Freo's View

NEW FREMANTLE PARK CLUBHOUSE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, recreation, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on May 25, 2017

 

The plans for a new clubhouse at Fremantle Park on Parry Street can finally go ahead after Fremantle Council approved it on Wednesday.

The clubhouse will become the new home for the Fremantle Workers Club, Fremantle Tennis Club and Fremantle Bowling Club which will share the two-storey premises.

The City of Fremantle also plans to build a public carpark next to it to accommodate inner city parking.

The $ 4,4 million project will be paid for by the Workers Club, the CoF and the Department of Sport and Recreation.

The Fremantle Workers Club will pay $ 1.85 million, as will the City. The State Department will pay $ 400,000, and Fremantle City will pay another $ 300,000 for the public carpark, if the use is approved by the state.

Roel Loopers

 

SHIFTING GOALPOSTS NOT COMMUNITY PROBLEM

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on May 25, 2017

Fremantle Council deferred a decision last night on the application by developers Silverleaf to not go ahead with adding more fritted glass screens to the building, as was agreed on in the planning approval.

The planning officers and Design Advisory Committee wanted Council to  reject the application but an amendment by Councillor Rachel Pemberton is trying to find a compromise.

Pemberton said she was concerned and tried to understand the practical reality of not adding the glass screens, but it is the the original approved plans so why wasn’t it done? But there is no harm done to see if a good compromise can be found.

The DAC said it is very disappointed with the amended proposal as it spent considerable time with the proponent, and a number of design outcomes were negotiated and considered necessary components that lead to the DAC’s conditional approval of the building.

The DAC believes the fritted glass screens address the scale and massing by making the detail behind the glass less legible.

Silverleaf owner Gerard O’Brien said the developer had spent more money into details such as tuck pointing the facades in High and Cantonment streets and that he had been advised by the builders that retrospect adding of the fritted glass screens would be difficult.

I don’t mind the building as it kind of floats over the old facades and the fritted glass screens definitely help to give it that appearance of softness, so I would like to see the developer stick to the plans Fremantle Council approved. They made it more difficult for themselves, and probably more costly now, by not adhering to the plans and making unapproved changes as they went along.

I do understand the triple bottom line and Silverleaf at present developing eight major sites in different councils, but at the end of the day if developers move the goal posts during construction that is a decision they have to live with and pay for. The community should not be told that it is too expensive and troublesome now to do what they agreed on in the first place when they applied for planning approval from council.

Roel Loopers

FLOODING FOR FREO MARINE TERRACE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, living, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2017

A new report by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that rising sea levels would have dire consequences for Fremantle and Perth.

Marine Terrace, the Esplanade and Fishing Boat Harbour would be flooded, if the NOAA prediction is correct that it is more likely now that sea levels could rise up to 2.7 metres because of increased melting of antarctic ice.

Elizabeth Quay in Perth and other areas along the Swan River would also be impacted by the rising sea levels.

I wonder what it would do the the Port Coogee and South Beach developments and why the State Government and local governments still approve coastal development so close to the Indian Ocean when global warming is a serious threat to coastal development.

Roel Loopers

SIRONA APPOINTS PROBUILD FOR KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on May 16, 2017

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SIRONA CAPITAL has appointed national building company ProBuild for the $ 270 million Fremantle Kings Square Project. Building will commence in August this year.

ProBuild has been signed up for several major construction jobs in Perth recently and is already busy with building the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Elizabeth Quay.

I believe it is great news for Fremantle and will truly change our city’s fortunes for the better.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME APPOINTS WEST END CONSULTANTS

Fremantle Notre Dame University has appointed the recently merged TPG+Place Match group to undertake further independent consultation in regard to the proposed development of a new Nursery and Midwifery School on the corner of High and Cliff streets.

The five-storey  development was rejected for approval by Fremantle Council  because it exceeds the three-storey limit for the heritage-listed West End Precinct, and because of its inappropriate and poor design quality.

The deciding authority for the building is the WA Development Assessment Panel but UNDA adjourned the approval process to make changes to the building after strong community objections.

It will be interesting to see if UNDA will abandon their plans for an, in my opinion un-approvable, five storey building and alter the design to make its architecture more sympathetic and respectful to the heritage streetscape, or if they will go ahead and apply for approval of a five-story building at the DAP.

