Freo's View

FREMANTLE ALFRESCO NEEDS MORE CONSIDERATION

Posted in children, city of fremantle, disability, hospitality, pedestrians, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on January 2, 2020

 

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Here comes my first ‘whinge’ of the new decade. Fremantle cafe, bar and restaurant operators and retailers need to be more considerate when putting tables and chairs, or A-frames, on the footpaths and realise they are sometimes creating an inconvenience.

The MONK on the Cappuccino Strip has put two new high bar benches out for patrons, but they are too close to the steps of the venue, and the gap is so narrow that it is a nuisance for people with prams, and near impossible to get through for people in wheelchairs and gophers, or mothers with a double pram.

A -frames are also often thoughtlessly put on the pavement and that makes it difficult for vision-impaired people to navigate their way through Fremantle.

A little consideration goes a long way!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE NEEDS TO GROW TO PROSPER

 

Now that we are nearing the end of the year, and the end of the decade, it is good to reflect on Fremantle’s progress and opportunities.

While other councils refused to accept the State Government’s direction of higher density infill Fremantle Council was more realistic about the fact that urban infill is necessary because the urban sprawl won’t be sustainable.

Fremantle introduced new planning schemes that encouraged developers to invest in Freo, especially the CBD, and it worked with Sirona Capital on the much-needed modernisation of Kings Square that will see many more people working in the city centre from early next year.

It took a while until developers saw the unique opportunities to build in Fremantle, but they came and we saw the Heirloom and LIV residential apartments being built, plans approved for the Little Lane residential development on the former Spotlight site, redevelopment of the Manning building and the Atwell Arcade office building, plans approved for the development and hotel on the former Police&Justice complex in Henderson Street, the start of the Warders Cottages hotel and tavern development, and new hotel plans will soon be approved for the Woolstores shopping centre site.

Plans have also been approved for a wood frame commercial development in High Street, just east of Kings Square, and we are still waiting for the Match group to start on the development of the former Energy Museum, and for the SKS Group to finally commence the Hilton Doubletree hotel building in Point Street.

The residential development of the former Workers Club in Henry Street is nearing completion, there is substantial development in the Knutsford Street area, and there is development in South Fremantle.

Top that with the Freo Social and Old Synagogue attractions and big plans for the Fishing Boat Harbour and no one can argue that Fremantle has not positioned itself very well for an exciting future that embraces old and new, and low and medium high buildings.

Already the second part of this year Fremantle has seen an increase in visitors and there is little doubt that the new FOMO retail and hospitality precinct, with supermarket, at Kings Square will become an attraction, and the four new hotels will create the 24/7 activation of the CBD that is badly needed.

When one compares Fremantle with Subiaco, where council has been reluctant to embrace urban infill, and have now been told by Planning Minister Rita Safiotti that they will have to approve buildings of up to 20 storeys near the train station, one has to be grateful that Fremantle Council took our city’s destiny in their own hands and kept building heights to a more Freo-friendly level. Future Fremantle Councils will need to start planning for a port city without a container port, as there is little doubt that the Westport Taskforce will recommend to the State Government a relocation of the port to Kwinana.

There is sometimes fair criticism about the architectural quality of buildings, but that is an issue that needs to be addressed at State level, and I am not alone to wish for a bit more colour in our city, instead of the drab colours we have been getting.

I honestly believe that Freo’s future is great and that we all have a lot to look forward to. Anti development sentiments constantly expressed by a few people who are disgruntled with Fremantle Council are not very helpful. Fremantle needs to grow to prosper!

Happy New Year!

 

Roel Loopers

PS and former North Fremantle Councillor Rob Fittock chastised me rightly for not mentioning the Leighton Beach and other development in North Freo. Mea Culpa!

BEAUTIFUL NEW FREO BOB’S SHOE STORE

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shoes, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on December 8, 2019

 

Bob's

 

A lot of shops have moved sideways in the Manning building to accommodate the redevelopment that Silverleaf Investments are doing there.

When walking back from the Christmas Carnival at Victoria Quay yesterday I noticed that the Bob’s Shoe Store has relocated and now is in a lovely modern new shop with exposed brick walls, designed by the son of owner Cory Fong.

Broome resident and Aboriginal elder Fong told me that Bob’s had been at the Cappuccino Strip for over 30 years. That is about as long as I have known Cory.

Roel Loopers

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FREE-O CHRISTMAS PARKING

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on November 15, 2019

 

People shopping in Fremantle will be getting free parking from December 2 to Boxing Day at 27 carparks in the CBD.

Motorists will be able to park for free for up to two hours from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 4pm in one of the 2,300 bays.

Fremantle Council is trying to do everything to convince people to shop locally in our port city.

