Freo's View

FREO’S MANY 2.0 IS EVEN BETTER!

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on March 17, 2017

Fremantle has a fantastic new large retail outlet in the former Spotlight building at Adelaide Street next to Target. MANY 2.0 is the incubator for independent small businesses that started as Many 6160 in the former Meyer building at Kings Square in 2013, but had to relocate due to the Kings Square project development.

I like the more compact and cohesive MANY 2.0 retail collective in the new location better than at Kings Square as it looks more lively and like a nicely crowded creative market place that invites to browse and discover cute innovative things.

There is so much to look at and buy so MANY 2.0 should be one of your first destinations if you are looking for gifts for someone. There is bric-a-brac, art, fashion, craft, designers, a hair dresser, cafe, hats and a large variety of other quirky and funky things.

MANY 2.0 is open Thursdays to Sundays but they are already talking about probably opening another day because there are many more people in the area than at Kings Square.

Go and check it out and support local small retailers!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SAFER FOR SHOPPERS

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, retail by freoview on March 9, 2017

 

The Fremantle BID concierge initiative in the Atwell and Manning High Street malls has been very successful according to the latest figures from Triparty.

  • Anti-social behaviour was recorded 27 times in September 2016, but it was zero in January 2017.
  • Begging of 24 cases recorded in September ’16 was down to 6 in January ’17.
  • Busking went down from 12 in Sept to only 1 in January.
  • Street drinking went down from 5 recorded cases in September to 0 in January.
  • Shop lifting came down from 15 cases in September to just 1 in January.
  •  Sleepers/homeless people down from 16 in September 2016 to only 1 in January 2017.

These are remarkable figures that show that the right actions do make Fremantle a safer place to visit and shop in.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE’S EXCITING MODERN FUTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, economy, retail, shopping, tourism by freoview on March 8, 2017

There was a rather exciting BID-Business Improvement District meeting at the National Hotel on Wednesday evening that spelled out the future of the Fremantle inner city, and I was very impressed.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was important that the business community engaged with the City and that they went on the journey together.

Pettitt admitted the next 3 years are going to be challenging for inner city traders because of the disruptions caused by the massive development at Kings Square and elsewhere in the CBD.

The Mayor said it was disappointing that the Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site will now only start in the first quarter of next year, so that is another lengthy delay.

The more I see of Gerard O’Brien, the boss of Fremantle developers Silverleaf, the more I like his no-nonsense approach and straight-forward message that Fremantle only has a three-year window before Garden City will more than double in size.

“We need to keep moving as we have suffered big time in Fremantle”, O’Brien said. “We need to get our act together and support each other as a community and Council. It needs to be a team effort!”

Silverleaf has huge plans for Fremantle and O’Brien said that they are only the custodians and want to leave something behind that all of Freo can be proud off, not just a glass box.

O’Brien then revealed his plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site and that is very exciting for Fremantle. The development is 26,000 square metres.

There will be an Adina Hotel, commercial floorspace and -hallelujah!- student accommodation! Plus a shopping centre at ground level and underground parking.

Coles will keep trading during the construction period and Gerard O’Brien believed that was essential to keep attracting shoppers into the inner city.

O’Brien said the design of the building pays tribute to the heritage and pays homage to the environment the new building will be in.

I quite like the old&new architecture with red bricks at ground level and vertical cladding similar to the new Perth library and theatre buildings, while the levels above that are very modern, but quite striking and minimalist.

The entire roof will be solar panels, which O’Brien said was a good investment, while the windows will be double-glazed and have new technology in them that will keep out the sun and keep the interior cool. I am impressed!

Silverleaf will also be developing “ the beautiful piece of history” former police and courthouse complex and Warders Cottages at Henderson Street into three-star history tourist accommodation with 64 rooms. It will also have a market place open space and four different concepts that are all about tourism.

New BID CEO Tim Milsom said the transformation of Fremantle is about to happen and that Silverleaf could develop anywhere in the world but chooses to do so in Fremantle.

Milsom said BID have plans for a creative hub and an aspirational business mix but O’Brien said that Fremantle has enough specialty stores.

Milsom said we need to find out from the community and visitors what is missing in Fremantle and what will bring people back. For example there is no hardware store in Freo anymore.

There is no bakery or butcher or corner deli in the CBD either, but more than a dozen new shops will open in Fremantle soon, so that is more good news.

Many 6160 are moving from the former Myer building at Kings Square to the former Spotlight building next to Target and are due to open next week.

I put my neck on the line and say that this is very good news for Fremantle and that we are on the right track to create a great vibrant city where hundreds of tourists will stay over night, eat, drink and shop and where we will finally have many students living in the inner city.

