Freo's View

ROYAL GEORGE TOWER REVEALED

 

 

 

I received these artist’s impressions of the proposed new slim tower behind the Royal George hotel in East Fremantle from developers Saracen Properties.

The developers plan to fully renovate the beautiful heritage listed Royal George for tourist accommodation, a gin distillery, bar, restaurants, etc.

They also want to build a 15 storey elliptical spike set on a four storey podium along Duke Street, and create a community square between the former Brush Factory building and the Royal George.

The architect for the project is highly-regarded Michael Patroni of the Fremantle spaceagency.

Roel Loopers

 

TALL DEVELOPMENT FOR ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL

 

DSC_9008

 

The development proposal by Saracen Properties for the Royal George hotel site in East Fremantle is as exciting as it will be controversial.

The plans for the restoration of the gorgeous heritage building are great and would see the old building, that has been vacant for far too many years, be brought back to life and activation.

The entire building would be restored, including the massive and very high cellars below, that would house a gin distillery or winemaking facility.

On Thursday afternoon Joel Saracen took me on a tour inside the building while our great Freo architect Michael Patroni of the High Street Spaceagency explained his thinking behind the concept.

The Royal George would house a cafe, restaurant, bar, function and community meeting rooms and tourist accommodation, while they would also develop a new public realm between the former Brush Factory building and the Royal George.

On the flip side all the expensive heritage restoration needs to be paid for and the proposal is for a 19 storey slim elliptical spike that is set back from a so called podium in Duke Street. It would house 40 large apartments. The building would have ‘fins’ to make it visually more attractive and would become an iconic landmark pointing to the Fremantle area.

The height along Duke Street would be similar to the height of the Brush Factorey and Royal George.

Parking for residents would be provided for inside the building with a car stacker, but does not include parking for the restaurant and bar patrons.

I know height is always going to be an issue in Fremantle, but I believe that a really well designed slim and very high building could be accommodated in that location. No doubt many locals will disagree with me.

There is a very nice brochure that explains most things but I am flabbergasted by the ‘clever’ PR of explaining why a taller building is better than a shorter and wider building, and showing the ugly shorter box, but not actually showing the proposed 19-storey slim tower. The cynical public will no doubt ask what the developers are trying to hide by not showing the tower.

The decision making authority will be the WA State Development Assessment Panel, not East Fremantle Council.

Roel Loopers

PS: I was promised on Thursday that the developers would email me some images, but still have not received any at 10 am on Saturday so just copied some from the brochure. I publish a daily blog not a quarterly magazine. :>)

 

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EAST FREMANTLE TOWNHALL RENOVATIONS

 

 

While Fremantle is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Kings Square project and the new Civic Centre the Town of East Fremantle councillors and staff have just returned to the Townhall there after 14 months of renovating the old building.

The renovation involved the removal of all previous office infrastructure i.e. floor coverings, fittings, partitions, bench tops etc. and included structural improvements, disabled access inclusion and an upgrade to all utilities.  The building was stripped of all services, electrical and mechanical and the plumbing has been replaced.

The aim  of the renovation is to provide a better use of the office space, an opportunity for community meetings, a more functional and contemporary reception and front counter, as well as getting the most out of one of the Town’s most beautiful buildings.

Roel Loopers

(Photos supplied)

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BY GEORGE- THOSE JACARANDAS!

Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, nature, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on November 22, 2017

 

G 1

 

I love the wildflower season of native trees and shrubs in Western Australia, but also love it when the Jacaranda trees blossom at this time of the year. They are an amazing colourful sight.

Applecross has a Jacaranda Festival each year, but you don’t have to go that far as there are quite a few of the beautiful trees in George Street, East Fremantle.

Have a look this weekend or wait till the annual George Street Festival is on at the start of December.

Jacaranda trees are native to Central and South America, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

I took these photos yesterday afternoon.

By the way, the new Cook&Mason restaurant there got a very good food review from Rob Broadfield in the West Australian, so try them out.

Roel Loopers

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EAST FREMANTLE ELECTION RESULTS

Posted in east fremantle, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on October 22, 2017

 

East Fremantle Mayor Jim O’Neill retained his seat at the local council election yesterday.

In Preston Point Ward Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail was reelected and also Tony Natale.

Richmons Ward was won by Andrew McPhail and Tony Watkins got in Woodside Ward unopposed.

 

Roel Loopers

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LOVELY RIVERSIDE DRIVE

Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on October 5, 2017

 

Plympton Steps

 

It is just out of Fremantle, but I love walking and driving along Riverside Drive in East Fremantle.

