What an absolute shame to see the state of the Fremantle Esplanade grass after the City spent so much money on it last year.
No one is to blame as the surface has some kind of disease that can only be treated by taking many metres off the top soil and that would be an enormously expensive job.
But I wonder if the Esplanade Masterplan actually addresses this very important issue. It is no good to remove the Carriage cafe and build another hospitality venue when the reserve looks awful. It is not practical or financially viable to just keep putting new grass on it that dies within months because of the disease.
Fremantle Council threw a lifeline at the Esplanade Carriage Cafe owners by deferring the part of the committee recommendation that Council intends to end the lease for them on April 30, 2019.
Councillors Strachan, Waltham and Hume questioned if it was good use of ratepayers’ money to build a new hospitality venue to accommodate a burger restaurant. Councillor Ingrid Waltham believed the Carriage could be relocated to another location on the Esplanade, while Mayor Brad Pettitt said he had a soft spot for the Carriage.
Council did accept the George Kailis owned Parklife as the preferred proposal for a hamburger restaurant in the to be built new venue.
I hope Council will learn from the mistakes made by Cottesloe Council and the Indiana Teahouse where public toilet issues have been a serious concern for many years and resulted in many disagreements between the the city and the restaurant operators.
I believe a relocation of the carriage cafe building to the front of the Shipwreck Museum might be a better idea than relocating it on the Esplanade, or alternatively it could fit in very well on the reserve at J Shed at Bathers Beach.
One big worry though is that former owner Kel Smith, who built the Carriage, claims it can’t be relocated because the base of it is too entangled with the root system of the surrounding trees.
The City of Fremantle will be spending an estimated $ 700,000 on building a new hospitality venue for the new Esplanade Hub near the railway line and ferris wheel, while telling the owners of the long-established Carriage Cafe to close business by the end of April 2019 and demolish or dismantle the building and pack it up.
The FPOL Committee of Council will on Wednesday debate to lease the new building to Park Burger, the preferred tenderer out of three, for between $ 150-250 per square metre per annum. The new burger restaurant “Will be set in an architecturally significant building” according to CoF documents, and will be 250-350 square metres large.
The building will run on “green power” and the operators might grow organic products on and around the building. They will also seek to acquire a liquor license.
It will be managed and operated by a team of professionals with extensive hospitality experience in WA and Fremantle, but the documents do not disclose who these people are. My guess is that they will include Fishing Boat Harbour operators getting a bit more of the hospitality share in Freo.
The entertainment section for the hub was also tendered for and the preferred tenderer is the Tourist Wheel that is already there, so nothing new in that regard.
Fremantle is experiencing stunning autumn weather with crisp mornings, blue skies and brilliant sunlight, so the Carriage Cafe at the Esplanade is a perfect spot to soak up the sun while having a morning coffee or breakfast.
A new limestone path, parallel to the railway line is being put down to give heavy vehicles access to the reserve, but I am wondering about the location of it as the new Esplanade masterplan wants a new cafe between the ferris wheel and the youth plaza where the new road is being put.
The City of Fremantle is looking for new operators for a new food and beverage hospitality venue on the Esplanade and people to deliver entertainment to the park.
This won’t please the new owners of the Carriage Cafe who just took over the lease and have installed a new roof over the alfresco area. The Esplanade is too small to have two cafes on it, and there is absolutely no need for more cafes in the West End of town as there are already a trillion, and some of them barely turn over enough to survive.
What kind of entertainment would the community want or need on the Esplanade? Is it a carousel and rides for children, already supplied on weekends, or is it something bigger the City wants there?
Don’t forget to have a look at and have your say on the proposed new Fremantle ESPLANADE RESERVE Masterplan which will be on display there near the Youth Plaza from 10-12.30 today, Saturday, September12!
The Esplanade has been mismanaged and over used for many years and that needs to stop. Events have to be spread throughout the inner city but also the outer areas like Booyeembara Park, Princess May, etc. And Kings Square should be activated more often as well.
