Freo's View

KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE

 

 

A photographic update of Fremantle’s Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

Roel Loopers

PEACE IN FREO’S YELLOW WAR

 

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There appears to be a peace agreement in the Fremantle yellow art war with former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri agreeing that the City of Fremantle remove the yellow foil and repair and repaint his building on the corner of Cliff and High streets.

I am not sure if Tagliaferri has withdrawn his $ 50,000 writ against the City but that seems logic.

The removal of the fantastic and highly popular Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse, which was installed for the 2017 Fremantle Festival, proved far more difficult than anticipated and forced Fremantle Council to increase the removal/repaint budget from $ 15,000 to $ 220,000, but I have been told the final cost will be much less than that.

The repainted buildings along High Street look better than they have in 20 years and the workers are now painting the entire facade of the building that houses the Roma restaurant and Blink cafe.

The City will also install four large planter boxes along High Street from Cliff Street to Chalkys cafe to hide the unattractive Notre Dame University carpark there. As a quirky reminder of the great Varini artwork and controversy removing it the boxes will have a yellow stripe on them. Great idea!

Roel Loopers

SOD TURNED FOR FREMANTLE CIVIC CENTRE

 

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The first sod was turned for the construction of the new $ 41.3 million Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square on Tuesday morning.

Sean McGivern of Kerry Hill architects, Matthew McNeilly of Sirona Capital, George Allingame of Pindan, Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk and Mayor Brad Pettitt grabbed a spate to show the work has started.

The Civic Centre development is part of the broader $ 41.3 million Kings Square Redevelopment Project the City of Fremantle is partnered in with Sirona Capital.

I was surprised to hear Sirona’s managing director say in his speech that the FOMO retail section will now only open next year, but when I asked Mr McNeilly about it he said that FOMO was never intended to open this year but always in April next year. Really?!

It was nice to see the former Fremantle CEO Graeme McKenzie attending the ceremony and also Minister Peter Tinley.

Roel Loopers

 

BEAUTIFUL FREMANTLE WITH GREAT COMMUNITY

 

 

There is so much noise and chatter about the negativity of social media currently, with many politicians and those in the mainstream media ignoring they are part of the problem, that it is time to remind ourselves that while not everything is perfect here Fremantle is a very special place to live in with people who have a great sense of community.

So here just a few photos I took yesterday afternoon while trying to walk off my hay fever.

Opening your eyes, heart and mind to beauty is so much better than focusing on the few negative aspects of life. Most people in the world are good people, so let’s not concentrate on the few bad apples.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE SOCIETY PRESIDENT LEAVING FREMANTLE

 

 

It is not official yet, but I was told last night that shock waves are going through the Fremantle Society with their president John Downson indicating that he will soon be relocating permanently to England.

Dowson is said to be deeply frustrated that the Society has been unable to make an impact on Fremantle planning matters and bad architecture, and he is outraged about what he calls the incompetent Fremantle Council, planning department and State’s JDAP and SAT, which approve in Dowson’s opinion inappropriate buildings in our city.

The Fremantle Society committee is very worried that they might not be able to find anyone to replace John Dowson because it has been very difficult over the past years to find members willing to put their hat in the ring and take on an official function, hence FS has now members on committee who don’t live anywhere near Fremantle.

Already during the last two years Dowson has ran FS partly from London, where he bought an apartment in a new upmarket subway station development, and from cruise ships on which he lectures about Fremantle’s history.

I see John Dowson’s departure from Fremantle as a good opportunity for the Fremantle Society to consider how to make the group relevant again and less political and council-bashing. It needs to go with the times and rejuvenate and redevelop itself and not be anti change and anti development. I hope the group won’t falter and collapse in a heap because of the departure of its powerful president.

If the Brits can cope with Brexit and Dowson is another thing, but good luck to John Dowson, who has been very controversial but with his heart in the right place for Freo.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE HILTON HOTEL SITE SOLD TO TWIGGY FORREST

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on April 1, 2019

 

I am not sure if it is good or bad news for Fremantle that the Point Street carpark site, that was destined to become a Hilton Doubletree hotel has been sold by the SKS Group to Twiggy Forrest’s Minderoo Group for $ 7,3 million.

Andrew-Twiggy-Forrest’s companies already own the Orient Hotel and Spicers carpark site in Fremantle and have indicated they want to invest more in our city, which is a sign of confidence in Fremantle Council and our city’s future.

