Freo's View

LONG-TERM FREO BUSINESSES FORCED TO CLIMB MOUNTAINS

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on November 17, 2014

It is pretty hard to run a business in Fremantle especially for those who have been critical of Council and the administration. While we constantly hear Mayor Brad Pettitt say Council supports new and established businesses in town, the facts is that some long-term operators have to climb mountains and swim across oceans to get approval from Fremantle Council.

The Carriage Cafe on the Esplanade is one example of creating obstacles so the owner will quit in frustration. After Council finally allowed him to go to the planning process of building an extension, the negotiations for a new lease will now have to wait until a new Esplanade Masterplan has been approved by Council, and that is still many months away, meaning that the development won’t go ahead either because a new and extended lease is essential to make the renovations commercially viable.

The ongoing saga at Kidogo to re-establish the very popular Kelp Bar has also taken a nasty turn, according to a reliable informant. Although the owner received approval to apply for the building of external toilets and Council agreed the lease would be around $ 34,000 a year, when a new contract was presented the rent had suddenly gone up to $ 50,000 without that ever been mentioned at the Council committee meeting. The owner is also expected to carry the $ 50,000 costs of extending the sewer, on top of spending $ 35,000 on building toilets.

The Mayor went out of his way to make sure New Edition bookshop could be relocated to a City owned building and not close-and good on him for that-and COF financially sponsored the Many 6160 project at MYER, but when it comes to other operators more and more hurdles are put in their way to prevent them from growing their businesses. No one at Council pulled a finger out after the desperate plea of the Green Bean cafe owners at Kings Square, whose livelihood is threatened with the imminent closure of the business.

I believe it is quite clear that some Elected Members would prefer to see the back of successful operators such as the Carriage’s Kel Smith and Kidogo’s Joanna Robinson because Councillors’ egos have been bruised by criticism from these two business owners. That is pretty poor form.

Roel Loopers

19 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. freoview said, on June 6, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Kel it will be under the article as a comment and I can’t put it anywhere else. I know nothing about a front page of comments feed as that will be a WordPress thing that I don’t control. But you can issue the comment again under whatever article you want and I can then approve that.

    Roel

    Like

  2. Kel said, on June 6, 2015 at 7:29 am

    It did not appear on your front page of comments feed.Could you please put it up there for the community to view.Cheers
    Kel

    Like

  3. freoview said, on June 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    all comments I have received have been published Kel.

    Roel

    Like

  4. kel said, on June 5, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I would appreciate it if you would put my last comment above of 2 days ago 2nd June on your comments feed page Roel.

    Cheers
    kel

    Like

  5. Kel said, on June 2, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    CARRIAGE COFFEE SHOP UPDATE.

    “BACK ON SUBJECT” COUNCILLOR SULLIVAN. CARE TO COMMENT? THEY TELL ME YOU ARE NOT HAPPY THAT THE CITY HAS INSTALLED THE NEW PATH IN FRONT OF THE CARRIAGE TO THE SKYWHEEL? THEY NOW SAY IT IS TEMPORARY AND WILL GO WHEN THE CARRIAGE GOES?

    WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY AND FAMILIES FROM KEL AND JUDY.

    THE CARRIAGE COFFEE SHOP (CAFE) IS “AGAIN” OPERATING AS THE CATERING FACILITY FOR FREMANTLES ESPLANADE RESERVE UNDER THE DAY TO DAY MANAGEMENT BY THE OWNERS FOR THE PAST 12 YEARS KEL AND JUDY SMITH.

    WE WELCOME YOU ALL TO CALL IN FOR A COFFE OR MEAL FROM OUR NEW MENU AND MEET OUR NEW CHEF AND FRIENDLY NEW STAFF AND TO RELAX UNDER THE MAJESTIC NORFOLK PINES.

    WE HAVE SPENT OVER $40,000 OVER THE PAST MONTH OR SO INSTALLING NEW KITCHEN EQIUIPMENT AND BRINGING THE OLD CARRIAGE BACK TO ITS PRESENT BEAUTIFUL ASTHETIC APPEARANCE FOR THE VISITORS TO THE ESPLANADE RESERVE TO VIEW AND ENJOY.

    WE NOW HAVE SOME SEATING INSIDE THE CARRIAGE FOR THE EXTRA COLD MORNINGS.

    THE HEADING OF THIS BLOG IS EVER SO TRUE. THE CARRIAGE HAS ONLY 3 FULL YEARS LEASE TO GO!!!!!!!!

