Freo's View

PRINCI BUTCHERS MOVE TO EAST FREMANTLE

Posted in beaconsfield, city of fremantle, food, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2019

 

 

More bad news for the Lefroy Road shopping centre in Beaconsfield with Princi Butchers reported to be moving to East Fremantle soon.

After the closure of Romanos and IGA it was just a matter of time until one of Freo’s famous butchers would also make a move to a place where there are more customers and foot traffic.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE COMPETITIVE LEASING POLICY UNFAIR TO ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES.

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, retail, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on June 11, 2019

 

Item 1906-1 on Wednesday’s FPOL Committee agenda of Fremantle Council raises interesting questions as to why the City of Fremantle has a ‘competitive manner leasing policy’ for its properties.

The item is about renewing the lease of the Fremantle Public Golf Course at Montreal Street and officers suggest that Councillors agree to an exemption of the competitive manner leasing policy because the Lessee has a proven record.

I believe it is pretty fair to extend the lease for the present Lessee but question why that does not apply to other Lessees or License Holders in Fremantle, such as the artists of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct.

It is not as if the competitive policy allows the City to get more money for its properties, because the City sets the rents, so it can only be about wanting change for no practical reasons.

Why does the City want established artists who have been professionally and successfully operating to engage in a competitive process, when there is no guarantee that new artists will be equally successful and able to pay the rent? There have been several failures at Arthur’s Head where at the end the City had to write off outstanding rent because it was not recoverable.

There are not many sculptors who still do traditional life-size bronze sculptures the way Greg James does at J Shed, so that should qualify as unique as well.

Jenny Dawson has run her ceramic art business successfully for twenty years at J Shed and pays full commercial rates to the city, which are determined by an outside consultant.

I have heard the argument from Councillors that if the artists pay commercial rates at Arthur’s Head it won’t be difficult for them to pay full rates elsewhere in Fremantle, but that is bollocks, and even more so for retail art galleries such at Glen Cowans and David Giles.

Establishing a small business is bloody hard work, and starting somewhere else all over again sets back a business by years, so it is time Fremantle Council reconsidered its competitive manner leasing policy because all it does is penalise successful established businesses, and that is very unfair.

Roel Loopers

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WATER PIPES FOR FREMANTLE COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Posted in city of fremantle, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2019

 

I received this information below late yesterday from the Water Corporation regarding the planned work on water pipes in the Fremantle CBD, so it is important to share it with the community. Please pass it on!

Today we met with representatives from the City of Fremantle, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, West End Traders and Freo Now to discuss the proposed work. Key concerns raised included the proposed streets for renewal in 2019, in particular High Street, the timing of this work and potential negative impacts to the businesses.

Following this meeting, we’re looking for expressions of interest from individuals to form a working group. The purpose of the working group is to hear comments, questions and concerns from representatives across the whole project area. Your feedback will play an important role in our decision making process for the project.

Please email pipesforperth@watercorporation.com.au with your contact details, if you’re businesses owner, building owner, or resident and why you’re interested in being a part of the group.

We hope to form this working group as soon as possible and meet within the next week to discuss next steps.

Customer survey

Please check your email inboxes for a customer survey which was sent this morning, asking customers to vote for your preferred working hours and days for the work. We encourage everyone to participate and provide your feedback. This information and your feedback will be used in determining suitable working days and hours for the project.

The survey will remain open until midnight Friday 14 June. The results will be shared with everyone Monday 17 June.

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COMMUNITY NEEDS TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on June 7, 2019

 

retail

 

There is a bit of a discussion going on on Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt‘s Facebook page about the decline of retail when he posted the good article by Nathan Hondros on WATODAY about it. Hondros’ article “Striponomics’ The reasons Perth’s main streets are struggling is no big secret is worth a read.

The usual quick fixes are suggested by some readers; free parking and councils forcing property owners to reduce rents, but neither is a solution in a world where retail has been declining for at least five years and where major shopping centres have replaced traditional high street shopping.

I don’t know all the reasons for the decline in Perth, Mouth Lawley, Subiaco and elsewhere but I do know that the City of Fremantle has been trying hard to keep and get a diversity of retail in the city, instead of more and more cafes and taverns.

Fact is that councils can’t force property owners to lower rents and that many retailers are struggling because of rising outgoings such as power, water and gas. More competition might lower coffee prices for patrons but at the end that is not sustainable either for the operators.

Pop-up shops are the flavour of most councils but they are not a long-term solution because most of those who start a pop-up realise they can’t earn enough if they have to pay full commercial rates plus outgoings, so pop-ups do what their name suggest; they pop up and die after three or six months.

The always suggested free parking is not at all a solution because free parking will be taken up all day by commuters from Fremantle to Perth, backpackers, and Notre Dame students, so that would not leave too many bays for shoppers.

There is plenty of parking in Fremantle on weekdays and residents get free street parking before 11am and after 3pm.

Fremantle Council has a small ratepayers base so parking fees and fines are essential income for our city. Free parking would mean higher rates and I doubt property owners would agree that they had to pay for free parking of others. If it happened they would pass on the council rate increase to their tenants.

On very busy Sundays Fremantle might have the occasional parking issue, but surely no one expects Council to cater for weekend parking by creating more parking bays that would be vacant the rest of the week. It is like suggesting we should have 16-lane freeways to cater for rush hour traffic when for the rest of the day six lanes are sufficient.

