Freo's View

TERRACE HOUSING BETTER INFILL FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2018

 

M:Group North Coogee

 

Depending on City of Cockburn planning approval the North Coogee Shoreline development should see some interesting architecture inspired by the Donnybrook Quarter in London.

MATCH of the M/Group intends to build 2-3 storey terrace houses along intimate streets that end in a city square there.

It’s the kind of development I would love to see more of in Fremantle, rather than high apartment buildings.

Fremantle is the ideal place for terrace housing as urban infill, instead of boring highrise.

Roel Loopers

MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO ACTIVATE ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

In context to the controversial tavern proposal for Fremantle’s J Shed there is a timely article in today’s property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN by Brett Mitchell, who is a lecturer at Curtin University at the School of Design and Built Environment.

The article Past, present populate our cityscape argues that we can no longer treat development sites as terra nullius.

Brett Mitchell writes “Our past history and future aspirations should be entwined as creative starting points for making meaningful places.”

He writes that before moving forward we have to look back first. Mitchell uses the heritage-listed cemetery in East Perth as an example where development dictated the shifting boundaries, and that once important meeting places for Whadjuk Noongar people became surrounded and claimed for expansion.

“With an awareness and retelling of our embedded stories the built environment also offers us a chance to reveal the past within the present” writes Brett Mitchell.

These are the things Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly did not consider when he wrote his block post about the, in his opinion, historic irrelevance of the A Class Reserve at Arthur’s Head that is home to J Shed.

The cliff that was once there was the point of the first lighthouse in Fremantle, probably just about where J Shed now is.

We should never ever try to rewrite history to make political points, because it is flawed and very wrong. Arthur’s Head is arguably the most significant historic site in Western Australia and any development there needs to be done with respect for the past.

The desired activation of  Arthur’s Head can be achieved in better and more creative ways than building a tavern there. It is only Council’s shortsightedness and stubbornness that has prevented better outcomes.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

DEMOLITION OF FREO CIVIC CENTRE TO START SOON

 

Demolition of the City of Fremantle civic building at Kings Square will start next month, with preliminary work and asbestos removal by DELTA Pty Ltd. The demolition is estimated to be completed by October this year.

Vibration monitoring will be conducted to safeguard the integrity of the heritage listed Townhall and any demolition work immediately adjacent to the Townhall will be done by hand if required.

Daily air monitoring will also take place during asbestos removal by a third-party hygienist.

Roel Loopers

 

GIVE ME FREO OVER PERTH ANY TIME!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, perth, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018

 

ca 6

 

 

I lasted just over an hour in Perth this morning as I find the CBD there rather boring.

I was surprised how quiet it was and how many vagrants were lurking around, and there were ample retail vacancies and for lease signs all over the place. Buskers played amplified music way too loud and so did some of the cafes.

Most of the new buildings under construction are average or worse, and the inappropriateness in context to heritage buildings is staggering.

The saving grace was the gorgeous tranquil architecture of the Cadogan Singing School at St George’s cathedral, and the stunning new Perth Library where window cleaners were doing a high trapeze act.

So happy to be back in Fremantle. It’s far from perfect, but so much more beautiful than the Perth CBD.

Roel Loopers

FUNDING FOR FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT

 

First State Super, Sirona Capital and Altis Property Partners announced they have signed a $190m funding package agreement, comprising construction and term debt, for the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment.

Kings Square Fremantle is underwritten by a 15-year lease to the WA State Government for 20,000sqm over five levels and across two buildings to accommodate some functions of the Department of Communities, mainly Housing.

The project also includes the introduction of FOMO (Fremantle on My Own), a new urban retail, food and dining destination in a concept which is authentically Fremantle, and the full refurbishment of the 830 bay multi-deck Queensgate car park.

Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly said he was excited to have First State Super on board as a funding partner for the transformational Kings Square Fremantle project. “What sets this project apart from others is that we have actively sought to conceptualise, plan and deliver it in ways that reset traditional thinking for projects of this type, size and scale,”

 

SIGNIFICANT KINGS SQUARE MODERNISATION

 

DSC_9656

 

Once the London Plane Trees have been relocated the demolition of the City of Fremantle civic hall can start. This will take much longer than the demolition of the Queensgate building as there is asbestos removal involved, so it is estimated to take up to six months for the relatively small building.

The former Queensgate site is now nearly ready for three weeks of ground work and than the prefabricated elements will arrive and pop up fast, so that will be really exciting to watch.

The modernisation of Kings Square with a port themed children’s playground is very significant for Fremantle. It will change the way locals and visitors view and use our city square and will hopefully attract people here seven days a week, day and night.

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE DIRECTORY TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

 

Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt with the directory

 

 

The Kings Square Fremantle Business Directory is a joint initiative by the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital to support Fremantle traders who are affected by the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

The directory is being distributed to more than 15,000 households in the Fremantle area to promote the diverse range of retail and food and beverage offerings surrounding Kings Square.

The 44 page booklet is designed to support local traders through the construction period of arguably the most important redevelopment project in the port city’s history.

The business directory, which includes vouchers and promotion of businesses adjacent to Kings Square is one of many ways the City and Sirona have supported local traders since the project commenced late last year.

