Freo's View

FREMANTLE SHOULD PENALISE DEVELOPMENT DELAYS

Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government by freoview on March 22, 2017

The continuing delay of the development of the Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Fremantle Point Street carpark site and the delay of settlement of the Spicer site at Henderson Street raises questions about the contracts the City of Fremantle signs with developers.

It is nice to have a clause in the Hilton sales contract that stipulates the City can buy back the site if development does not happen within a certain period, but it is totally useless as Fremantle is not in a financial position to buy back the Point Street property, and anyway, what to do with it then?

The delay of the Kings Square project meant that valuable revenue from the Queensgate carpark was lost to the COF and the delay of settlement with Sirona Capital of the Spicer property also means that Fremantle will have to wait till they get paid for it, when the City’s coffers are very empty.

Would it not be better to include penalties for delays, let’s say $ 10,000 per week, as that would be a clear message that Fremantle wants and needs development now and not sometime down the track when the Hilton developers have built three other hotels in Perth first.

Money is a great incentive to get things done fast and buy-back clauses are unrealistic when the City of Fremantle does not have the money for it.

Roel Loopers

5 Responses

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  1. I would like to correct David’s comment below.
    Point Street was actually sold for a price that was above market expectations NOT below. The Council does have the option to buy back the site at this price later in the year if we wish and then go back to market.
    Personally I would rather we keep working with SKS to have the hotel built rather than go back to square one.
    cheers, Brad

  2. freoishome said, on March 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    It reinforces the argument that the CoF should not sell our assets, unless it is to fund the planned purchase of other assets with equal or greater potential.
    This game playing by developers needs to have a consequence. It isn’t just in CoF it is all over the country. I think WALGA needs to take this up with the new Labor Gov’t. The trend is that immediately after taking ownership they demolish the existing building, thus reducing their costs and LA income, this has a detrimental knock on impact on the locality, reducing local amenity and desirability.
    Although it is actions by developers that are killing Fremantle, that seems to have occurred because the CoF has sold our assets or given approval for the demolition of other assets.
    CoF is probably between a Rock and a Hard place!
    It requires some changes in State legislation.
    Paul

  3. David. said, on March 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    It is very disappointing to see the Hilton Hotel site in Point Street left fallow. I cannot believe that Fremantle Council would sell such a site at what I understand was well below market value and not attach monetary penalties for prolonged delays. The people who negotiated this seem very naive.

    What is happening to the revenue being generated by the car park in Point Street ? Please dont tell me it is going to the developers SKS.

  4. freoview said, on March 22, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    and that is becoming a problem, Rob.

    Roel

  5. Rob Fittock said, on March 22, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I doubt this would ever get any legal legs Roel as the developers often need to change their game plan when demand and economics dictate the terms to their bottom line


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