Freo's View

DOES ECONOMIC REALITY DEMAND FREMANTLE DEVELOPMENT PRAGMATISM?

 

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The latest development proposal by Silverleaf Investments for the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre site was released last week and has already received criticism that it is boring and ugly, so where from here? I have been thinking long and hard about this conundrum, so here my thoughts.

I agree that this proposal is yet again not for an outstanding iconic building of exceptional design, but I also believe we need to be pragmatic about this if we want the current eyesore to disappear.

From past proposals we can deduct that it is highly unlikely that Silverleaf will ever build and iconic building in Fremantle. Great architecture and aesthetics don’t appear to be a priority for the company, so should Fremantle Council reject this latest proposal as well, or should they approve it so we just can get on with it, because Fremantle desperately needs development in that run down inner east of the CBD?

I believe that the development of the Woolstores, Spotlight site and Hilton Doubletree hotel, together with the Kings Square redevelopment are part of the critical mass to turn Fremantle’s economic, retail, tourism and hospitality fortunes around and attract many more people to our city. If that is the case the community unfortunately will have to compromise on the aesthetics, or we’ll end up with the Woolstores ugliness for another 2-3 decades.

Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien told me at the FREO NOW launch on Friday that Coles will leave if the shopping centre is not developed, and that Target will also close its doors. Fremantle cannot afford to let that happen, I believe.

The proposed six storey addition is in my opinion not great but not an eyesore, and it would definitely be an improvement to what is there at present. So maybe the reality that Fremantle does not have the luxury of being too picky, because we desperately need development, should be part of more pragmatic decision making.

Silverleaf is a major player in Fremantle, with the exciting development of the former justice complex in Henderson Street and a new hotel there imminent, as well as the development of the Manning building in the mall and William Street, so do we want them to walk away from developing the Woolstores site because the proposal is not iconic and visually attractive enough, or do we prioritise economic necessity over aesthetic beauty in that unattractive part of the inner city?

Let’s be clear and honest that up to know all new commercial buildings approved in Fremantle over that last years are not of outstanding design quality, but for the MSC building in Cliff Street. The Myer and Queensgate buildings at Kings Square are not great architecture and neither are the LIV apartment building, or the approved Hilton hotel and Little Lane developments.

Some people who hate high buildings can be happy that the new Woolstores proposal is for only six storeys, so a lot lower than the previous proposal, that was rejected by JDAP because it lacked the architectural excellence required to receive the two storey additional discretionary height allowance.

I was worried the last few years that the Hilton Doubletree development might not go ahead, and although I have been critical about the design of the building, I am happy that the SKS group will now start on the development this year, because I strongly believe that these developments in the east CBD are critical, and once open will make a big positive difference for our struggling Freo traders.

I love outstanding modern architecture and I am disappointed that we don’t seem to attract any of that in Fremantle, but in this case I am for compromise and pragmatism, even when I know I will be heavily criticised for it by some people in our community.

I am looking forward to receiving your opinions, pro or contra, as this is a discussion we need to have.

Roel Loopers

FREO NOW RETAIL SUPPORT LAUNCH

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, retail,, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 24, 2018

 

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The Freo Now-formerly Fremantle BID-Board is planning on how they can help small businesses over the next 12 months!

If you want to hear more come to the official launch this Friday from 5.30pm at the National Hotel – first drink is free!

Roel Loopers

 

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UP UP AND AWAY TO FREO’S FUTURE

 

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The erection of a second large building crane started this morning at Fremantle’s Kings Square.

Builders PROBUILD have taken a section out of the former Myer building to create a courtyard to accommodate the crane.

Walking along William Street one can now also see real progress on the new building that replaces the Queensgate building, with large concrete pillars sticking up into the sky.

Sirona Capital has also started promoting the FOMO retail concept and offering spaces for lease.

There are a lot of positive things happening in Fremantle, so let’s feel like Team Freo and be supportive of our beautiful city.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

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RETAIL PENALTY RATES NOT SUPPORTED BY SAT

Posted in business, city of fremantle, local government, retail,, Uncategorized by freoview on May 29, 2018

 

I am not sure at all why Fremantle Council is wasting officers’ time to investigate higher(penalty) rates for long time vacant street level retail spaces, when other councils have already done so, but their plans were rejected by the State Administrative Tribunal.

Blaming ‘greedy’ landlords for empty retail spaces is ignoring the global downturn in retail and online shopping becoming more popular.

It is even more flabbergasting that Fremantle Council has instructed the administration to investigate penalty rates in a time where traffic and parking in the CBD is impacted by the Kings Square redevelopment and more shops have closed in William Street and the Fremantle Mall because of that.

It is pie in the sky thinking that temporary pop ups by amateurs who don’t have the money to invest in a long time sustainable business is a solution for the retail problems Fremantle and the rest of Australia has.

Many traders in Fremantle have closed after only 6-12 months of trading because they did not do any research on the viability of their business in the locations they opened up shop. A cafe in Phillimore Street that took over from another unsuccessful cafe only lasted three months, which shows the naivety and lack of financial backing of some who start a new business.

