Freo's View

FREO’S CHALLENGING TIME OF TRANSITION

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on February 23, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle, Sirona Capital and Probuild held an information sessions for CBD traders about the Kings Square Project on the balcony of the Federal Hotel yesterday evening.

The big news was the closure of Newman Court for safety reasons because the two building sites-Civic Centre and Queensgate/Myer are expanding and getting too close together to allow safe pedestrian passage between them.

That’s commons sense, but it will no doubt affect the few traders left in the Fremantle Mall. New signage will be placed around Kings Square to try to encourage pedestrians to keep using Fremantle Mall as a thoroughfare.

There will also be new parking signs installed and the naming of carparks and that is important with the imminent closure of the Queensgate carpark and the opening of the new Stan Reilly carpark by the end of March.

Some traders were talking compensation for loss of trade, but not many came up with new ideas about what they themselves could do to attract business from the hundreds of construction and demolition workers and that is disappointing.

They really need to reach out in new, creative and different ways to potential customers and accept that for the next two years it won’t be business as usual.

This is an exciting, but challenging, time of transition for Fremantle that will soon see our city prosper again with so much development on the way and much more in the pipeline and soon to start.

Roel Loopers

FREO KINGS SQUARE DEMOLITION STARTED

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on February 19, 2018

 

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So good to see walls and roofs coming down on the Queensgate building at Fremantle’s Kings Square.

A huge crane in Henderson Street was lifting four portable offices  for PROBUILD onto the roof of the car park, while inside heavy machinery was demolishing the Queensgate building.

The long awaited new development by Sirona Capital will see the all new FOMO retail concept at Kings Square in less than two years.

Roel Loopers

PUBLIC REALM DESIGN FOR KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 19, 2018

 

An officers’ Public Realm Concept Design Plan for Kings Square will be presented to the Strategic Planning and Transport Committee of Fremantle Council this Wednesday at the Townhall at 7pm.

The next stage will then be to produce a sequencing plan for budgeting, phasing, delivery of the project and the start of design development.

It is deemed important to manage and curate activation of the future Kings Square public spaces to ensure they are vibrant, activated and often changing.

The Windows of the Past concept would created windows in the pavement to look down into the recent archeological findings and limestone foundations of the former St John’s church.

The overall budget for improvements to the Kings Square public realm are estimated to be $ 8 million, which has already been captured in the ten year financial plan.

Below some highlights from the agenda:

  •   Re-energise Kings Square and create a destination for people.
  •   Respect the history and cultural significance of the place.
  •   Integrate the various projects that are currently underway.
  •   Create a place that is welcoming, safe and attractive to all.
  •   Deliver a high quality urban space that is civic, resilient and sustainable.
  •   Ensure the project remains strategically aligned with other plans and strategies for the  city.

    In response to feedback on the draft plan, the following changes/proposals have been made to the Kings Square Public Realm Concept Plan:

    1. URBAN FOREST: Addition of one extra shade tree in the main Civic Space to provide improved amenity and further reinforce the mini ‘urban forest’ concept. This will be achieved through the relocation of an additional mature tree from within Kings Square.
    2. NEWMAN COURT: Set-down/pick-up bays in Newman Court have been removed from draft concept to enable full pedestrianisation to occur in Newman Court for specific times of day/week (yet to be determined). A loading zone remains in the concept – this may be time restricted to occur ‘out of hours’ to minimise impact on the future pedestrianised character of the street.
    3. KERBSIDE USES: Minor adjustments have been made to the draft plan to improve the overall functionality and balance between competing needs in the square:
      • –  new coach/tourist set-down/pick-up bays in William and Queen Streets;
      • –  CAT bus stop introduced to Queen Street;
      • –  a loading zone in Queen Street moved around the corner into Adelaide Street;
      • –  3 ACROD bays (instead of 5 general bays for people with mobility needs);
      • –  4 general parking bays in Queen Street converted to set-down/pick-up bays;
      • –  Minor adjustments to locations for motorcycle parking.
    4. STREET TREES: Two additional street trees have been included in Queen Street, near the proposed CAT bus stop. The preferred tree species for planting around the perimeter of the square is the Jacaranda, subject to availability of suitable stock.
    1. ROUNDABOUTS:Replacementofthetwomini-roundaboutsinQueenStreetwith pedestrian-friendly raised road platforms – extending the urban design detailing of Kings Square. (These elements are still subject to further traffic modelling and confirmation that bicycle route integration will be legible, convenient and safe.)
    2. CHILDRENS PLAY SPACE:Development and integration of the schematic playspace design into the overall concept for the square, noting that further refinement will be guided by safety audits (especially with regard to the close proximity of Queen Street).