This from the TPG+Place Match website:

  • Stakeholder and community engagement
  • Place visioning and narrative
  • Strategic and statutory planning
  • Urban design and place planning
  • Heritage and cultural planning
  • Place branding and promotion
  • Community development
  • Place activation 

TPG+Place Match have a track record of working together on several high profile place-led projects, including the Perth Cultural Centre Place Plan, the Curtin University Place Activation project and several regional revitalisation and enhancement projects in Bunbury, Morawa and Esperance.

Since its inception in 2011, Place Match has become WA’s most sought after place making firm, offering niche expertise in place visioning and branding, destination planning, place activation and management.  The firm has breathed new life and added significant value to places across Perth city, suburban areas and into regional WA.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE GLASS HALF FULL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on May 5, 2017

We are a funny lot in Fremantle  and some people will only see the negative side of things, as these two examples show.

La Porchetta pizza restaurant in Collie Street has unfortunately closed and that inspired someone on the Freo Massive Facebook page to write that Fremantle might as well become a ghost town.

It is always disappointing when a business closes but there is an abundance of hospitality outlets in Fremantle and the new meatball and cocktail bar just opened around the corner, there is a new cafe on Cantonment Street, another one in Pakenham Street and a new restaurant in Douro Road, to name just a few of newly opened businesses. There is also a new florist in South Freo by the way!

Another gentleman on the same social media page claimed that Fremantle Council is anti-development. When I pointed out that we have not seen so much development in 30 years he questioned that because Council had rejected two development applications recently.

I only know of the inappropriate and ugly proposal for the Mills Record building and the out of scale building Notre Dame Uni wanted to put in Cliff Street that Fremantle Council rightly rejected, but just look around what is going on!

The stunning Heirloom apartments opened in December, opposite the massive LIV Defence Housing apartments are being built, The Hilton Hotel, Spotlight site, Kings Square Project, Fremantle Oval project, Quest Hotel, imminent plans to develop the Woolstores shopping centre site, etc.

Fremantle Council anti-development? I don’t think so!

The glass is well over half full in Fremantle and the long-term vision of Council is paying off with more developers feeling confident about investing in Freo, which will give a huge boost to our retailers and the hospitality industry in the not too far future.

Smile! Freo is on the right track.

Roel Loopers

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ATWELL ARCADE CHANGES NOT SUPPORTED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on May 2, 2017

 

Fremantle Atwell Arcade developers Silverleaf are seeking alterations to the initial approval of the building from the City of Fremantle, but the changes are not supported by the City’s planning department and Design Advisory Committee.

Silverleaf wants to remove two levels of fritted glass panels on the north east and south east of the building and also some on the south of the building.

The wording of the Design Advisory Committee advise appears to be one of annoyance with the developers trying to get changes approved when the building is already occupied:

  •   DAC is very disappointed with this amended proposal. As part of the process of design evaluation, DAC spent considerable time working on key aspects of the design with the proponent. A number of design outcomes were negotiated and were considered as necessary components leading to the DAC conditional support of the proposal and its massing and form.
  •   The fritted glazing was incorporated into the original design to help address the issue of scale and massing of the additions by making the detail behind the glass less legible and therefore allowing the visible building bulk to be read as more ‘ephemeral’.
  •   The built outcome is the negation of what was negotiated and agreed, the opposite of what the DAC had been led to believe would be provided.
  •   The provision of the balustrading to the street parapet was recognised as an important component of the promised heritage contribution.
  •   DAC is unwilling to accept that these design components, agreed by the proponent and necessary for DAC’s initial support, should be deleted because of cost.
  •   In summary, DAC does not support any of the proposed changes to the fritted glazing and screening, nor the deletion of the balustrade, all critical parts of the negotiated outcome that led to DAC supporting the project. DAC believes the project should be completed in the form that it supported and on which the DA was approved.

It is interesting to note that design changes are quite often proposed by developers after the City has given building approval and often cost are given as the reason for the changes.

Silverleaf is a huge property owner in Fremantle and they are going to develop the Woolstores Shopping Centre site, the Henderson Street Police and Courthouse precinct and the Manning Arcade, so it is very important that the developers realise they can’t get away with late changes after the horse has bolted. They need to budget better so cost don’t become an issue well into the development process.

I like it that Silverleaf does not land bank and that they quickly develop the properties they buy, but they also need to be aware of their corporate responsibilities to the community. It is not helpful that they express frustration with Fremantle Council and the DAC when Council and the expert panel insist on better design, because developers trying to cut corners and getting away with average buildings is not acceptable to the Fremantle community.

