Freo's View

STUNNING FREO LIV APARTMENTS ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, development, lifestyle, living, real estate, residential, Uncategorized by freoview on July 31, 2018

 

LIV art vermey

LIV art vermey 2

 

The Defence Housing LIV residential apartment complex at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets is due to open in August and is well under way.

The one feature of the development I am really looking forward to is the public art in the entrance to the piazza by artist Rick Vermey. As you see in the photo I took this morning it is not finished yet, but getting there.

The percentage for the arts commission is made of natural wood fibres and will have lights triggered by wind for after dark effect. I can’t wait to see it!

 

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

 

FREMANTLE GOVERNANCE COST TRANSPARENCY

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, finances, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 31, 2018

 

Governance

 

I always try to keep the words balance and respect in mind when I publish a blog post, so I am happy to now post the reply by the City of Fremantle here in regard to the question I asked on the weekend about what the GOVERNANCE expenditure in the budget was for. Here it is:

Regarding what is included in the $47 million figure under ‘governance’ in the capital expenditure chart in the rates booklet – the vast majority of that ($46.3 million) is the allocation towards the new Kings Square administration and library building.

It also includes $504,500 towards the purchase of our current admin building from the Dockers and $105,000 for the new parking app.

The rest is for things like office furniture, telecommunications equipment, IT equipment (like PC’s, tablets, printers and accessories) fixed and wireless internet etc.

 

Roel Loopers

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DOES ECONOMIC REALITY DEMAND FREMANTLE DEVELOPMENT PRAGMATISM?

 

coles-woolstore-six-floors-2

 

The latest development proposal by Silverleaf Investments for the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre site was released last week and has already received criticism that it is boring and ugly, so where from here? I have been thinking long and hard about this conundrum, so here my thoughts.

I agree that this proposal is yet again not for an outstanding iconic building of exceptional design, but I also believe we need to be pragmatic about this if we want the current eyesore to disappear.

From past proposals we can deduct that it is highly unlikely that Silverleaf will ever build and iconic building in Fremantle. Great architecture and aesthetics don’t appear to be a priority for the company, so should Fremantle Council reject this latest proposal as well, or should they approve it so we just can get on with it, because Fremantle desperately needs development in that run down inner east of the CBD?

I believe that the development of the Woolstores, Spotlight site and Hilton Doubletree hotel, together with the Kings Square redevelopment are part of the critical mass to turn Fremantle’s economic, retail, tourism and hospitality fortunes around and attract many more people to our city. If that is the case the community unfortunately will have to compromise on the aesthetics, or we’ll end up with the Woolstores ugliness for another 2-3 decades.

Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien told me at the FREO NOW launch on Friday that Coles will leave if the shopping centre is not developed, and that Target will also close its doors. Fremantle cannot afford to let that happen, I believe.

The proposed six storey addition is in my opinion not great but not an eyesore, and it would definitely be an improvement to what is there at present. So maybe the reality that Fremantle does not have the luxury of being too picky, because we desperately need development, should be part of more pragmatic decision making.

Silverleaf is a major player in Fremantle, with the exciting development of the former justice complex in Henderson Street and a new hotel there imminent, as well as the development of the Manning building in the mall and William Street, so do we want them to walk away from developing the Woolstores site because the proposal is not iconic and visually attractive enough, or do we prioritise economic necessity over aesthetic beauty in that unattractive part of the inner city?

Let’s be clear and honest that up to know all new commercial buildings approved in Fremantle over that last years are not of outstanding design quality, but for the MSC building in Cliff Street. The Myer and Queensgate buildings at Kings Square are not great architecture and neither are the LIV apartment building, or the approved Hilton hotel and Little Lane developments.

Some people who hate high buildings can be happy that the new Woolstores proposal is for only six storeys, so a lot lower than the previous proposal, that was rejected by JDAP because it lacked the architectural excellence required to receive the two storey additional discretionary height allowance.

I was worried the last few years that the Hilton Doubletree development might not go ahead, and although I have been critical about the design of the building, I am happy that the SKS group will now start on the development this year, because I strongly believe that these developments in the east CBD are critical, and once open will make a big positive difference for our struggling Freo traders.

I love outstanding modern architecture and I am disappointed that we don’t seem to attract any of that in Fremantle, but in this case I am for compromise and pragmatism, even when I know I will be heavily criticised for it by some people in our community.

I am looking forward to receiving your opinions, pro or contra, as this is a discussion we need to have.

Roel Loopers

NEW COAT OF PAINT FOR QUEENSGATE CARPARK

 

parking

 

Work on the Queensgate carpark on Fremantle’s Henderson Street is progressing well, with a new coat of paint applied over the very colourful old paintwork. This is part of the Kings Square redevelopment by Sirona Capital.