    THIS IS “PUNISHMENT” BY THE CITY OF FREMANTLE WHILE THEY FAVOUR OTHER BUSINESSES!

    MY WIFE AND I ARE TRYING TO RUN A BUSINESS AND PRESENT A HAPPY ENVIRONMENT AND THAT IS HARD ENOUGH IN ITS SELF THESE DAYS.

    THE CITY OF FREMANTLE ARE CONTINUING TO CAUSE UNDUE STRESS ON US.

    THE CITY IS DELAYING THE” ESPLANADE RESERVE MASTER PLAN REVIEW” WHICH WAS APPROVED BY COUNCIL IN JUNE 2013 THEN STALLED AND PROMISED BY THE CEO BY EMAIL FOR LAST FEB THEN MARCH THEN APRIL AND WE ARE NOW IN JUNE 2015.

    WHERE IS THIS MASTER PLAN REVIEW ??????????????????????????????????????????????????

    THE CARRIAGE COFFEE SHOP HAS ONLY 3 FULL YEARS OF LEASE REMAINING AND THEY ARE STALLING ITS REVIEW AS THEY KNOW THE PUBLIC WILL “REVOLT” AGAINST THEIR “SECRET BEHIND THE SCENES INTENTION TO DEMOLISH IT”

    THE 102 YEAR OLD RAILWAY CARRIAGE AND 100 YEAR OLD NORFOLK PINES ARE MARRIED TOGETHER BY THE STRUCTURAL AND FEEDER ROOT SYSTEMS AND THE CARRIAGE STRUCTURE AFTER 35 YEARS IN THAT LOCATION ON THE ESPLANADE RESERVE.

    THAT IN ITSELF IS ANOTHER REASON FOR IT TO REMAIN IN ITS PRESENT LOCATION AS REMOVAL OF THE CARRIAGE WILL NOT ONLY DEMOLISH THE CARRIAGE BUT SERIOUSLY AFFECT THE HEALTH OF THE NORFOLK PINES AND MORE THAN LIKELY KILL THEM.

    THEN OF COURSE WE HAVE IT`S SOCIAL,CULTURAL,ASTHETIC,HISTORIC,HERITAGE VALUES.

    IS THE CITY OF FREMANTLE STALLING UNTIL THE QUIETER TIMES OF WINTER TO PRODUCE THEIR REVIEW OR ARE THEY JUST PLAYING NASTY BULLYING TACTICS AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR HEALTH AND JUST SMARTING AT THE FACT THAT WE AND THE COMMUNITY BEAT THEM BACK IN 2009 AND SAVED THE CARRIAGE COFFEE SHOP?

    HAS THE CITY ENGAGED ANOTHER CONSULTANT TO PREPARE A REPORT THAT FITS WITH THEIR WISHES? I SUSPECT SO.

    THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS AND THANKS TO THE NUMEROUS WORDS OF SUPPORT FROM THE RECENT VISITORS TO THE CARRIAGE SINCE WE TOOK THE BUSINESS OVER AGAIN A FEW WEEKS AGO ON MOTHERS DAY WEEKEND.

    WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON THE OLD CARRIAGE. I WILL BE 70 NEXT YEAR AND HAVE BUILT UP AND SPENT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON THE BUSINESS OVER THE PAST 12 YEARS AS WE DID WITH THE SOUTH BEACH KIOSK 15 YEARS AGO.WE HAVE YOUNG FAMILY MEMBERS READY TO START WORK TO EARN A FEW DOLLARS IN THE SUMMER MONTHS.

    THIS COUNCIL IS TRYING TO WEAR US DOWN, AND WILL NOT GIVE US A LEASE AND TREAT US IN THE SAME MANNER AS THEY DO FOR THE LEASE OWNERS OF THE SOUTH BEACH KIOSK,BEACH STREET KIOSK (KIOSK FREO) AND OTHERS.