 

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE ART PROJECT TENDER

Posted in art, city of fremantle, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 15, 2018

 

This is the last call for talented artists or artist teams to put in a submission for our Percent for Art project.

The project forms part of the Kings Square Renewal project and is a rare opportunity for artists to help shape the future of Fremantle’s city centre for the enjoyment of future generations. Submissions close 2.00 pm, Friday 16 February!!!!! 2018. Visit www.tenderlink.com/fremantle

City of Fremantle : Welcome to City of Fremantle electronic procurement and tendering web pages, which has been designed to improve the speed and efficiency for both City of Fremantle and our suppliers.
WWW.TENDERLINK.COM

TEMPORARY QUEENSGATE PARKING CLOSURE

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, development, kings square, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2018

 

 

PROBUILD the builders for the Fremantle Kings Square Project have had a change of mind on how to proceed and the Queensgate carpark will now be closed for approximately four months straight after the Easter long weekend and Street Arts Festival.

After extensive structural testing of the concrete and steel reinforcement by the builders and specialist consultants for Sirona Capital it was decided that the work to remediate and protect the building is a lot more extensive than anticipated.

Removing redundant and corroded steelwork and applying protective poxy coatings will stop further degradation of the building, that also needs modern bigger lifts and improved accessibility, better lighting and security and modern equipment.

The closure is in the interest of public safety and the safety of workers.

A little compensation is the soon to open new carpark at the former Stan Reilly site which will offer 155 car bays in the city centre, plus the additional new street level parking next to the Point Street carpark.

As the old saying goes, there is no gain without pain.

There has been the perception of parking problems in Fremantle, but that ignores the fact that the multi-storey carparks in Fremantle are hardly used on weekdays, as I noticed again yesterday afternoon at 3.30 pm when Queensgate was almost empty.

There are over 5,000 car bays in Fremantle and there is one-hour free parking and all day parking for as little as $ 8.00 per day.

Residents with a permit can park for free before 11am and again after 3pm.

The only parking problem Fremantle has is on weekends of events and festivals when Freo is packed full with visitors, and that motorists want to park on the street straight in front of their destination, and that is an unrealistic expectation.

The carparks along Mews Road just across the railway line also have plenty of vacanct bays.

Roel Loopers

LATEST FROM SIRONA CAPITAL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2018

I just received this media release from Sirona Capital so just want to keep everyone in the loop:

8 February 2018

Comment from Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly Re: Cooper and Oxley

Sirona Capital is being drawn into Cooper and Oxley’s current financial issues when it is widely known throughout the industry that their problems are associated with the construction of a new office/retail/hotel project, Subi XO, located at 500 Hay Street, Subiaco.

There are substantial inaccuracies and rewriting of history in Cooper and Oxley’s writ which will be detailed in our defence if this legal action proceeds.

Cooper and Oxley is a unit holder in the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment, an investment position they took in 2011, and which represents less than three per cent of the overall $220m cost of the project.

This investment cannot be construed to be a loan. Cooper and Oxley is a sophisticated wholesale investor and are aware that real estate equity investments of this type can be, at times, illiquid.

Cooper and Oxley’s involvement in the Kings Square, Fremantle project is limited to their investment in the Trust. They were among several firms who tendered for the construction contract for Kings Square Fremantle. Their tender was unsuccessful. Tenders were assessed on several criteria including price, expertise, capability and financial stability.

After being approached by Cooper and Oxley, Sirona Capital has been assisting Cooper and Oxley’s investment by selling their units in the investment trust. This legal action may undermine the ability to achieve that outcome. To be clear, Cooper and Oxley have always had the ability to do this themselves at any time.

The decision by Cooper and Oxley to pursue a legal remedy and the claims it is making in relation to Sirona’s management of the investment fund will be defended vigorously.

The Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment is now underway. Since signing a 15-year lease with the State Government in late 2016, the pace of work has recently escalated to deliver the commercial component within the Government’s timeframes. Probuild has mobilised on site and significant work has already been undertaken to prepare the former Myer building and the Queensgate building for demolition works, which have begun.

 

FREMANTLE CITY NOT INVOLVED IN KINGS SQUARE CONTROVERSY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2018

 

COMMENT:

I am a strong supporter of the Fremantle Kings Square Project development, a partnership between the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital, but find it rather bewildering that Fremantle City has adopted an ostrich attitude toward the legal fight between builders Cooper&Oxley and Sirona, as reported earlier this morning and yesterday here on Freo’s View.