Wayfinding paths, better wheelchair accessibility, and some shade structures would be a good start. It is also essential to put heavy vehicle restrictions on most parts of the Esplanade where strict traffic controls are being enforced on bump in and bump out days of events.
The Esplanade is our major inner city community green space and it needs to be protected.
ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.
Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.
I had a wander around the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve this morning to get a better idea of what the draft new Masterplan for the reserve is all about and until I have seen detailed drawings I am not convinced that the proposed location for a so-called ‘park hub’ that would require the relocation of the long-established Carriage Cafe, is in the right spot between the ferris wheel and skatepark.
I walked it out and the distance from the path at the railway crossing into the Fishing Boat Harbour to the Youth Plaza is only 30 metres long, and it would only be a 20 short metres from the railway line that might well see more frequent container transport and double stacked containers to accommodate Fremantle Port. Is that the appropriate location for a cafe and shade structures where people would sit next to the very noisy trains and deal with dust, etc? I don’t think so!
When one looks south from the ferris wheel the triangular grass area to the right along the railway line will be developed into a half-size basketball court, so the noise of bouncing balls all day long is not a great invitation to sit and relax nearby and have a meal.
I talked to Carriage Cafe owner Kel Smith who told me he owns the structure and, as a structural engineer, he does not believe it can be moved without doing serious damage to the cafe, so have the officers and consultants considered that in their draft proposal?
The other issue is the extension of Norfolk Street to Mews Road. It would require Mainroads to do that and the PTA to create yet another railway crossing in the area. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new railway crossings that were supposedly needed for the millions of spectators for the ISAF world sailing championships, who never arrived.
Will the PTA be willing to close one railway crossing to open up another one at considerable costs, and will State Government be willing to invest in extending Norfolk Street?
Extending Norfolk Street would likely increase traffic along Parry Street substantially, but the City of Fremantle has also flagged they want to use Fremantle Oval more often for events and concerts. How are we going to address thousands of people coming to a major event having to negotiate heavy traffic along Parry Street?
Moving events from the Esplanade is not going to happen fast as the Jerome Laneway festival received a 10 year lease, if I am correct. I don’t know what the arrangement with the Chilli and other festivals are and if they are long term, but the ice rink has a five year agreement as well.
So far for me the best thing in the draft Masterplan is to create to pedestrian crossings on Marine Parade. they are long overdue and I welcome them.
The proposed new Esplanade Masterplan needs a lot of thinking about details and consequences and it needs a very long period of real community consultation where Council will actually listen and implement what the inner city residents want on the Esplanade. There is still a lot of bad blood about the EYP and Council needs to do better this time.
The proposed new Masterplan for the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve will be debated at Council for the first time tomorrow at the Special Projects Committee and while it will delight local residents and businesses it will probably get heavy thunder from Carriage Cafe owner Kel Smith.
The draft Masterplan by the consultants and COF officers proposes to progressively relocating large commercial events away from the Esplanade, as it could be concluded that such festivals as the Chilli and Jerome Laneway have outgrown the park.
For Kel Smith and the Carriage Cafe it looks as if the planned extension can be put on hold till after his lease expires in 2019, as the Masterplan draft proposes to create a so called ‘park hub’ between the Esplanade Youth Plaza and the Ferris Wheel to accommodate a cafe, shade structures, bike repairs and other short term entertainment.
The consultants believe the current location of the cafe is inappropriate in the long term and might become detrimental to the trees and that could endanger the cafe, patrons and staff. They also believe the (low) heritage value of the Carriage Cafe will be more apparent closer to the railway line
Larger mulch areas around trees to protect them will reduce the grassed area by 40% an way finding paths and restricted truck access are all considered to protect the grass that is seriously damaged and needs to be replaced totally.
It will be interesting to hear the debate tomorrow and see what changes the Councillors want to make, and the excessisve financial costs might make this a very long term project.