I do support the free parking but question why it is for two hours only and not for a three-hour period, so that shoppers have time to shop more leisurely and have enough time also to enjoy lunch and breakfast.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MALLS MALLS

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on November 12, 2019

 

Fremantle Malls

 

There are definitely more than one Fremantle Malls. ; >)

Roel Loopers

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BE A FREO LOCAL SUPPORTER

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, retail, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on October 25, 2019

 

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FREMANTLE SMALL BUSINESS FRIENDLY CITY

 

The City of Fremantle has committed to supporting local businesses by signing up to the Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative.

The initiative run by the Small Business Development Corporation requires local governments to sign a charter which outlines what they will do to support small business in their area.

The charter includes standard activities required of all local governments as well as at least three additional activities specifically suited to the size and demographics of individual councils.

It also includes recognition that the small business community is an important stakeholder, a commitment to provide clear advice and guidance on regulations and compliance and an agreement to limit administrative burdens on small business.

WA Small Business Commissioner David Eaton said small businesses were an essential part of Fremantle’s local economy.

“It’s pleasing to see the significant small business city of Fremantle commit to the Small Business Friendly Local Government initiative,” Mr Eaton said.

“Fremantle is in many ways defined by its amazing range of small businesses and the vitality they bring to the community.

“Through the SBFLG initiative, I’m confident the City’s small businesses will be even better placed to develop and grow.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt it was an important step to formalise the City’s support for small business by signing up to the Small Business Friendly Local Governments charter.

“We recognise that one of the main reasons why Fremantle is such a popular place to visit is because of our fantastic mix of independent retailers, hospitality venues and other small businesses,” Mayor Pettitt said.

The standard activities the City has agreed to as a Small Business Friendly local government are to ensure small business suppliers are paid within 30 days, regular meetings and consultation with the business community and establishing a timely and cost effective dispute resolution process.

The additional activities the City is undertaking to support small businesses include the ‘This Is Fremantle’ destination marketing campaign, the Business Capacity Building program and access to the online grant portal Fremantle Funding Finder.

The City is required to provide a report on its business friendly initiatives every six months.

To find out more about how the City of Fremantle is supporting small business visit the Business page on the City’s website.

For more information about the Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative please visit the SBDC website.

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PARKING DELAYS NEW NORTH FREO BAR

Posted in bar, city of fremantle, city planning, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2019

 

The application for a small bar/cafe and fashion outlet in North Fremantle took 50 minutes of time at the Fremantle Planning Committee,  with residents and traders arguing that there was a shortage of parking in the area and hence a new bar would not be sustainable.

The application is not for a new development but for a change of use of the old church building that has been an antique shop, a surf shop and a cafe. The place would open 15 hours a day and seven days a week, so would attract more daytime visitors

Some Councillors agreed that parking was an issue for the new business but other elected members said parking was not provided by other traders in the street, such as Mojo and Propellor and that parking was not a planning issue but a strategic planning issue for the council.

The idea that parking could be provided at the bowling club was supported by some but not by others, and I for one don’t like the idea of asking inebriated people to cross very busy Stirling Highway to get there.

At the end the Planning Committee voted on a motion by Councillor Bryn Jones to defer the item to full council in three weeks. I doubt that the parking issues will be resolved by then.

Roel Loopers

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FREO CITY SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, tourism, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on August 21, 2019

 

The City of Fremantle has committed to continue with the delivery of its Business Capacity Building Program after the successful pilot program earlier this year.

The program provides small businesses in Fremantle access to subsidised training, support and one-on-one mentoring.

The City will continue to partner with independent small business advocates Freo Now and local business support organisation Business Foundations.

The City has also teamed up with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council WA to diversify the support on offer and provide alternative ways for businesses to engage with the program. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said that there are lots of positive signs for Fremantle’s economy and some exciting developments on the horizon, but that the City recognises that it will take some time for small business to feel the benefits of it.

In recognition of the importance of growing the tourism sector, the City will be delivering three workshops facilitated by Tourism Council WA exclusively for Fremantle tourism businesses.

The workshops will focus on taking advantage of the global travel distribution system, which enables businesses to establish connections with wholesaler and travel agents to promote their products nationally and internationally.

The dates for the tourism workshops are still to be finalised but it’s likely they’ll be held in October, November and December this year.

Following a successful trial during the pilot period, the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will deliver a series of ‘Set the Month in Motion’ workshops and podcasts throughout the year.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Danicia Quinlan said the program would help small businesses to develop strategies to overcome the current economic headwinds.

In addition to mentoring and training, the Capacity Building Program also provides the Fremantle business community with access to the online grant portal, the Fremantle Funding Finder.

Powered by GrantGuru, the portal lists the grants and funding opportunities being offered by a range of agencies throughout Australia.

To apply for support through the Business Capacity Building Program or for information regarding upcoming workshops visit the Business Capacity Building page on the City of Fremantle website.

 

Roel Loopers

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