Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, development, education, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on November 13, 2017



Notre Dame University has bough the Fremantle Customs House site that comprises of  three buildings, from the corner of Phillimore and Henry Street all the way to Pakenham Street.

This will give the university significant space to expand and also to consider student accommodation in the heart of Fremantle’s historic West End.

It will also allow NDA to release street level spaces to lease for commercial use and much-desired activation at street level.

Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond said As with all of our projects we will proceed with the redevelopment of Customs House fully mindful of our role as a key member of the Fremantle community and the need to preserve the architectural integrity of such a historically significant building,” 

Although we have not yet decided on the building’s use, the vast floor area and the building’s three-street frontage, will provide flexibility of use and much needed space as the University continues to develop.

And with our commitment to the Notre Dame West End Activation program, it will be an important contributor to the continued revitalisation of the city’s West End,” Professor Hammond said.

A five-storey development of the Customs House complex was only recently rejected by Fremantle Council and the WA Development Assessment Panel, so it is great to see our local university acquiring the properties as it will bring real activation to the West End, especially if student accommodation there becomes a reality.

The university will also continue planning the development of 3-5 High Street, corner Cliff Street, and while these plans are being finalised they are planning beautification of the vacant eyesore.

Well done Notre Dame!!

Roel Loopers

13 Responses

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  1. Misha said, on November 18, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Wonderful news. The university has done such a good job of making the west end an attractive and high functioning place, I have no doubt that this will be a great development. Hurray for Freo.

  2. freoview said, on November 16, 2017 at 6:35 am

    You use one building as an example Glen. Go and have a look at for example the school of medicine to see how well that was done.

    Some people don’t like NDA in Fremantle, but I do, so we’ll never agree. It’s personal preference.


  3. freoview said, on November 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Yes John, of course I do express my own opinion, not agenda!, on my blog, and when I disagree with comments I do express that as well.
    But as you see I do publish the comments, even when I don’t agree with them.


  4. John said, on November 16, 2017 at 3:31 am

    Wow Roel do attack every comment on here to express your own agenda?

  5. Glenn Arendts said, on November 15, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Roel what was adaptive about ripping out the most beautiful front bar of the P&O and leaving it an empty shell of a room?
    As for other universities not paying rates – they CREATE their campuses, that are often beautiful in themselves (UWA, Curtin and Murdoch all have their charm). ND simply buys up and occupies existing buildings which would otherwise be used by rate paying enterprises

  6. freoview said, on November 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    NDA does not trash the buildings Pete. The adaptive reuse in them has been done by heritage architects, and no educational institution in Australia pays council rates anywhere.


  7. Pete said, on November 15, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I think this is bloody awful !
    This Catholic Church uni is becoming a huge money-making enterprise. It scoops up our heritage, modifies (trashes) the buildings, uses the footpaths and roads etc and doesn’t pay a cent in council rates ! ! !

  8. freoview said, on November 15, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    That five-storey proposal was awful and I am very glad it was rejected.


  9. John M said, on November 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Looks like the residential scheme proposed would have been a much better outcome for the city. Definitely a lost opportunity and one that we will live with from years to come.

  10. freoview said, on November 14, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    The adaptive re-use of many of the Notre Dame buildings is very good and very respectful to the heritage of them.

    If you ask for it they’ll take you on a tour.


  11. Glenn Arendts said, on November 14, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Protecting heritage is more than protecting the pretty building facades. The P&O Hotel had the most amazing interior front bar, it has been trashed by Notre Dame and is now a drab lecture room with plastic chairs. And they pay no rates for the privilege of occupying and gutting our most precious buildings, and turning the West End into a ghost town after 4pm. I am with Paul on,

  12. freoview said, on November 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I disagree with you on all points Paul.


  13. freoishome said, on November 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I think that is bloody awful!

    I think NDU has wrecked the west end. They have killed off life in the west end for Fremantle people. It used to be a lively place lots of pubs with live music. Why would a Fremantle resident go to the West End? No services, no entertainment, a load a buildings that are closed to the public and business.

    Because the students only go there for lectures, typically less than 2 hours each weekday, they spend most of their days, evenings and weekends anywhere but in Freo. So the 50 CBD buildings they either own or lease are mostly vacant, most of the time.

    If NDU used their CoF buildings for student accommodation I might feel different about their presence, as at least then we would have the students being more actively involved.

    NDU can find the money buy another property, but when it comes to keeping their buildings up to standard it has proved a very different matter.

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