Developers often behave as if we owe them gratitude for developing in Fremantle, and I for one am delighted about so many new buildings in the CBD, but trying to get approval for un-approvable buildings is becoming a bit of a norm, with five storeys proposed for the West End when only three are permitted, and with design quality that should see architects publicly flogged for daring to suggest boring mediocrity that is disrespectful to Fremantle’s unique heritage character.

Silverleaf is good for Fremantle but only if they create stunning new inner city buildings instead of blandness. The fritted glass panelling on the Atwell Arcade makes the multi-storey building appear a lot softer and it blends better into the sky. Those plans were approved by Council and the developers now need to fulfil their part of the ‘contract’ with the City of Fremantle and not expect late changes.

The item is on the CoF Planning Committee agenda for this Wednesday at 6 pm.

Roel Loopers

 

VISION FOR GREATER FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, town of east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 26, 2017

 

East Fremantle Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail is Australia’s youngest Deputy Mayor. His impressive presentation at the Fremantle Network of the vision plan for the East Freo Leeuwing Barracks and foreshore showed why he was elected by his peers to the position.

A lot of water will flow under the bridges before the plans will be realised as the Defence Department owns the land and will have the final say after all, but at least the Town of East Fremantle is pro-actively involved in what must be one of the most significant development projects for the town and greater Fremantle.

McPhail said this was Fremantle’s day and Fremantle’s time and that the area is an emerging area for opportunity thanks to Fremantle Council, and it needs a regional big picture view.

He said the two major future visions for river foreshore development in the Perth metro area are the Leeuwin Barracks and the South Quay project, and he showed East Fremantle’s Port to Point Vision, all the way from Fremantle Port to Point Walter. It is about how we reconnect Fremantle to its foreshore McPail said.

He rightly pointed out that the South Quay project is a long way away still, while the Leeuwin development is imminent with land sales starting later this year, and said the East Street jetty area could be beautified by Fremantle Council before that.

Riverside Drive is old and needs to be realligned to accommodate the vision plans and the huge Leeuwin development that would see some 1,400 new residents moving into new apartment buildings, a new hotel, shops and large green open spaces for residents and the wider community to enjoy.

The vision showed two major 15-storey towers on the 14 hectare site plus 4-8 storey buildings spread among the large public spaces that will connect to river boardwalks.

It will require careful planning by the Town of East Fremantle and Mainroads to accommodate the additional vehicle movement along Preston Point Road and Riverside Drive as the majority of the new residents and visitors will be driving cars.

Michael McPhail is right that he sees this as a huge opportunity for Greater Fremantle and I believe it is essential for the two local councils and State Government to work together on a vision plan for the foreshore area from the Fremantle railway station all the way to Point Walter.

Roel Loopers

NIGHTINGALE PROJECT AT FREMANTLE NETWORK

Posted in community, development, fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2017

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I like the monthly Fremantle Network events a lot as they are always very informative and it’s good to stay up to date with what is happening in fab Freo.

Tomorrow Monday April 24 at 6 pm will be the next event upstairs at the National Hotel so come along. It’s free and drinks and food are available from the bar.

Dimitri Kapetas, from EHDO architecture will talk about the Nightingale Project at Wood Street.

Nightingale Housing is a non-profit organisation formed by a group of leading Australian architects. It aims to create affordable housing models that are specifically designed to achieve environmental and social benefits for cities. In other words, Nightingale promotes the building of communities, not just market commodities.
https://www.ehdo.com.au/nightingale-freo/

Also speaking will be the very impressive Michael McPhail, the Deputy Mayor of the Town of East Fremantle (and Western Australia’s youngest!)

His passion for cities and making them better places for the people who live in them infuses everything he does.

The focus of his talk will be the future of the Leeuwin Barracks, and the impact this will have on the future of Greater Fremantle.

Take part in the Fremantle Network events, meet new people, network, be informed and have your say about the future of Freo!

Roel Loopers

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GREAT ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL NEWS

Posted in architecture, development, east fremantle, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2017

 

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I have received some great news about the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle from a well-informed source.

According to my source Saracen Properties is 99% on the way of purchasing the building from the State Government. The purchase and possession will be finalised within the next 90 days.

Saracen has appointed well-known Fremantle architect Michael Patroni from Space Agency to do the interior and exterior development of the old building as well as the development of the vacant land behind the building.

Saracen has developed a Conservation Management Strategy that has been endorsed by the Heritage Council of W.A. The CMS ties them to refurbishing the building within a certain time period.

The company will immediately stabilise and clean up the building once the contract has been signed, so the decay will be stopped, until planning approval has been received and conservation and building can commence.

Roel Loopers

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