Freo's View

FREMANTLE HILTON HOTEL DELAY AGAIN

 

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The construction of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Point Street carpark site by the SKS Group has been delayed again, with the company telling the City of Fremantle they will now not start the construction of the two-level basement carpark of the hotel before mid next year.

SKS had asked the City less than a year ago to terminate the carpark contract so that they could start building the basement in November this year, but problems with ground water on the site and the very wet winter will again delay the start of construction.

SKS bought the site for $ 11 million from the City of Fremantle in 2012 and planned to build a six-storey mix-use development that would house the 150-rooms four star hotel and the 98 Anchora apartments, as well as retail outlets.

The delays are very frustrating for Fremantle, but while the City of Fremantle has an option in the contract to buy back the site if construction does not start within a reasonable time, SKS basically got the City by the balls, because Fremantle Council does not want the property back and it can’t afford to pay back the $ 11 million either, so that leaves our city in limbo. Waiting seven years for the start of construction is unacceptable SKS!

The good news is that many other developers do not engage in procrastination and delays and that there are many new developments in Fremantle, and the other good news is that there will be more parking over the Christmas period and the first half of next year.

Roel Loopers

WOOLSTORES DEVELOPMENT TO START LATE NEXT YEAR

Posted in accommodation, architecture, city of fremantle, development, hotel, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on November 9, 2018

 

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Word on the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre grapevine is that the development of the Adina Hotel by Silverleaf Investments will start around September next year, because Coles is going to spend about $ 6 million on relocating the supermarket further east within the centre, presumably to make way for the hotel lobby.

Just around the corner the Point Street carpark is also still operating, although the SKS Group had asked the City of Fremantle to return the property to them, so that they could start on the basement of the mix-use development, that will also house the Hilton Doubletree hotel.

But we are seeing a lot of development in Fremantle, and more planned, so our city is moving forward.

Roel Loopers

HOUGOUMONT WANT ROOF TOP BAR ADDITION

Posted in accommodation, bar, city of fremantle, development, heritage, hospitality, hotel, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2018

 

The owners of the Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister Street are seeking temporary approval  for two storey additions to the hotel, to be used for food and beverage facilities for the Hotel onsite.

The proposal involves the installation of two sea containers and recladding to create a ‘pop up’ restaurant/bar on the subject site.

Hours of operation are to be consistent with the existing Hotel Accommodation which are Monday – Saturday 6am – 12am and Sunday – 10am – 12 am.

The dining area has been designed to cater for a maximum of 98 seats (74 internal and 24 external) persons; 15-18 full time staff members will operate from the entire premises at any one time (including accommodation, food and beverage components of business);

No live music is to be performed, with only background music to be played.

The business is envisaged to operate for a period of 5 years until the second stage of the Hougoumont Hotel development is to be carried out .

Opinion: I am not at all certain that two sea containers on top are a very good look in the West End heritage area, and while the proposal is for a temporary five-year use only, there is no guarantee that the applicants won’t apply to make it permanent after that.

The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council will debate the matter on Wednesday.

Roel Loopers

 

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MAKE HOTELS MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY

Posted in accommodation, children, city of fremantle, family, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 15, 2018

 

Bradley Woods, the CEO of the Australian Hotel Association has a whinge about Bed&Breakfasts and the unfairness of it all in the West Australian today.

There is no doubt that some regulation needs to be in place for B&Bs, which are already required to have a registration here in Fremantle, but B&Bs are here to stay no matter how much the AHA is against them.

The reality the AHA will have to deal with is that hotels are expensive for families and large groups, in comparison to B&Bs, so what is the AHA going to do about that?

Hotels are also not very family and children friendly, so when are we going to see secure playgrounds and play spaces in hotels? Maybe new hotels could even include community kitchens so that families don’t have to go and eat out three times a day, which is very costly and prohibitive for many. It is one of the reasons people book a B&B, where they can do most of the cooking in house, and the kids might even have a garden they can play in.

While serviced apartments, such as Quest in Pakenham Street at least have a kitchen where one can prepare a meal or two, they still lack facilities for children and families.

I hope some of the new planned hotels in Fremantle will make an effort to cater better for families, to combat the trend toward B&Bs and away from hotel accommodation.

 

Roel Loopers

GREAT FREO BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, architecture, art, bar, city of fremantle, food, history, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 13, 2018

 

 

National Hotel owner Karl Bullers gave me a quick preview of the new rooftop bar and twelve boutique hotel rooms and I left very impressed.

The rooftop bar will no doubt become one of Fremantle’s favourites, with sweeping views over the port, the historic West End and all over the city. The weather was very dull yesterday, so my photos unfortunately don’t do justice to the magnificence of it.

