Freo's View





It is a concern that after a year of negotiations the City of Fremantle and Silverleaf Investments still have not reached agreement about the completion of the Atwell Arcade new four-storey building.

The item was on a Planning Committee agenda over a year ago where Councillors were asked to demand that the building had to be finished to planning approval  specifications, but a motion by Councillor Rachel Pemberton was carried that officers would try to negotiate a compromise with the developers.

That this still has not happened is a worry, because Silverleaf is doing three other major developments in the Fremantle CBD; Woolstores, Manning building, Henderson Street Police&Justice complex. Will they be completed to planning approval specifications?

Silverleaf are a major player in inner city Fremantle development and that is important and good for our city. At least they don’t sit for years on properties they buy and land bank, but they rapidly start developing them and that should be acknowledged and appreciated. I certainly do!

But not completing buildings to the specifications of the planning approval given by the City of Fremantle should be a no no, because changes to developments are made often, and details which visually enhance buildings are suddenly left out without Council approval and that should not be allowed.

One of the major complaints from the community about new buildings is the lack of great architecture, so if Council accepts that design features are unauthorised omitted once construction has started we get buildings that are even less attractive than what was approved. That is not acceptable.

Why it has taken so long for Council to put their foot down and demand Silverleaf completes the building to approved specifications is beyond me, especially since there clearly was willingness by Council to find a compromise.

Last time I published a blog article about this issue Silverleaf owner Gerard O’Brien told me it made his wife cry, so let me assure the family business that I do appreciate they are major developers in Fremantle, but that does not mean they should get away with everything they want to do, or suddenly no longer want to do.

Roel Loopers


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Posted in architecture, atwell arcade, city of fremantle, economy, hospitality, retail, shopping by freoview on November 23, 2016

I had a look inside the renovated Atwell Arcade building and was very impressed with some of the stunning office spaces they have created on the first floor above Cotton On and the other shops in the High Street Mall.

There is no doubt in my mind that this development is good for the Fremantle retail and hospitality industries and our city overall.

Cotton On will open this Friday and looks very impressive and the modern arcade looks inviting.

Maybe some of the heritage character has been lost but I believe the development is a real gain for Freo and a milestone for the revival of Fremantle.

As I have said before the exterior of the new building is not outstanding but for me an acceptable compromise in this location because it angles away as a huge set back and it appears very soft against the blue sky.


Roel Loopers


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