FREMANTLE BUILDING THE FUTURE
On Thursday morning Premier Colin Barnett will officially open the renovated Warders Cottages in Fremantle’s Henderson Street after the historic buildings were vacant and neglected for many years.
It is fantastic to also see the former Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill renovated and occupied by Defence personnel as they too had been empty and neglected for far too long.
It is a very welcome sight indeed to see the old cottages back in their old glory, but it has been a long battle. The Fremantle Society, MLA Simone McGurk, former MP Melissa Parke and the City of Fremantle all deserve credit for keeping the pressure on state and federal governments to get the cottages renovated and occupied again.
The restoration of the heritage cottages is an indication of the start of the renaissance of Fremantle with an unprecedented building boom in our city.
The Heirloom by Match apartment building will open in December, and opposite from it work on the huge Defence Housing residential building complex will commence early next year. Just down the road from there next to St Patrick’s and the Australia Hotel another apartment building will be erected soon, opposite the new one that opened last year on Queen Victoria Street.
The former Energy Museum is also going to be developed for residential and hospitality, the Hilton Doubletree hotel building down the road from there in Adelaide Street will start in the second quarter of next year, and there are plans for a residential building at the former Spotlight site, and also huge plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site at Cantonment Street.
The Kings Square project appears back on track with Sirona Capital just finalising the lease arrangements with the State Government, so with some luck building there will also start next year. There are also plans for a tourist accommodation building at the Mills records site.
The Atwell Arcade is near completion and so are the Quest Hotel and another residential building in Pakenham Street, while the MSC has moved into the new building at Cliff Street and the former Elders building. A few metres from there Notre Dame University has plans for a new building on the corner of High Street.
There are plans for the development of the Fremantle Oval precinct, once the City of Fremantle can boot out the annoyingly greedy Fremantle Dockers, and in South Fremantle new apartments built by Match will go up opposite the Local Hotel. An awkward-looking apartment building has also been erected on the corner of Douro Road and Hulbert Street.
The Be. tourist motel at Bathers Bay is also growing with new apartments added to it.
The big development players in town are Silverleaf, Match and Sirona Capital.
I am delighted that there is so much and substantial development in Fremantle that will make a positive difference to our city. It will no doubt bring a resurgence in new retailers also opening up shop in Fremantle in the near future, but I am frustrated and disappointed about the lack of class and creativity of most buildings proposed for our character city.
Have I overlooked other major development happening or planned in Freo? Tell me what I have forgotten to mention!