The hotel rooms are all individually styled with handmade furniture by Clint of Port Jarrah, which is just down the road from the hotel in High Street.

The rooms are really cosy and homely, some have views to the port, others over the city. The TVs are internet connected, there are bath tubs in some and twin showers in others, so recommend them to visitors who want something special smack bang in the middle of our beautiful city.

Noise insulation and double glazed windows are all there to ensure absolute comfort for hotel guests.

There are very good paintings along the corridors by local artists, which are for sale, and the National Hotel does not charge commission so is supporting our local creatives

The rooftop bar will officially open on Melbourne Cup Day but Karl Bullers told me that if the weather is fine next weekend he will give it a soft opening to see how it all goes.

It is a great new addition to Fremantle by an owner who has clearly got faith in Freo’s future.

Roel Loopers

This post is a community service and not an advertorial. I do not accept advertising, payment or gifts for my blog posts.

 

TWIGGY BUYS FREO’S ORIENT HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2018

 

Orient

 

Andrew-Twiggy Forrest’s Minderoo Group has purchased the historic Fremantle Orient Hotel in the West End of the port city.

This can be seen as a show of confidence in Freo’s future, so it will be interesting to see what they plan to do with the heritage listed building.

Will the backpackers stay or will the company develop the building into a boutique hotel?

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE ESPLANADE HOTEL FOR SALE

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, esplanade, hospitality, hotel, property, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 2, 2018

 

Fremantle’s iconic Esplanade Hotel is for sale! The historic hotel which opened in 1897 is on the market and is expected to attract offers of around $ 110 million.

The  300 room hotel was sold by long-time owner Marylyn New only six years ago in 2012 for just $ 90 million.

The Esplanade Hotel  has been refurbished and restored and is receiving most of its revenue from tourist accommodation and conferences.

It is being sold with a 3043sqm site opposite the hotel at 7 Essex Street, that has 172 parking bays, and a 78sqm leased retail tenancy and a 314sqm office.

I am not sure if Marine House, opposite the hotel, has been sold yet. It was put on the market about half a year ago.

CBRE’s Aaron Desange, Ryan McGinnity and Chloe Mason have been appointed to sell the hotel, so if you got a hundred million dollars under the bed, contact them.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ORIENT HOTEL FOR SALE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, hotel, property, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on April 28, 2018

 

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The Fremantle Orient Hotel in historic High Street is on the market for around $ 4.5 million.

The present owners bought the hotel about four years ago and invested quite a bit in it.

The building is in a great location in the centre of Notre Dame University campus and I hope it will remain a hotel as most other hotels in High Street have closed.

Roel Loopers

ROOFTOP BAR FOR NATIONAL HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, hotel, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2018

 

National

 

Good to see that the Fremantle National Hotel will become even better with a new rooftop bar and 12 luxury hotel rooms on the top floor.

If all goes to plan they will open in September this year.

Roel Loopers

WOOLSTORES FRUSTRATION ALL AROUND

 

Woolstores

Fremantle Council Planning Committee recommended to JDAP to reject the plans by Silverleaf Investments for the Woolstores shopping centre site, with an amendment to state that council very much would like to see this proposal go ahead as long as the proponent makes the changes recommended by Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee-DAC.

There was clear frustration in the air from both sides with Councillor Ingrid Waltham expressing that everyone on council and in the community wanted good development happening in that area. She said Councillors were lay people and not architect and hence they had to take the advise of the DAC. “This has the potential of becoming an iconic landmark.”

The clearly frustrated architect for the developers flicked page by page stating the DAC recommended this and we did it, they recommended that and we changed it,….. He was quite irate, and rightly so, that the DAC at their last meeting with them had been complimentary about the changes but now had come out of the blue with a new recommendation of a substantial set back for the massive hotel component.

Public speakers said that many architects around Perth did not believe the design warranted exceptional quality design status. One of them was certain that the plans would not be approved by any other council, but that is hypothetical bollocks.

From my personal experience with architects, and I worked for very many as a commercial photographer, is that they rarely like another architect’s work. Many creatives unfortunately are like that.

I also wonder if it would have been better to conditionally approve the development plans with the condition that the recommendations from the DAC need to be implemented. It would send a message to the developers that Fremantle Council is serious about wanting approval for the hotel development but insists on getting outstanding architecture on the site.

The main problem is that Exceptional Design has not been defined in the planning rules, so it comes back to personal taste and preference by the public and architects. Councillor Jon Strachan said that the concept of exceptional design is nebulous.

A fact that should not be overlooked is that if Silverleaf Investments, in frustration about the constant delays, moves its money to another development Fremantle could end up with the ugly shopping centre building for many more years and that definitely is not the desired outcome.

The WA Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP will rule on the planning proposal in due course, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers

 

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