Other initiatives have included:

# one hour free on-street parking in surrounding streets
# directional signage and site fence advertising with ‘Shop local and support Freo traders’ messaging
# bunting and pole wraps to attract people and showcase the Kings Square retail precinct
# free parking permits for customers of businesses directly affected by the recent Queen Street road closures
# regular face-to-face contact with traders to share information and discuss ideas for promoting the area
# a series of ‘trader forums’ where local businesses receive project updates and can provide feedback and ask questions of project staff
# free advertising space for local businesses in construction workforce lunchrooms
# free custom designed outdoor signage for eligible local businesses.

Construction of the new buildings will commence soon and that means hundreds of workers in Fremantle, so hopefully that too will support our struggling local traders!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE LITTLE LANE CBD LIVING

 

Little Lane development

 

The YOLK group has started the sale of new 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments of its Little Lane development on the former Spotlight building site next to Target in Adelaide Street in Fremantle.

The seven-storey building will have residential apartments above a retail and cafe hub that will modernise and revitalise the run down Westgate Mall.

There are also plans for the development of the Woolstores shopping centre site and for a Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Point Street carpark site, which will reinvigorate the lacklustre east of the Freo CBD

Roel Loopers

GOOD ARCHITECTURE FOR FREMANTLE

 

South Street

hero

 

The long time eyesore on the corner of Hampton Road and South Street in Fremantle will be developed into a modern attractive four storey residential and office development, after the City of Fremantle’s Planning Committee last night approved the alternate officer’s recommendation.

The building is designed by David Hillam Architects and will have eight multiple dwellings and two office tenancies, and will retain a portion of the heritage buildings on the site.

It is nice to see good modern architecture which fits the Fremantle lifestyle. I just wished that developers of major large developments would take more care and get outstanding architectural design.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE COUNCIL J SHIT GOVERNANCE

 

The Fawlty Towers approach to governance by Fremantle Council on the proposed J Shed tavern development continued at the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening and will be repeated again at full Ordinary Council next week.

The Bathers Beach saga has been going on since November 2012 when the City asked for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) for a bar/cafe/gallery for the No 1 unit at J Shed on historic Arthur’s Head.

With stars in their eyes the naive Council then decided to sign the ‘applicant driven’ 21 year lease for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor live music venue, against the express and loud wishes of local residents and heritage groups, Fremantle Ports and neighbouring J Shed artists, as well as Noongar representatives.

But when Sunset Events finally put their planning proposal in Councillors got cold feet and rejected the application, which subsequently was also rejected by the WA Planning Commission, which is the deciding authority.

Since then the proposal has been watered down a few times and is now only for a 300 patron tavern on a reduced parcel of the A Class Reserve and no outdoor live music events. If that is actually financially viable for the proponent is very questionable, and according to a CoF director I spoke to this afternoon Sunset Events will need to find a financial partner for the around $ 1 million development to be able to realise it.

The WAPC rejected the proposal because it was inappropriate in use, bulk and scale for the area and Councillor Jeff McDonald passionately reminded his fellow Councillors of that.

McDonald said that the land is of regional significance, the parking requirements are not addressed, that it is not a low profile development, and it is not at all similar to Rottnest Island!

Mayor Brad Pettitt however believed that the proposal for a tavern is a real opportunity to activate the West End and Arthur’s Head and that the plans were now close to where the Council initially wanted to go. One has to wonder then why Council signed a 21 year lease for an large 850 patron tavern and an even bigger 1,500 patron music venue in the first place, when all they wanted was a small bar. Yes Minister!

The process has been unfair to everyone! Sunset Events had every reason to believe in good faith that Council would support the tavern and music venue when they signed the long lease, but the same elected members who approved the lease keep stuffing the proponents around until the proposal is close to no longer being viable.

The J Shed artists had to live with the anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen with their work spaces, studios and galleries and if the impact of the proposal might mean they will have to move elsewhere.

The heritage groups are of course concerned about the negative impact on one of the most significant historic areas in Western Australia and how that might impact also on tourism.

The inner city residents are rightly concerned about drunks, anti social behaviour, littering of Bathers Beach and parking issues. One can just imagine that at night time clever motorists will find that Mrs Trivett and Captain’s Lane, as well as Fleet Street are just fine for illegal parking and maybe having a quick wee in the dark. With the Whalers Tunnel closed at night it is a long walk around Arthur’s Head in the dark to the Little High Street and Victoria Quay carparks.

The fact that there are no plans for building a proper toilet block should also be a concern as portaloos are unsightly and smelly.

Councillor Jenny Archibald summed up pretty well what I have been saying for years. Arthur’s Head and the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct need a more cohesive approach from Council. She said it was disappointing Council is willing to compromise so much and that the original EOI was interesting. May I remind the Mayor that he agreed before the October election at an event in the National Hotel that the Bathers Beach Art Precinct needed to be revisited by Council because it was not working!

Councillor Adin Lang said it was unlikely a cafe could afford to spend $ 1 million on infrastructure.

Don’t waste your time folks watching a satirical program on TV, come attend Fremantle Council instead when they debate the J Shed proposal and you’ll get a mix of Yes Minister and Fawlty Towers all on the same night and free to hot air. If it wasn’t so sad to watch the incompetence it would be a good laugh.

Roel Loopers

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