Roel Loopers

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GREAT SHOPPING IN FREO’S WEST END

Posted in fremantle, heritage, retail, shopping by freoview on March 1, 2017

 

High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End is the most beautiful street in Western Australia in my opinion.

It is also a fantastic old-style high street shopping experience that has a sense of wonderment about it. If it had a roof over it it would be one of the world’s most stunning shopping arcades.

There is such a large variety of traders in the Goldrush period buildings that I thought to mention them all, because there are probably quite a few you don’t know about:

  • The National and Orient hotels, Lapa Brazilian restaurant, Roma Cucina Italian restaurant.
  • Chalkys, Blink, Hush, Breakers, High Street Dispensary, Piccolo, Cafe 55, Quinlans, and Common Grind cafes.
  • Japingka, Adam Monk, Artisan Store galleries.
  • New Edition and the Second Hand bookshops

and there is a whole lot more!

Clara Beauty, Remedy, Bousfield, Adulshop, the Police station, Notre Dame University, Enzo D’Allessandro hairdresser, Djurra, Ugg Australia shoes, Three Stories fashion, Common Ground fashion, Fremantle Beach and the Sundance backpackers, Printline, Bitches Brew framers, Unique Hair, Bodkins Bootery, Anjel MS fashion and Fremantle Art Space, Kartique. Ame Belle fashion, Port Stationary, Dreske Somoff leather, Tuart Place social services, Australian Maritime Officers Union, West Coast Cruise&Travel Centre, High Street Chemist, Haute on High fashion, Lee’s newsagency, Compendium, Ancient Earth, Lavita hairdresser, Finishing Touch gallery, Rialto Apartments, The Record Finder with two shops, Port Jarrah furniture, Absolutely Adult, the Buffalo and Navy clubs, ACAI Bros raw food, Brazilian Butterfly beauty, Miss Chats Bar.

You still want to argue there is no shopping variety in Fremantle? This is just one street full with it!

To top it all off Freo’s most gorgeous street ends at WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and the lovely Bathers Beach.

It is anyone’s guess why the City of Fremantle and BID don’t do more to promote High Street as a great shopping experience that has character, is very Freo, and very different from the sterile shopping boredom in the major centres.

Roel Loopers

IS BID GOOD FOR FREO BUSINESS?

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, tourism by freoview on February 27, 2017

I am surprised to hear Fremantle Council has again deferred a decision about extending Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District.

Surely by now Council should have made up their mind if BID is good for Fremantle retailers or if it is better to handle all the marketing in-house at the CoF’s Economic Development and Marketing Department. I have no doubt Director Tom Griffiths will have strong views on this and Councillors should listen to his expert advise.

It is interesting that the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce opposes the continuation of BID, which must be a clear sign that the two organisations did not work and communicate well together, but the Chamber is also critical about just about everything the City is doing, so there is a lot of room for improvement there on all sides.

I am not sure what it actually is the Chamber of Commerce does for traders, especially smaller ones in Fremantle, as their main activity seems to be to organise parties. One has to wonder if networking between members is going to benefit any of the small retailers or cafes.

Is a Sparkling&Oysters Twilight Sail, Business Luncheon, Sundowner with Westpac, or Tourism Industry Sundowner with Quest really doing anything to promote, support and market Fremantle retailers to potential customers?

For BID to survive though and get support from the City of Fremantle and CBD businesses it needs to have a clear concept and understanding of what its role is.

I for one don’t believe BID should be organising major events, as the CoF and external event organisers already do that. But it should be one of BID’s roles to connect Freo businesses with events or run promotional events concurrently with major events in the CBD. An early weekdays loyalty card/App system might also attract more shoppers into town at the start of the week.

One thing BID and or the City of Fremantle also could do is promote Fremantle in Perth. A pop-up shop near the railway station there would be an idea, or people with sandwich boards, as would be a pop-up Visitor Centre at Pioneer Park on event days and when cruise ships arrive in Fremantle Port. We need to do more little things better and more often.

The best way to move forward is to get rid of egos and for BID, the Chamber and the City to work closer together for the benefit of all Freo businesses.

BID’s new CEO Tim Milsom is a hands on man with a can do attitude and that is the positive energy we need and want in Fremantle, so why not do a one-year trial period at least to see if Milsom can reinvigorate BID.

Roel Loopers

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MANY 6160 GOODBYE PARTY TODAY!

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on February 24, 2017

many-6160

 

Don’t forget to come to the goodbye party for MANY 6160 in the former Myer building at Fremantle’s Kings Square from 5-9 pm today.

Family entertainment, live music, food vans and more, and lots of things to buy.

