This photo taken from the top of the Fremantle Townhall on Friday has historic significance for Fremantle as the inner east CBD will look very different in a few years from now with major development plans for the area.
In about five years we will see the new Woolstores shopping centre commercial, hotel and student development by Silverleaf, the Point Street Hilton Doubletree hotel project, and the eight-storey residential development of the former Spotlight building, and just beyond that the residential development next to the Hotel Australia at Beach Street.
An interesting affordable housing project will be developed in Fremantle on the corner of Blinco and Wood streets in White Gum Valley by the Fini Group.
The EHDO Nightingale apartments will be sold under market value to ‘ethical investors’ who can only sell their property at agreed market value.
The apartments will have shared laundry facilities and communal gardens, so it all sounds very Freo.
I understand the concept was created by Melbourne architects and the Freo project will have 12 apartments initially.
This is what EHDO says:
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.
The Nightingale ethos is driven by the reality that home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach, especially in Australia’s major cities. The rise of apartments in suburbs has not made housing more affordable, nor has it contributed to suburban quality of life, in terms of good housing and neighbourhood design, access to services, and community building.
Nightingale developments aim to increase affordability by selling housing directly to homebuyers without many of the ‘add on’ costs associated with typical developments, such as agent fees, marketing and display suites. The requirements of the owner-occupier and the community are emphasised over investor profit.
For those interested in alternative living projects the Exploring Tiny Houses in Fremantle – and Different ways of Living Tiny is a good way to connect with like-minded people, network and share ideas.
Join Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton – back from her recent trip to Europe – plus other expert panelists for a discussion and presentation of examples by local people who are pioneering a new phase of modest housing in Fremantle.
Its on Thursday March 2nd at the Fremantle Library from 6pm-7:30pm.
In times of a lack of really affordable housing, homeless people, a fast ageing population, and many mature singles and students looking for small living options, local councils should do more to explore options and find ways of alternative living.
Fremantle resident Leanne McKenzie is passionate about Freo and alternative living and sees a need for innovative new ideas to deal with the fact that Fremantle is becoming more expensive and becoming less accessible to those on lower incomes.
Leanne believes that people who want to live in and be part of Fremantle should have diverse housing options available. She says “Fremantle is what it is because of passionate community minded people, so if this type of person wants to live here they should have access.“
She has years of experience with construction and renovations, and personal experience as owner builder renovating her Fremantle workers cottage on a very tight budget, and exactly how she needed it, but paying tribute to its humble origins.
Leanne says she took the decision to help the many others who struggle to get started extending and renovating their homes, and she has assembled an excellent team of designers, real estate professionals and trades to help guide others in taking the step.
“It is better reducing our ecological footprint, solar, thermal efficiencies etc. and upcycling our homes if practicable, rather than bowling over and starting from scratch.”
When Leanne McKenzie was told that her 90 sqm 3 bedroom home was too small for energy efficient hydronics systems, she decided to design one herself.
“I want to equip people with the information and processes so they can make informed designs about their renovations, incorporating new technology and not spend big dollars if they are not precisely sure what they want. We don’t need BIG to live happy, we need quality spaces that enhance our lives and connect us to our neighbourhoods.”
She is working to design a very special tiny house. “Mobility, ecological footprint, advanced technology is all part of our future for how we will live, but (re)connecting to our natural world, our neighbourhoods and communities is more important. This is what Fremantle does so well, and this should be accessible to all of us. “
For more detail contact Leanne.mckenzie@UrbanAesthetics.net.au
LiveLittle.com.au for more information on tiny house initiatives
While the LIV residential apartment project at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street is well under way, it is reported that Perth has one of the world’s least-affordable housing markets, according to property experts.
In a report published in the media today they state that house prices are more than six times the average income in Perth, which is $87,300.
According to Demographia, which compares housing affordability in cities of over one million population, Australia’s major problem is urban containment planning policies.
Urban containment, infill and higher density policies in WA try to reduce urban sprawl by encouraging more density rather than releasing new so-called greenfields sites. This often negatively affects older character suburbs where inappropriately high and often ugly buildings are destroying the urban amenity.
Housing experts say that high house prices are not a sign of a city’s success but a sign of failure to deliver the housing that its citizens need. Affordable housing is no doubt impacted by high property prices and that is an additional worry.
Living Together Better is on tonight at 6.30 at the Fremantle Townhall, so everyone interested in alternative living/sharing projects should attend and share their opinion and ideas.
It is organised by Meriam Salama who is an architect and founder of a social enterprise that seeks to provide affordable housing through co-ownership. Her venture, The Henry Project, seeks to provide opportunities for multiple small households to share ownership of a single dwelling, living independently, but with some shared facilities. The basic premise is that living together equates to living better; living together provides better affordability, and better social connectedness.
Living Together Better will give people the space to meet others similarly interested in the idea, to start developing connections that may lead to this type of co-living.
The model Salama is offering can make affordable housing, with genuine social benefit, a viable alternative in the Fremantle area.
W.A. Planning Minister Donna Faragher’s statement that higher density is needed near train stations is not up to the high standards we expect of a Minister. Making broad sweeping statements is plain wrong and surely the state government in collaboration with local councils needs to find the best suitable areas near public transport to increase density and infill, instead of demanding higher density near all train stations.
Older unique character suburbs like Fremantle, Claremont and Subiaco, etc. would be destroyed if we just planted highrise buildings close to the train stations, while in other newer suburbs high density might actually improve the amenity.
Governments have this strange attitude that change needs to happen everywhere instead of targeting suitable suburbs for higher density living. It would also help if the state actually supported local councils which want to increase infill by improving public transport corridors and not just along the railway line where most older suburbs are.
The sun is out in Fremantle and I needed fresh air, sunshine and a nice walk, so I went and had a look at the progress of development around the CBD.
I started at the huge Defence Housing site at Queen Victoria and Quarry Street where building will start early next year. It is opposite the impressive Heirloom development of the old woolstores there, so two significant residential developments in the east of the CBD.
Over in the west end a lot is happening with the gorgeous Elders building in Cliff Street, the Quest Hotel on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets and the residential development on the corner of Pakenham and Bannister streets all opening very soon.
The Quest Hotel looks more acceptable now that the cladding has been put up, but for my liking it is still one storey too high for Pakenham Street.
The Atwell Arcade building is also close to opening, so we’ll see more office workers in the city soon.
City planning is a huge challenge for every local council, but without development there can’t be progress, so it is good to see Fremantle is moving forward to becoming a modern city with a beautiful heritage heart.
My mate Saff Ali is one of Fremantle’s newest real estate agents, so if you want to buy or sell a property contact him at Smarchoice!
Saff and his colleague drove by as I was photographing the Atwell Arcade, so had to take a quick snap of the cute little car.
Ali is a lovely guy and also a very good photographer. He is the one in the foreground.
The development of the former Fremantle Kim Beazley school site in White Gum Valley is going ahead well and will be an interesting new housing site there. The development is a collaboration between Landcorp and the City of Fremantle.
The Men’s Shed on the site has to be relocated and a big new shed is nearly finished at the Hilton Bowling Club.
Every time I drive past the WGV site I am disappointed that a sustainable development of this kind saw the need to clearfell the area before starting development, at a loss of nearly 100 mature trees. Trees should be relocated to make way for development and not destroyed. It takes years for trees to mature and we need to do a whole lot better to preserve them.