Freo's View

NO NEED TO FLOG THE DEAD HORSE

Posted in city of fremantle, development by freoview on February 27, 2015

I was very surprised to read the spread about development in Fremantle in the West Australian yesterday as there is nothing new in the article, but for the fact that reporter Kate Emery calls the old railway bridge the Queen Victoria Street bridge. The article is one big PR promo for Fremantle with little substance and I suggest the City sticks to promoting the great things that are actually happening in Fremantle, such as the Hilton and Quest hotels, Atwell Arcade, the Fort Knox Heirloom development, MSC in Cliff Street, other development along Beach and Queen Victoria Street, Knutsford Street, Kim Beazley site, Bathers Beach activation, the probable development of the Woolstores shopping centre, etc.

There is plenty of good news and there is a sense of positive anticipation about the future of Freo in the community, so there is no need for spin and false hopes about Kings Square.

For the time being Kings Square is like flogging a dead horse, even when Sirona Capital refuses to call a three-year delay a delay. With the present office vacancy rate in Perth and many thousands of new square metres of office accommodation becoming available soon, the likelihood that Housing will move to Fremantle is unrealistic. High property prices and rent in Fremantle mean we can’t compete with reduced rents in Perth and West Perth and with the cheaper Midland, Cockburn, Joondalup, etc. That is probably the reason we hear little about the Victoria Quay development because Fremantle Ports might have realised this is the wrong time to release land for development.

When well-managed companies like Atlas Iron are on a deep decline we have to see the signs that a mining resources recovery is still a long way off and there won’t be a big demand for high quality and large space offices.

In a perfect world Sirona should get started on the smaller Spicers site first and leave Kings Square till the time is right for it, to at least restore some confidence in that big CBD development.

The big problem I see with the Transformational Moves document is the reliance on State, Federal and private sector funding, so it is a mere wish list and not based on realistic outcomes and economic reality.

Roel Loopers

4 Responses

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  1. Caroline said, on February 27, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Agree to all that

  2. marklw067 said, on February 27, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    It sounded much better when they where taking about it council a few weeks when I down loaded the file Freo 2029 I was a little disappointed the same old stuff in a glossy publication, all waiting for the state government to come and spends hundreds of Millions of dollars in the CBD and nothing for all the suburbs.
    So far the major parties all have outstanding promises on rail links mostly North of the river, so before we get anything they will need to satisfy current obligations, I can’t see any of that in the next decade, so maybe Freo is 15-20 yrs before it even gets a look in if at all?

    Clearly the State Governments over the last 20 yrs of so have little interest in investing in Fremantle. Clearly the current council has done nothing to change that.

    http://fremantlereform.com/council-cof/no-need-to-flog-the-dead-horse-freos-view/

  3. Steve said, on February 27, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Here’s to hoping they never build either the current design for King’s square nor the Spicer’s sites. Both designs are bulky, boring, and boxy, and both don’t address gaps in the market. The planned VQ development is similarly boring and targeted to the wrong market segment (commercial offices), which is not the future of fremantle no matter how much more $/m3 developers think they can get for commercial. They’ll simply end up sitting there vacant like the drab Wesley Quarters development and that attrocity built at Tydeman Rd and Queen Vic in North Freo.

    I’d rather see nothing built or a re-purposing of existing buildings than see Freo saddled with further dull developments that will only cause greater resource waste and long-term burdens for the Fremantle area.

    On a brighter note – the idea about closing the Fremantle traffic bridge to cars or severely reducing and calming the bridge is a great idea that would vastly improve the connection between Freo and North Freo and the safety for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the river.

  4. Lionel said, on February 27, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Generally large scale developments take place when markets are saturated as by the time they are built the demand has increased again. Now is the perfect time to be building these things. I suspect the only reason they haven’t started is because they haven’t been able to raise the capital.


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