There has been considerable apprehension at the City of Fremantle if the SKS Group would go ahead with the Hilton Doubletree hotel project at all, so at least that uncertainty has now been removed and all we can hope for is that the new owners will do a great development of the site soon and build something special there.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S YELLOW ART REMOVAL A DELICATE ACT

 

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I was a wee bit skeptical about the claims by Fremantle Society president John Dowson that the City of Fremantle did not want to take back to its original tuck pointing the building on the corner of High and Cliff streets that is at the centre point of the yellow art removal controversy, and Dowson’s assertion that tuck pointing the building would cost about the same as repainting the entire facade.

City of Fremantle Director of Infrastructure and Project Delivery Graham Tattersall says that many buildings in High Street have condition problems; for some, the multiple coats of paint over the years have taken its toll and in some instances this has also damaged the sub-strata.

Director Tattersall told me that in reality the cost of repairing and returning the building to its original tuck pointed style would be considerably more costly than that of the planned works related to the foil removal.

Tattersall said “The City is wholly supportive of owners electing to take this opportunity to contribute for further works to restore or further improve their buildings (where requested, we agree to contribute the value of the yellow foil works towards the cost of an owners revised scope) and would not decline requests of this nature.”

“A number of property owners have taken the opportunity to engage the City’s contractor to carry out additional work on their properties at their own expense, which has greatly improved the appearance of the street, but as these are privately owned buildings it’s up to the property owner to make that choice.”

I think it is important to clarify this and also point out that building owner, former Freo Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, has taken out a writ against the City for $ 50,000 and that this legal action is continuing.

I have been watching how very time-consuming it has been to remove the paint of the brick building in Pakenham Street that will became the home of the Fremantle Republic gin distillery and micro brewery, and hence wondered if the claims by the Fremantle Society that the cost of tuck pointing and painting were similar could be correct. The Freo City director says they are not.

Roel Loopers

WHY WILL FREO CITY NOT BRING BACK THE OLD FACADE?

 

yellow art

 

I am surprised to hear that the City of Fremantle did not want to entertain the idea of stripping back the entire paint of the building, owned by former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, on the corner of Cliff and High streets to its original tuck pointing, as part of the removal of the yellow artwork.

Fremantle Society President John Dowson sent a comment to Freo’s View that FS had suggested to the former Mayor to do that and not repaint the facade, but that the City had rejected the idea. If that is a fact that is disappointing because architect Michael Patroni, the owner of 10 High Street diagonally opposite Tagliaferri’s building, will take that building back to its original tuck pointing.

The owners of the Fremantle Republic gin distillery, micro brewery and tavern in Pakenham Street received a State heritage grant to take the facade of that building back to its original tuck pointing, so I would have thought the City of Fremantle would have embraced the idea of the Fremantle Society and do the same with the Tagliaferri building.

The Society president claims they did get a quote for the tuck pointing work that was approximately the same as repainting the building, so cost don’t appear to be a factor.

Roel Loopers

NOMINATIONS FOR HERITAGE COUNCIL

 

Heritage Minister David Templeman today announced nominations are being sought from experienced and qualified individuals to become members of the Heritage Council of Western Australia.

As the State Government’s expert body on heritage matters, the Heritage Council plays a key role in decisions on entries into the State Register of Heritage Places and the development of these places. It also determines State Heritage strategy and policies.

High calibre women and men from a diversity of fields and backgrounds with relevant skills and experience are strongly encouraged to express their interest in this rewarding opportunity.

The Heritage Act 2018 sets out criteria that must be met in terms of skills and expertise, moving away from the previous Act’s requirement that council members represent certain interests or groups.

The McGowan Government is committed to gender parity across government boards and committees.

More details on membership requirements and the process for nominating can be found on the Heritage Council’s website at http://www.stateheritage.wa.gov.au

Application packages are also available through the Heritage Council’s website or by contacting the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage on (08) 6551 8002.

Applications close on May 3, 2019.

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A NEW KINGS SQUARE MILESTONE

 

 

The second crane of the Sirona Capital development of the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project came down this morning, so things are going well at our city square.

A new crane should be going up in a few weeks for the new Civic Centre building of the City of Fremantle, but that development was unfortunately delayed by six months, without the City explaining the reasons for it. That is quite frustrating for the Freo community, local traders and the Kings Square development partners of the City.

Roel Loopers

 

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