    THE CARRIAGE CAFFEE SHOP PAYS LEASE RENT,RATES,RUBBISH REMOVAL FEES, EMPLOYS PEOPLE,PAYS WAGES,TAX,SUPER,HOLIDAY PAY AND IS A COMMUNITY BASE FOR THE YOUTH SKATE PLAZA AND THE KIDS PLAYGROUND AND FOR THE FAMILIIES WHO SIT AROUND THE NOW NEW GRASSED AREAS,AND USE THE NEW PATH (REQUESTED FOR 12 YEARS AND WELCOMED BY EVERYONE)

    MAYOR PETTIT WANTS THIS CARRIAGE AREA FOR THE WEALTHY EVENT PROMOTORS TO FENCE THIS LAST AREA OFF SO THEY CAN ADD ANOTHER 2,000 “FEE PAYING” PUNTERS AND ANOTHER $500,000 TO THEIR ALREADY FAT POCKETS AND ALLOW IN HIS FAVOURED POPUPS TO HANG OFF THE BACKS OF EVENTS MAKE A QUICK BUCK AND BOLT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE ESTABLISHED PERMANENT BUSINESSSES IN FREMANTLE. THESE EVENTS WRECK THE GRASS PAY LITTLE OR NO RENT AND THE CITYS RESIDENTS AND RATEPAYERS HAVE JUST PAID OUT OVER $200,000 TO REGRASS THE AREA AND INSTALL THE NEW PATH.

    ANY WONDER THE FREMANTLE MARKETS STALL HOLDERS ARE UP IN ARMS AT THE MOMENT. THEY ARE STRUGGLING BECAUSE OF THESE OTHER POPUPS ON THE BUSY WEEKEND NIGHTS SETTING UP ON OUR GREEN GRASSED AREAS AROUND FREMANTLE.

    IT PAYS TO BE IN THE IN CROWD. THIS COUNCIL WILL GIVE YOU ANYTHING.

    IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE IN CROUD, THEY WILL GIVE IT TO YOU BIGTIME!

    YOU ASK DOES IT PAY TO BE OUTSPOKEN ROEL?

    I WAS OUTSPOKEN AND INVOLVED THE MEDIA RADIO,TV AND SAVED THE CARRIAGE BACK FOR THE COMMUNITY IN 2009.THAT CAMPAIGN WAS AFFECTIVE THEN.

    SADLY WE ARE DEALING WITH THE LIKES OF THE CURRENT FREMANTLE COUNCIL ITS CEO, MAYOR PETTIT AND MOST OF THE COUNCILLORS I WOULD DO IT ALL AGAIN ONLY BIGGER NEXT TIME.

    Kel Smith
    The Carriage Coffee Shop
    Fremantle Esplanade Reserve
    Fremantle

    Like

  6. Kel said, on November 29, 2014 at 10:12 am

    As predicted The Mayor and Councillors continued with their Design by Stealth to derail the Carriage again on wednesday.

    No rhetoric here just facts.

    The Fremantle Herald has a story on Page 7 and can be viewed on line.

    Like

  7. Kel said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Brad,

    I would like your response to my comments above and any further information you have to offer.

    It would have been helpful if Councillor Andrew Sullivan had attended the SGS meeting as the appointed Chairperson last Wednesday night because of his involvement in the current Review of the Esplanade Reserve Master Plan. I believe that the Master Plan Review is being used as a covert means to refuse the Carriage Cafe a lease extension and ultimately force its removal from the Esplanade Reserve. Anyone with the slightest business acumen would understand that without a secure lease there is little point in outlaying a considerable sum of money for refurbishment. I would indeed love to be proved wrong here Brad however judging by the comments of certain councillors present at the SGS meeting I doubt it. Only time will tell !!!

    I await you response
    Kel

    Like

  8. Lionel said, on November 20, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    You need to vote these clowns out at the next election. They clearly just do whatever they want with zero regard for the community they serve.

    Like

  9. Suzanne said, on November 20, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I am mystified by the Council’s attitude over many items, but the Carriage Cafe is beyong comprehension.
    As Mark states, funds are available to tempt new business, yet a current successful business, which wants to spend his own funds, to improve the property, is thwarted at every turn.
    Plus Bob rightly brings attention to the shocking state of the Councils owned buildings.
    Dick & Diana also present logical comment.
    In fact the total scenario is like an old Doris Day movie. Widow Dottie versus the mean, not terribly bright Civil Fathers. Unfortunately I dont think Rock Hudson is coming to the rescue tho’
    Kel.
    Surely sense will prevail over what is a Freo icon.

    Like

  10. Kel said, on November 20, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Mayor Brad Pettit. Your urgent response is required. You have an obligation to all businesses and the Fremantle Community.

    What would you suggest we do if the following statement occurred recently and had an influence on the decision of “lease extension” rejection by “one vote” last night.