It is great to see all the yachts, the pelicans, mums with prams, joggers, families, dog walkers as one goes along.

The Leeuwin Barracks development project will be a huge thing for the Town of East Fremantle, so I am looking forward to that starting next year some time.

I always end up on the top near Petra Street where one can look along the Swan River from above the yacht club and see the Perth highrise buildings in the distance.

On the way back there are great views to Fremantle Port.

The Plympton Steps have been completed and with the freshly-painted Tradeswind Hotel above it it looks very attractive.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward! (in Fremantle that is ; >)

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HERALD OWNER ATTACKS EAST FREMANTLE MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2017

 

east freo

 

Andrew Smith, owner of the Fremantle Herald and former East Fremantle Mayor has attacked Mayor Jim O’Neill in a full page advertisement in the free-range Chook this weekend.

Smith claims that O’Neill refused to fight the proposed local government reform and amalgamation with Fremantle because he supported it, and that O’Neill had put his name up to manage the council merger for the WA government if it went ahead.

Smith says that the Mayor leads a divided council because of factionalism.

Jim O’Neill won’t be able to lead the plans for the future of East Fremantle Oval, Smith claims, because he lives next door to it, and that the town planning under O’Neill has resulted in massive development near the Townhall and that the Royal George Hotel site could go up to 18 storeys. The latter was denied recently on this blog by Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail.

Herald owner Andrew Smith also attacks the sacking of two CEOs, but for transparency reasons should have disclosed that sacked CEO Stuart Wearne is the brother of the Herald’s long-time advertising manager Natalie Hug.

It is clear that the mayoral debates in Freo and East Freo are heated, but that is alright for democracy as long as everyone tries to stick with the facts.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD! 

 

BY GEORGE. IT’S NOT THAT HIGH!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2017

 

 

About two years ago I sat around a table in a George Street cafe, together with concerned East Fremantle residents,  five East Fremantle councillors and the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, in response to the concerns about the neglect of the heritage-listed Royal George Hotel.

It was agreed that the Town of East Fremantle should try to do a masterplan or scheme amendment for the Plympton  Precint to better control future development.

It came as a surprise then two weeks ago that I was approached to sign a petition against Scheme Amendment 15, because the petitioner said it would allow 18 storeys on the carpark behind the old building.

I was aware that Saracen Properties  has bought the building and that they wanted to build apartments behind the Royal George, to offset the cost of the very expensive heritage conservation.

To find out what the facts are I contacted East Freo Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail, who assured me that Amendment 15 would not allow 18 storeys on the site, but only seven, with a discretionary additional height clause, which is normally a maximum of two storeys, for excellent architecture.

Council has also done an Urban Design Study for the area, McPhail told me.

P.S. McPhail’s nominated again for the Preston Point Ward seat at the October local government election, and I highly recommend him. He is a very intelligent and likeable young man.

 

Roel Loopers

WOODSIDE FOR AGED CARE

Posted in aged, east fremantle, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2017

 

Woodside

 

The former Woodside maternity hospital in East Fremantle has been sold to a consortium for $ 13 million, and will be developed into aged-care facilities.

The gorgeous building in Dalgety Street was built in 1902 and is considered a prime example of Victorian Italianate architecture.

 

Roel Loopers

BY GEORGE! BUT WILL IT BE ROYAL?

Posted in architecture, development, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on July 9, 2017

 

 

It looks like finally something will happen at the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle, with Council advertising a planned amendment (No 15) to Local Planning Scheme 3 and create a Special Zone Royal George Hotel that will deal with height, setbacks, public art, heritage conservation, etc.

The vacant and derelict building has been an eyesore for far too many years, to the chagrin of local residents and businesses. It became a target for homeless people, vandalism and graffiti, so renovating the old lady and getting it occupied again will be a very good step forward.

But I heard from local residents this morning that there are plans for a ten-storey building on the carpark behind the heritage building and that could become controversial.

Height is not necessarily  a bad thing, but it is the architecture that is often a worry, as the development next door in Duke Street of the Lauder&Howard building shows.

The very boring dark brick building should not have been approved and I feel sorry for the people next door whose house is set back and now intimidated by the scale of the boring apartment building.

It is a real blight on the streetscape of Duke Street and the elected members of the Town of East Fremantle will be the only ones who believe this building is acceptable in a low-rise residential area. Aesthetics? Never heard off it!

According to the signs the Amendment No 15 proposal can be viewed at the Townhall. Not sure why it is not on-line. It’s 2017 East Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

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