My query this morning if the City of Fremantle would issue a media statement about the controversy resulted in this reply: “The City is not involved in, and it would not be appropriate to speculate on, what is a commercial issue between Sirona Capital and Cooper & Oxley.

The Kings Square Renewal is progressing well and we look forward to delivering this project, which will transform the heart of Fremantle.”

I don’t want to be negative, and I don’t think for one minute that there is any reason at all to panic, or that the Supreme Court challenge by Cooper&Oxley will negatively impact on the biggest development ever undertaking in Fremantle, but fact is that anything that concerns Sirona Capital in connection with the Kings Square Project also in some way involves Fremantle City as a partner in the project.

If the Supreme Court decided that Sirona has to pay Cooper&Oxley five, six or seven million dollar, that is not a big amount on a $ 220 million dollar project, but financial markets are always fickle and investors a nervous lot, so for the City of Fremantle to say they are not involved is putting the head in the sand.

Cooper&Oxley went into administration today and appointed insolvency experts Hall Chadwick to run its operations.

 

Roel Loopers

BUILDER SUES SIRONA CAPITAL OVER FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2018

 

 

Embattled Perth builders Cooper&Oxley have issued a Supreme Cour writ agains Fremantle Kings Square Project developers Sirona Capital for over $ 6 million.

C&O claim they gave Sirona a $ 5 million loan for the Kings Square Project, which was converted into units in the investment trust in November 2011.

The builders are suing to get their money back, or to remove Sirona Capital from the trust that controls the units. They want $ 5 million plus 15 per cent interest.

They also claim a breach of collateral contract to give Cooper&Oxley the building contract for the Kings Square Project development, which was given to PROBUILD.

As reported here on Freo’s View yesterday evening Sirona Capital’s managing director Matthew McNeilly issued following statement:

“Cooper and Oxley is a unit holder in the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment, an investment position they took in 2011, and which represents less than 3% of the overall $220m cost of the project.

Cooper and Oxley is a sophisticated investor and are aware that real estate equity investments of this type can be, at times, illiquid.

Cooper and Oxley’s involvement in Kings Square Fremantle is limited to this investment. They were among several firms who tendered for the construction contract for Kings Square, Fremantle. Their tender was unsuccessful.

After being approached by Cooper and Oxley, Sirona Capital has been attempting to release Cooper and Oxley’s investment by selling their units in the investment trust. We hope to finalise that process by the end of the month.”

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S KINGS SQUARE PROJECT NOT AFFECTED BY BUILDERS’ PROBLEMS

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on February 7, 2018

 

Channel Nine TV news reported this evening at 6pm that embattled WA builder Cooper&Oxley claim to have a $ 5 million investment in the Fremantle Kings Square Project and that they had requested payment since March 2016, so of course we all want to know what the facts are.

I asked Sirona Capital‘s managing director Matthew McNeilly for a comment and here it is, received just two minutes ago:

It is clear for all to see that the Kings Square, Fremantle redevelopment is now underway. Since signing a 15-year lease with the State Government in late 2016, the pace of work has escalated recently to deliver the commercial component within the government’s timeframes.

Probuild and Delta have mobilised on site and significant work has already been undertaken to prepare the former Myer building and the Queensgate building for demolition works, which have now begun. There has also been an extremely positive response to Sirona’s concept for the retail component of the redevelopment, FOMO.

Cooper and Oxley is a unit holder in the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment, an investment position they took in 2011, and which represents less than 3% of the overall $220m cost of the project.

Cooper and Oxley is a sophisticated investor and are aware that real estate equity investments of this type can be, at times, illiquid.

Cooper and Oxley’s involvement in Kings Square Fremantle is limited to this investment. They were among several firms who tendered for the construction contract for Kings Square, Fremantle. Their tender was unsuccessful.

After being approached by Cooper and Oxley, Sirona Capital has been attempting to release Cooper and Oxley’s investment by selling their units in the investment trust. We hope to finalise that process by the end of the month.

Matthew McNeilly. Managing Director. Sirona Capital

Roel Loopers

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WAITING FOR FOMO FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on February 5, 2018

waiting for FOMO

 

 

I could not help myself and had to take this minimalist photo at Kings Square this morning.

I titled it Waiting for FOMO.

For the uninitiated FOMO is the innovative retail concept by Sirona Capital for the Kings Square Project.

Roel Loopers

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