    One of your Fremantle Councillors attended the Carriage Cafe “premises” on his bike asking the manager for me.
    He was in an agitated mood saying he “never seems to catch me here”
    He proceeded to talk about the development of the Carriage Cafe and mentioned he was a “Fremantle Councillor” and said his name.
    He bought up the fact that I was very much “against the Skate Park” and that “I had made enemies along the way.”
    He also mentioned that now the Skate Park is a “success” I was using that as an excuse to push through the development of the Carriage Cafe.
    He then made a “V” sign with both hands and said “WELL F$#K YOU”
    The manager found his manner to be very aggressive,that coupled with him being on the premises (and mentioning he was a Fremantle Councillor) completely unacceptable behaviour.

    This behaviour by the Councillor had a witness and the manager was so concerned he were emailed the details to me immediately after the event.

    If this statement above was a proven fact, do you believe we have to put up with this type of behaviour from an Elected Member?
    Should that Elected Member be stood down?
    If he had a Cafe nearby, would you expect he was “also” out of order and had no right to participate in a deciding vote of the Carriage Cafe lease rejection?
    Do you agree he should have declared his interest and removed himself from the debate and voting?
    Could last nights decision be recinded if the above were factual?

    Things appear to be getting out of hand under your watch Brad.

    I await you reply.

    Thank you
    Kel Smith
    The Carriage Coffee Shop
    Esplanade Reserve
    Fremantle

    Like

  11. Mark. said, on November 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Well Bob if u had seen council in action tonight.
    More barriers for the carriage cafe, the mystical Visioning 2029 (the chamber of secrets is clearer) doc was again referenced, I attended some of these meeting and never heard anything about attendees, vision not wanting a carriage cafe in current location on the esplanade.
    D’day had less smoke screens.

    Better yet tonight discussion brought up renewing of the carriages lease, opposition (councillors) stating that renewing too early may not reflect the highest possible rent that could be twisted out off the lessee, in 4 yrs time.
    Amazing in last weeks Herald the mayor front and centre decrying the greedy landlords driving business out of freo, this week is the COF the greedy landlord?

    Better still the idea of renewing/extending a lease that had years to run was not a good business practice and poor governance, yet next item another leasee had their lease renewed with yrs to run.

    Now I have no problem with the COF renewing leases of good operators, which both are.
    I have a big issue with the hypocrisy of what’s good for one is not good for the other.
    Only makes u wonder ” is there another agenda running here?” What other conclusion could u reach, the arguments I heard tonight, could have made u believe the world was flat , well if u could swallow that much, ,,,,?

    The way COF is running the show they should sign anyone in a flash if they ask for a new lease, as in a couple of years the leasee may well be justified to ask for a cheaper lease.

    It amazes me that COF can question a self sustaining business that wants to invest in its operation, when the COF is throwing $10, 000 of rate payers funds to attract new business to Freo, in rate offsets, it staggers common sense.
    My current thoughts I really can’t express here due to civil correctness, thou I can say tonight was not a full moon.

    “L’hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend a la vertu”
    Two quotes in one night,,,,,,,,,
    Master plans can I hear it coming?

    Like

  12. Kel said, on November 20, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Sorry last comment by Kel not Judy,

    Like

  13. Judy said, on November 20, 2014 at 12:34 am

    The Mayor and Councillors really “sunk” the Carriage at the SGS Council meeting tonight as predicted.

    The Mayor insisted the 2 items of the Officers Recommendation which were related were separated and voted on separately. This I understand is not proper practice.

    Council firstly voted to “reject” the extended lease offer of 14.5 years by the Officers recommendation completely.There is now no lease extension of 10 years.

    They then voted to defer any decision on any extension of lease request until after a New Esplanade Reserve Master Plan is Reviewed and “adopted by Council”.

    The expect following procedures to occur:

    1) The Revised Master Plan will be completed and only approved closer to the end of June 2015 and before the Administrators take over. This will ensure their new Agenda for the Esplanade Reserve is secure and in Brad Pettits words tonight “a once in a generation opportunity to “expand” the Esplanade Reserve” will be achieved.That is a concern!

    2) The reviewed Master Plan will also Plan the Carriage Cafe off the Esplanade Reserve because the Agenda item and comments in Council tonight centred around “not allowing a lease extension” to stop Carriage Refurbishment from going ahead as it could cause a problem later if the new Master Plans recommended removal of the Carriage.

    In the whole Scheme of things the City Staff,Mayor and Elected Members must remember one important critical point here.

    THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT AND THE MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS HAVE ALREADY “APPROVED” OUR PLANNING APPLICATION AND IT HAS ALSO BEEN APPROVED BY THE WAPC!