The carpark is due to open sometime in October, before the Christmas shopping starts, so that is very positive as the Point Street carparks will close soon to make way for the start of the development of the Hilton Doubletree and residential apartments building.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE’S YELLOW NIGHTMARE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 30, 2018

 

 

What a shame, what an utter shame, that the stunning Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle historic West End, that was admired by tens of thousands of visitors over the last nine months, has now become a very serious worry for the City of Fremantle.

Cleaning experts have been looking at the yellow foil on the heritage-listed buildings for the last ten days, and their opinion should be a big concern for the City and its ratepayers.

One cleaning company expert told me this morning that his company would probably not even quote on the work because it would create a huge headache for them. He did not believe a heat gun or steam would get the foil off without doing damage to the paint and even some of the render. He also said it would be near impossible to match the fading colours of the paint on many of the buildings, so that some of the buildings might require to be painted totally.

One owner in High Street received a quote for painting his building at $ 45,000, that is three times more than the City of Fremantle has budgeted for, and it’s only for one single building!

I hope someone will come up with a cheap miracle cure for this predicament as it makes me sad to think that the great art installation would only be remembered for the difficulty in removing it.

This was the most recent project on a castle in France by the artist. Looks great too:

Roel Loopers

 

VOTERS DO NOT APPRECIATE THE DEMOCRATIC PRIVILEGE

Posted in city of fremantle, democract, elections, Uncategorized, voting by freoview on July 30, 2018

 

Saturday’s federal by-election had the lowest voter turnout in the history of compulsory voting, which was introduced a century ago, with just over 60% of people voting in Perth and Fremantle, and that is disappointing. Part of the reason for the low participation is no doubt that the Liberal party decided not to run candidates in Perth and Fremantle.

The idea of David Templeman, the WA Minister for Local Government, of trying to introduce on-line electronic voting for local elections is a good one, but his target of getting 50% of voter participation is far too low.

The problem with low voter participation is that the ‘clever’ ones among us then claim that those who were elected don’t really have a mandate because they only received a relative small percentage of the eligible votes. That is nonsense, because members get elected within the laws, rules and regulations.

In a way those who-immaturely-decide not to participate in elections also vote, as they elect to not show a preference for any of the candidates. They should be quiet and not complain afterwards then about the governments we get.

In the seat of Fremantle Labor’s Josh Wilson received 52.7% of the primary vote, so that is up by 11.7%

Greens Dorinda Cox received 16.5% of the primary votes, down 1.2% and Josh Gray of the Lib-Dems got 14%.

I consider voting an absolute privilege, so while we all are tired of more and more election campaigns and hubris, we should still make the effort to vote. The next one will be here before we know it. ; >(

 

Roel Loopers

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REPLACE DAMAGED BATHERS BEACH PATH LIGHTS

 

Vandalism of the waist-high solar lights along the dune path at Bathers Beach is an ongoing concern and it looks terrible, but all the City of Fremantle does is costly repairs.

I hear that City staff have suggested that the solution is to put two or three large poles with solar floods along the path, that would have a wider spread of light and help to make the area feel safer, but this has been rejected because larger poles would not be in keeping with the heritage of Arthur’s Head.

Are they really suggesting that the damaged small lights are better at the path that is very popular with tourists than a few long poles?

Roel Loopers

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A MAGIC FREO WINTER MOMENT

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, hospitality, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on July 29, 2018

 

Beach House

 

With more heavy rain predicted for next week people took advantage of the nice winter sunshine on Sunday.

What a delightful spot the balcony at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach House is for a quiet drink and a meal while watching the Indian Ocean..

Roel Loopers

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VICTORIOUS WILSON MEETS MEDIA AT BATHERS BEACH

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, federal government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 29, 2018

 

 

Victorious Fremantle federal by-election winner Josh Wilson held a media doorstop at Bathers Beach at 1.30pm today, so I took some photos of the happy new Labor MP for Canberra.

Wilson increased his winning margin, so that is a good sign for him and the Labor party for the next federal election early next year.

Roel Loopers

THE REPUBLIC OF FREMANTLE

 

An application for a tavern and gin distillery at 3 Pakenham Street in Fremantle’s historic West End will be considered at Wednesday’s Planning Committee.

The Republic of Fremantle would occupy the former warehouse, that was most recently used as a cafe and photographic gallery, and accommodate up to 350 patrons, including 28 in the alfresco parklet.

Ground level would have a bar, kitchen and toilets, while the mezzanine level would be for a bar and lounge function area.

The operators want to conduct gin distillery tours and classes.

Food would be available during all operating hours of the tavern, up to one hour prior to closing time, which would be Monday to Friday 11am to midnight and Saturday and Sundays 9 am to midnight.

There would be 20-25 staff employed in the tavern and two in the distillery.

I believe this would be a very good new addition to the West End and help the much-desired evening activation of the area.

Roel Loopers

 

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