 hours of our time for no return. That is not acceptable.
The other big issue was if council should create a business plan to look at the viability of taking over the Warders Cottages from State Government. FICRA spokes person John Dowson questioned if it would be better for Fremantle Prison to manage them and asked if renovation work would be done to heritage values. Councillor Cogging asked whose job was it to protect the cottages; state government, and that council would need to see strong support from the community before embarking on a 6 million dollar renovation project. Councillor Andrew Sullivan said he agreed with FICRA and that the cottages should not become a financial burden for the City of Fremantle and it should be asking for the money from state government.
I believe a no interest loan from State Government or a guaranteed grant from Lotterywest should be negotiated before the C0F commits to taking on this big and expensive project.
The proposal to turn the Esplanade into an A Grade Reserve was not supported and not seen as a priority. FICRA’s John Dowson said the skate plaza had been one of the most upsetting issues of the last 20 years for him and asked when council will be reviewing the Esplanade master plan. The CEO announced that the special Electors Meeting demanded by FICRA will be held on July 2 at the Town Hall.
It was interesting to hear that the Film and Television Institute and the Fremantle Education Center have only been paying peppercorn rent over the last 10 years while other non for profit community groups like Kulcha are being charged rent by the City. Councillor Jon Strachan rightly pointed out this was an equity issue. Councillor Doug Thomson wanted a more strategic use for the buildings, while FICRA’s John Dowson asked if there is actually a management plan for Princes May Park because nothing had been done there for yonkers.
All in all yet another interesting inside on how local government works. It is bloody frustrating and annoying at times!
News that the tender for the redevelopment of the City of Fremantle Point Street car park will be signed next week, open up very good opportunities for the City to insist on outstanding architectural design and building quality, not just complying with a five star green rating. If council allows a mediocre building to be erected on the site adjacent to historic Princess May Park for the sake to get quick development done, it will lose all credibility. I for one look forward to getting rid of the ugly car park and revitalisation of Princess May Park.
Harbour Theatre have been told they still got another year at the former cinema building and that is probably a realistic time to draw up plans for the area.