Roel Loopers

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GOODBYE PARTY FOR FREO MANY

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on February 9, 2017

MANY 6160 in the former Myer building at Freo’s Kings Square will have to move because of the Kings Square project development, so on Friday February 24 there will be a goodbye party. Below the details:

Wonderful friends of MANY. As you know, at the end of this month, we’re on the move…. so that means one thing;

A GOODBYE PARTY! BAZINGA!

Everyone is welcome to join us for this free-to-attend event at MANY (entry via King’s Square doors) from 5pm on Friday 24 Feb. Come by to enjoy live music, DJ’s, games, food trucks and a bar.

We’d love to see as many of you here as possible – so we can thank you for your amazing support over the past 3.5 years.

Kids, grannies, pets, and all your mates… everyone’s welcome to party with us. See you there.

I understand that some of the MANY businesses will temporarily move into the former Spotlight building that is also earmarked for development, while others are moving into the Henderson Street police station/courthouse complex.

Roel Loopers

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BETTER BID BETTER BUSINESS

Posted in bid, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, retail, tourism, traders by freoview on February 9, 2017

The decision to continue with the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District was deferred on Wednesday evening by the City of Fremantle’s Finance, Policy and Legislation Committee because members were not convinced that BID has found its niche yet, in what Chair Andrew Sullivan called the Holy Trinity of BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the CoF. It had five years to find that focus.

New BID CEO Tim Milsom told the Councillors about plans for new events, markets, getting external funding etc. but the elected members questioned if it should be BID’s role to organise events or rather to connect traders better with events the city and outside organisations already put up.

How do businesses, especially retailers, get to benefit from events and what are the programs, outcomes and benefits councillors asked.

Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce spoke against extending the BID contract for another three years.

It was questioned how effective and successful BID could be when relying on a handful of volunteers and staff.

BID has been successful with running treasure hunts during school holidays which attract large numbers of children with parents who stay in Fremantle long, discover new businesses and often come back a second day to do the whole list.

For example the Sculpture@Bathers show could have a fringe events where artists who are not invited to the main show on Bathers Beach exhibit their sculptures in the windows of shops all over Fremantle and walking tours to view them could be organised by BID. Retailers could offer specials to people who come to events and tap into social media more and better.

For BID to want to organise new markets they should realise that there are already too many markets around Perth according to unhappy stall holders. The Friday night market at Princess May Market failed to attract new people and the Fremantle and E Shed markets, and the very successful South Beach food market and Growers Green farmers market cater for weekend visitors already.

The challenge for BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fremantle is to attract visitors to Fremantle at the start of the week. Freo is doing okay on Fridays and quite well on Saturdays and Sundays, but needs to get busier the first four days of the week. What can be organised to turn Freo from a weekend destination into an all week one?

I think the City will extend BID but it would require that the organisation deeply contemplates its role and find its focus because it has not been able to do that in BID’s first disappointing five years.

If my information is right I understand BID bought the artwork in front of Bathers Beach House and that is definitely not their role.

It should not be up to the CoF to come up with new ideas for BID because the concept is that this independent organisation would cut through red tape and connect with traders. If BID has a lack of concept, focus and ideas than the City’s marketing and economic development department might as well do it in house an use the $ 350,000.00 a year BID has been getting the last five years.

 

Roel Loopers

BETTER BID TO SUPPORT FREMANTLE TRADERS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, retail by freoview on February 3, 2017

The FPOL Committee of the City of Fremantle has an interesting and varied agenda for this coming Wednesday so I hope more members of the public will take and interest in local council governance and turn up to observe it all.

The Youth Council, and  Alcohol Policy are on the agenda and also the important question if the City should continue with the BID-Business Improvement District. It looks like the CoF will do that for another three years and once the Kings Square Project is completed it will reconsider if BID will be needed in a very changed CBD climate.

Changes will have to be made by BID and the announcement that former Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Milsom will head BID from this year on will no doubt be applauded by the business community.

Come along on Wednesday from 6 pm and see how local government works!

Roel Loopers

 

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FREE WEEKDAY PARKING IN FREMANTLE?

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, parking, retail, shopping by freoview on January 27, 2017

Deep from the bowels of the Fremantle Townhall comes info that the City of Fremantle is seriously considering introducing free parking days during the very quiet first half of the week.

Fremantle is so much of a weekend destination that on Mondays and Tuesdays it often looks like a ghost town that only a few locals visit, so there are quite a few retailers who are struggling to survive.

The perception of parking problems and the lack of vacant parking spaces has been going on for years and there are still no signs around the city pointing out all day cheap parking options for visitors.

One issue with free parking would be Notre Dame University students, as those who now come by public transport, because it’s cheaper than parking, might be encouraged to also drive into the West End and occupy parking spaces intended for shoppers.

I understand full council will debate this issue in four weeks, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers

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