    WE CAN START DEVELOPMENT NOW BEFORE THEY DO THE ESPLANADE RESERVE MASTER PLAN REVIEW AND THEN, THEY MUST CONSIDER THE CARRIAGE COFFEE SHOP AND ITS NEW LOOK THEIR REVIEW.

    We only requested a fair go, but there is a hidden agenda here and Councillor Coggan should explain his “HUB” he mentioned in Council.

    Rob Fittock called from the wings of the Chamber that my recent media comments were rhetoric and the Mayor called it a conspiracy theory but if you check out the Herald Item last saturday with the Officers Recommendation and the Mayor and Councillors decisions in the minutes of tonights SGS meeting you will conclude my theory became fact. Once again I can say “I told you so”

    Thanks to Councillor Strachan for your support both at the Planning Committee Meeting on Oct 1st and as a stand in last night at the Strategic and General Services.

    We will not give up on the Carriage as the Catering facility on the Esplanade reserve no matter how much pressure is put on by the powers that be and their mates.

    Thank you

    Like

  14. Bob said, on November 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

    All the while City of Fremantle owned premises continue to crumble, demonstrate the lack on maintenance or good management. Stop and have a look at the terrible state of the Fremantle Town Hall both inside and outside. There are years of non-maintenance and neglect. Dusty, peeling and chipped paint…always waiting for some saviour to negotiate a handout as a trade off for development deals. There is no more disgusting ared of the CBD than the apalling state of the Henderson Street Mall area and the High Street Mall. The sad old cottages have been passed from hand to hand and nothing gets done….always something just on the horizon and whether the COF is owner or not it is a very sad state of neglect that the council should have been on top of many years ago. It is the businesses, the university and such that are making a difference and yet the stories of the bureaucratic hurdles they must overcome are legendary. Yes there have been improvements to the city particularly with cleanliness of the CBD but that is what the City is mandated to do. Encouraging business is good – so why are there so many anecdotes about putting up barriers to business. Maybe I only hear one side of the stories.

    Like

  15. Mark. said, on November 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Amazing how long term identifiable (iconic ) businesses wish to invest in Fremantle and our COF puts obstacles in their way.

    They wonder why business is leaving? Is it the case, it’s their way or the highway, sorry bike path, or is that shared path, with express bike lane, anyway no cars.

    Perhaps Kel should have planned a 10 story highrise or micro brewery / boozebarn to garnish COF support.
    Instead of doing what the city complains operators don’t do, investing in his business to ensure it’s properly maintained.
    So he does the right thing and is penalized, but owners operators who let the properties look like crap continue on like normal.
    Or perhaps just say yes to everything that they propose “à baiser le cu” so to speak.
    Well normally that would confuse most people but I have come to expect decisions like this from the COF.

    Anyway my service at the café has always been good.

    If a new master plan has no place for a decades old businesses in COF, its not much of a plan, well not for success anyway.

    Good luck to Kel and Joanna, they deserve better.

    Like

  16. dickbaynham said, on November 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Roel raises a good point. Fremantle Council should be continually learning and improving on the services it provides for residents and ratepayers, but that learning and improvement can only come about through transparent and healthy public debate.

    When councillors form cliques to pave the way for pet projects – they lose that transparency.

    When they begin to favour some businesses over others and become so thin skinned that they start obstructing those who dare to criticise them – they become unhealthy and that is when the rot sets in.

    I know Kel is not a softly spoken supplicant and he speaks his piece through a loud hailer, but that is no reason for the Council or the City of Fremantle to find ways to treat him unfairly and if that is what is happening here, then I for one will be manning the barricades to support what I see as his reasonable request for a fair deal.

    Like

  17. diana ryan said, on November 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Kel and Carriage Café go back a ways in my happy memories of Fremantle. I’d hate to see more of the charm I remember fade away, especially as Kel has the ability to remain viable with the right approvals. Must everything be reworked now?

    Like

  18. Suzanne said, on November 17, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Your opinion Belinda, not mine or masses of others who enjoy the hospitality at the Carriage Cafe.

    Roel, It’s appreciated you have queried what appears to be favoritism for some business operators and punishment for others. The latter usually because they dare to question the Quixotic manner in which they have been treated.

    Like

  19. Belinda said, on November 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    That’d be great if Carriage Cafe lost their lease! They produce rubbish and overpriced food and coffee and act like they own the land they are on.

    Like


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: