Freo's View

FREMANTLE HERITAGE HOTEL NOT A PIPE DREAM

Posted in accommodation, architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 24, 2020

 

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Although there are a lot of pipes sticking out of the ground the Fremantle Warders Cottages heritage boutique hotel and tavern is not a pipe dream, as this photo I took of the development yesterday afternoon shows.

The hotel will only have a few tiny rooms in the cottages, but a substantial tavern between the old cottages and Fremantle Markets.

Roel Loopers

WE DON’T BUILD COMMUNITIES. WE BUILD PLACES OF ISOLATION

 

There was an interesting panel discussion NO FIXED ADDRESS, to discuss the importance of social housing and building diversity in our urban centres, in the lovely courtyard of DADAA in Fremantle’s Princes May Park, last night with Dr. Mariana Atkins, Research Associate Professor, The Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia and the UWA Living Lab, Dr Holly Farley, Research Fellow, Fremantle School of Architecture, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Dr. Shane Greive, Urban and Regional Planning, School of Design and Built Environment, Curtin University, Michael Piu (CEO, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre), and  Heather Thompson (Senior Assertive Outreach Worker, 20 Lives 20 Homes Program, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre).  It was facilitated by Lisette Kaleveld, Senior Consultant, The Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia.

Changing cityscapes are inevitable with urban infill making places such as Fremantle desirable, especially since most of the services are provided in town, and that attracts a diversity of people, including homeless ones, and those who require social and affordable housing, but we are not designing and building for that diversity and the needs of individuals. Not many local governments have the capacity and desire to change with the times, so how do you design a city for all?

People want to be connected, be in contact with nature and there is a real disconnect there, so we need to bring the community on board because it is about the collective, not individuals. To do that we need to start understanding the history of Australia and the values, and where we want to go. We need to understand the diverse perspective, and need to learn to understand the different realities. Design should not be about excluding people!

Homelessness is nothing new and has been around for decades, so the whole community needs to own the issues and solutions, but there is a lack of value judgement. It is a fallacy that homeless people are in control of their own future! We all are only a few steps away from homelessness and if we come together the solutions are in our own hands. Start a conversation and humanise the issue!

A social worker said she had met some of the most amazing, caring and resilient people one would like to meet.

Architects and developers need to start actively listen to everybody’s stories from a design perspective. Bring the focus of development back to the people! We need a change of mindset there, as the next generation of home buyers can’t afford to buy the homes of the present generation. Inter-generational housing is not available, the housing options are not there.

There is huge value in diversity in a community, and we don’t want people with similar social/financial issues all living together, there needs to be a mix and we need to understand what home means for different people. Public housing often results in people failing because of the wrong set up and location and the lack of support. For some community housing or a boarding house is better because they don’t have to look after paying bills and connect with others. Community housing is more flexible.

There is also an interesting small exhibition in the DADAA gallery, so go and have a look at it!

COMMENT:

We don’t build communities, we build spaces where people are alone, spaces of loneliness, because at the lower end of the apartment market there are no community spaces where people can connect. There are no swimming pools, gyms, roof gardens, etc. We build highrise along transit corridors, instead of building them around green open spaces where people can meet and play.

There are tens of thousands of single middle aged and older women and men who have no social life because they can no longer afford to go to pubs, concerts, festivals, theatres, etc. where they used to connect with friends and meet new people. They don’t meet anyone and get isolated. High density living does not cater for that by providing community spaces. Many single people live in a small box with no communical spaces where they can meet their neighbours and make new friends that way.

Roel Loopers

BUT WILL THE FREO HILTON BE BUILT?

 

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My hope that the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel might be starting soon might well be premature, as I assumed the development application by the SKS Group is merely a modification and not an all new plan.

Unfortunately I have been advised by the City of Fremantle’s Planning Department that the application is a new one, and should it be approved by JDAP next year SKS would have to commence the development only within four years, and that is a very long way away for a development that is very significant for Fremantle.

SKD have been delaying the construction of the building reportedly because of de-watering problems on the Point Street site, where they wanted to have two basement carpark levels, but this new application would now give them the scope to delay by another four years, which would be extremely disappointing.

One can only hope that contractual arrangements with the Hilton hotel group will have a completion date for the hotel that is sooner, rather than much later. Time will tell.

Roel Loopers

ONE STEP CLOSER TO FREMANTLE HILTON DOUBLETREE HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, hotel, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 3, 2019

 

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Waiting for the development of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel by the SKS Group has been like the theatre play Waiting for Godot, where two people wait for Godot but he never turns up, so it is a huge Christmas present for Fremantle that the SKS Group now appear to be serious about the development with new plans submitted to Fremantle Council.

It is for a seven-storey, 168 hotel rooms, 45 residential apartments, five shops, two commercial units, a bar and a restaurant on the Point Street carpark site.

A public information session about the proposal will be held on 9 January 2020 from 5:30-6pm at the City of Fremantle’s administration offices at Fremantle Oval, 70 Parry Street, Fremantle.

The plans and associated documents are available on the City of Fremantle’s My Say Freo website or can be viewed during business hours at the City’s customer service desk at Fremantle Oval.

The deadline for public submissions is 14 January 2020.

The plans will then be considered by the Fremantle Council’s Planning Committee before being referred to the Joint Development Assessment Panel for a final decision.

The Doubletree by Hilton proposal is just one of many hotel developments in the pipeline for Fremantle.

The City is also assessing a new application to redevelop the Woolstores shopping centre, which includes a 141-room hotel along with new commercial office space, retail outlets, police station, and a child care centre.

Work is currently underway to convert a row of the historic Warders Cottages on Henderson Street into a boutique 11-room hotel with a new indoor and outdoor bar and dining area nestled between the rear of the cottages and the Fremantle Markets.

Plans have also been approved to transform Fremantle’s state heritage-listed Police and Courthouse complex into a hotel and restaurant precinct.

For more information and to have your say on the Point Street proposal visit the My Say Freo website.

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MORE FREMANTLE CBD DEVELOPMENT STARTING

 

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Very good to see the start of another development in the Fremantle inner city, with builders McCorkell taken possession of the former Warders Cottages in Henderson Street next to the Fremantle Markets.

The site which is owned by the Hougoumont Hotel people will become a tiny boutique hotel and a tavern at the back between the cottages and the market.

At the former Energy Museum in Parry Street the Match group has put signs up that they will commence with the residential M/27 development there as well, and just down the road at Adelaide Street the Yolk property group has also indicated they will be starting with the Little Lane residential building soon as well.

If, as expected and I hope, Silverleaf Investments will get the go ahead for the Woolstores hotel development, that will also start in the first quarter of next year, so things are very much on the move in good old Freo!

Roel Loopers

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CONFIDENCE IN FREMANTLE GROWING

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, property, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2019

 

Good to read that mining giant Twiggy Forrest is considering more investment in Fremantle, as a short note yesterday in the West Australian by Kim MacDonald indicated.

According to the article the Minderoo Foundation is looking at developing a lifestyle hotel in our port city and that would be great.

Forrest already owns the Orient Hotel in Fremantle’s historic West End and they also bought the Spicers site carpark on the corner of William and Henderson streets from Sirona Capital last year, the latter would be a very good location for an inner city hotel.

Roel Loopers

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WARDERS BOUTIQUE HOTEL STARTING?

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 16, 2019

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I hope the scaffolding around the former Warders Cottages in the Fremantle Henderson Street mall mean that the owners of the Hougomont Hotel, who own the site, are getting serious about the development of the planned and approved boutique hotel and tavern next to Fremantle Markets.

Roel Loopers

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NEW PORT TOURIST RESORT FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in accommodation, art, city of fremantle, culture, festival, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on October 27, 2019

 

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Fremantle will have an all new one star tourist resort on the South Mole as part of the Fremantle Biennale, which starts this coming Friday.

Jesse Lee John is The Republic of Bayswater and created the South Mole Resort concept of bungalows, a tourist shop, spa and museum at Fremantle Port. Meals and entertainment are included in the accommodation price.

Limited vacancies so book your bungalow asap on the Fremantle Biennale website.

Check out all the other events there and on Facebook.

Roel Loopers

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BEACH BACKPACKERS BECOMES HOSTEL ORIENT

Posted in accommodation, backpackers, city of fremantle, hospitality, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 2, 2019

 

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The controversial Fremantle Beach backpackers above the Orient hotel in the West End is no longer.

Twiggy Forrest bought the historic hotel, and the backpackers has now been renamed to Hostel Orient,  and I assume has got new management as well.

The former backpackers received a lot of complaints from local residents about anti social behaviour and alleged drug dealing, so hopefully that will now have improved.

Roel Loopers

COUNCIL WANTS TO KEEP OUR TWO WORKING PORTS

 

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Fremantle Council wants the Fishing Boat Harbour to continue to operate as an authentic working harbour according to a position statement endorsed by Council on Wednesday evening.

The council adopted the statement to confirm its position in relation to future planning processes and development at the harbour.

The leaseholders of the Boat Lifters site at 38 Mews Road, next to the Little Creatures Brewery, are currently exploring redevelopment options for the site and the adjoining Sardine Wharf.

As part of their ‘Harbour Connect’ project AMB Capital Partners, a company owned by the Bennett family, have flagged a development that may involve a range of new land uses, including commercial, retail, accommodation and residential uses.

The Department of Transport has also sought the City of Fremantle’s input into a possible review of the vision for the harbour and the principles that would guide any future redevelopment.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said Fishing Boat Harbour was a vital part of Fremantle, both as a base for fishing and marine industries and as a visitor destination.

“The Fremantle Council is supportive of investment and any appropriate new development to sustain Fishing Boat Harbour into the future,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“However, there is no question that the harbour should continue to operate as a working harbour with fishing fleet-related and other marine industries, as these industries are essential to the retention of an authentic port attraction and visitor experience for the greater Fremantle area.

“Infrastructure and services to support ongoing use of the harbour by commercial and recreational vessels, including the boat lifting facilities, should either be maintained or replaced elsewhere within Fishing Boat Harbour if the existing facilities are affected by development proposals.

“Any proposal to introduce noise sensitive land uses like short or long stay accommodation should be limited in scale, and should only be permitted if the ongoing operations of the working harbour are legally protected.”

The council’s position statement also states Fishing Boat Harbour should be recognised as an important component of the Fremantle city centre and should not be treated as an isolated precinct.

Commercial and retail uses not directly related to maritime industries or needing a harbour location should complement, not draw away, investment from the city centre.

Any new development should respond to existing context and sense of place, and harmonise with the traditional low profile industrial character of the area.

Some additional building height could be entertained as part of a major development provided it could be demonstrated the development would deliver significant public benefits.

The council has also called for no net loss of parking in the area, key connections and vistas to be retained, connection to the Esplanade, Bathers Beach and the waterfront to be improved and the extension of Norfolk Street to be pursued as a the primary entrance to the harbour.

The Boat Lifters site is Crown Land reserved under the Metropolitan Region Scheme for Public Purposes (Special Use), so approval of any development under the City’s local planning scheme is not required. Approval by state planning authorities would be required.

 

Roel Loopers

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