Don’t waste officers’ time Fremantle Council!

Roel Loopers

 

SUPPORT OUR FREO TRADERS!

 

Business Directory

 

I haven’t received the Fremantle  Kings Square Business Directory yet, what about you?

We can collect them also at the Visitor Centre at Kings Square if they don’t land in our letter box, so that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning.

It is vitally important to support our local traders during the Kings Square Redevelopment Project construction period, so make an extra effort please and shop local, have a second or third coffee/tea/drink and don’t bother cooking at home but have your meals in town.

Roel Loopers

ANOTHER SUNDAY IN FREO PARADISE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, photography, retail,, Uncategorized by freoview on April 15, 2018

 

Freo lifestyle

 

Just another beautiful Sunday morning in gorgeous Fremantle! I took this photo at the East West Design warehouse in South Fremantle a couple of hours ago.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE PULP PAPER FAIR

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, retail,, Uncategorized by freoview on March 2, 2018

 

Pulp Paper Fair

 

This sounds like a fun event to go to!

Saturday March 3 from 12 noon to 5 pm marks the first ever PULP PAPER FAIR at Smart Casual gallery in retail incubator MANY 2.0. 52 Adelaide Street. Fremantle. 

PULP is part zine fair, part art market, part paper-nerd convention. We’ll have over 40 stalls representing creatives that work with and sell products made from paper. That means; zines, artist publications, art prints, magazines, illustrations, graphic design, boutique printing, original works on paper, and much, much more!

It’s going to be fun! Come along and bring your paper-loving mates.

SELLERS INCLUDE:
Smart Casual, Bunyip, Adult Contemporary, Pulp Flicktion, Eeka, Tim Palman, Dan Martin,Em Williamson, Hotel Bravo, Rebound, Anthony Iacomella, Natsumi de Dianous, Ryan Tuke TV, Xero Boys Distro, Prints by Bow, Alex Maciver, Naomi Ground,  State Team,  Jane Grierson, Eeva Margita, Latibule Art, Zoe Barry,  akreampuff, Kukomise, Anema Designs, Kallie Creative, Maz Effect, The Little Topiary,
Whiteman Park Print Shop, Anniebello,  Sponthanaeity, Lallagret, Sofie Seyah Illustration, Wildergrim, Neighborhood Press,
+ More to be announced!

Smart Casual is located inside MANY 2.0, 52 Adelaide St, Fremantle (between Target and the Chemist Warehouse, over the road from Jacksons).

It is a wheelchair accessible venue, and everyone is always welcome!

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BITCHES BREW NEW FREO ART SPACE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, exhibition, retail,, Uncategorized by freoview on February 12, 2018

 

Bitches Brew

 

Long established Fremantle picture framers BITCHES BREW is expanding and have taken over the former space of the Adam Monk landscape photography gallery at 62 High Street.

Adam Monk decided to get out of  shop retail and will continue as an on-line business only. Check out his website https://www.adammonk.com

Bitches Brew will make the large space in front of their framing business available for rent as a gallery space for artists and other interests.

It is a beautiful space with lots of foot traffic passing by, so great to get attention from shoppers, tourists, art buyers and Notre Dame university staff and students.

If you want to book the space call 9430 5292 and talk to the delightful Ruth or Nigel Goodman at Bitches Brew, or just visit the gallery Tuesday to Saturday and have a chat with them.

For all your framing business Bitches Brew will continue as usual, as they have done in Freo for 30 years.

Roel Loopers

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BUSY FREMANTLE HOLIDAY WEEK

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, retail,, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 29, 2017

 

 

I am very glad for the Fremantle traders to see so many people in town this week. On Wednesday and Thursday the city centre was packed full, and that is very unusual, and today is the same.

At the Roundhouse yesterday we had a record day with 1,399 people coming through the door, and we might have forgotten to count a few as the three volunteer guides on duty were flat out for five hours.

Roel Loopers

 

ONLY A LITTLE BIT CONFIDENTIAL AT FREMANTLE CITY

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, retail,, tourism, western australia by freoview on August 19, 2016

The world of government is an interesting one that has its own rules, so hence the public is sometimes bewildered about processes and outcomes at the City of Fremantle.

Some weeks ago I attended a Council Committee meeting that had as Confidential Items the market review for Mountain Design in the Queensgate building at Kings Square and the Old Fire Station backpackers at Phillimore Street. Confidential Items mean the public gallery has to be vacated and the media can’t attend either.

However the agenda for next week’s Ordinary Council meeting I just read on line is disclosing all the financial details of the confidential items mentioned above. So when did the items become n0n-confidential when the same commercial confidentiality should still apply?:

This report is CONFIDENTIAL in accordance with Section 5.23(2) of the Local Government Act

1995 which permits the meeting to be closed to the public for business relating to the following:

(e) a matter that if disclosed, would reveal –

  1. (i)  a trade secret;
  2. (ii)  information that has a commercial value to a person; or
  3. (iii)  information about the business, professional, commercial or financial affairs of

    a person

    Roel Loopers

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