I love the feeling of a good old high street, where there is a diversity of shops and were shop operators live above or behind their shops, as was the case in my home town of Hague in the Netherlands, where our family of seven lived behind the corner shop my parents ran, the pharmacist family on the other corner lived above their shop, the grocery shop people and the bookbinder next door lived behind the shop, as did the butcher on the other side of the street.

But times have changed and 25% of Australians engaged in on-line shopping last year, and money is tight with too many unemployed people.

There are never easy solutions, but we can all help by shopping local, even when it costs a few dollars more. Councils can not enforce shopping diversity or lowering of rents and we can only keep asking for property owners to keep the rents as low as possible so that our traders can survive and new traders are more willing to take the risk of starting in Freo.

Roel Loopers

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LET’S TALK FREO UP!

 

Those people who constantly hammer Fremantle Council with criticism about vacant shops, homeless people, anti social behaviour and crime would do well to pay attention to recent media reports.

Shops, cafes and restaurants in Mount Lawley along once extremely popular Beaufort Street are closing in large numbers and they blame high rents and a drop in foot traffic for that.

The decline in retail is happening all over metropolitan Perth, Australia and the world as the traditional high street shopping destinations have been replaced with huge suburban shopping centres on the outskirts.

Media reports about excessive shop lifting and anti social behaviour in Cockburn, Rockingham, Canning, etc have become common, and the West Australian dedicated two pages of their weekend edition on the issues of homelessness in the Perth CBD.

There are no easy solutions for any of these problems and the call from traders for councils to demand that property owners charge lower rents is as unrealistic as it would be unlawful. Governments can not dictate what rents property owners can charge and while high rents in the present retail climate appear almost indecent and selfish there is very little local or state governments can do about it.

Some owners are better and allow pop-up shops to fill vacant shops, but only for a very limited time, so that is only a short-term ‘solution’.

Crime and anti social  behaviour are State responsibility and while Fremantle and most councils do have their own very good security officers they are often powerless as they do not have the right to issue move-on notices or arrest people.

There is no doubt though that the perception of not feeling safe will keep people away. Foot traffic numbers in the Cappuccino Strip have dropped dramatically while they have increased quite a bit in High Street in the West End. The latter is probably mainly due to Notre Dame University students pounding the pavement.

It is always strange to notice on busy Freo weekends how many people are walking along South Terrace but when I turn into High Street the street is nearly void of pedestrians.  Visitors seem to prefer Collie and Essex streets for their East West movement and ignore the far more attractive historic High Street.  Why is that, I wonder?

A prominent Freo business owner urged me last week to promote that we collectively stop talking our city down and that we have to start telling ourselves and our visitors how special Fremantle is.

Only yesterday at the Roundhouse two German tourists told me how much they liked Freo and how friendly people here are, and the volunteer guides hear those kind of remarks very often. We receive so much positive feedback from overseas and interstate visitors that it is hard to believe that some Fremantle residents and traders here have such a negative opinion about our gorgeous little city.

Freo is a great place but like most other suburbs has similar problems and struggles with the retail economy,  anti social behaviour and crime. Attracting more visitors to Freo will partly help with that, and that can only be achieved by not talking our city down, but by talking it up. Let’s give it a try!

Roel Loopers

 

SPUDSHED OPENS TODAY NEAR SOUTH FREMANTLE

 

Tony Galati is opening another SPUDSHED at Rockingham Road just out of South Fremantle today.

The store will be open 24/7 and will no doubt be a big competition for Woolworth, Aldi and IGA in South Freo.

Lots of free potatoes are on offer today to celebrate the opening, so go and have a look.

I’ll definitely go there as it will be the closest store to buy Dutch kroketten and bitterballen. Yum!

 

Roel Loopers

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REAL SUPPORT FOR FREMANTLE’S SMALL BUSINESSES

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on April 3, 2019

 

Great new idea to support Fremantle’s small businesses!

Small businesses in Fremantle will have access to subsidised training, support and mentoring under a new pilot program being trialed by the City of Fremantle.

The City has appointed independent small business advocates Freo Now and local business support organisation Business Foundations to offer the Business Capacity Building program.

The program will initially be open to up to 40 retail or hospitality, bricks and mortar small businesses based in the City of Fremantle, with the City contributing 80 per cent of the cost.

Business Foundations will provide general business advice and performance assessment services, while Freo Now will offer assistance with sales and promotion and financial management.

At the end of the pilot period, the City will consider extending and broadening the program based on the feedback of businesses and the service providers.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the capacity building program was designed to give local small businesses a helping hand in a tough economic climate.

Many small businesses close within a year because they have not done their market research and just follow a dream, so a program that deals with the hard-hitting facts of running a small business in challenging economic times is fantastic.

To apply for the program go to the Business Capacity Building page on the City of Fremantle website: https://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/business/your-business/managing-and-growing-your-business

Roel Loopers

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NEW WATER PIPES FOR FREMANTLE CHANGES

Posted in city of fremantle, community, hospitality, retail, shopping, Uncategorized, water by freoview on March 27, 2019

 

The WATER CORPORATION has advised that the work on the Fremantle water pipes in the inner city this year will be completed before Christmas and that several streets have been deleted from the initial plan, so below the details.

Project timeline

Previously we informed you work will be completed by late 2019. During our discussions many businesses raised concerns about work continuing and impacting trade during the summer months. To ensure our construction work is completed before the busy Christmas and summertime retail period, we have reduced the number of streets originally planned for renewal.

Streets for renewal include:

Bannister Street, between Pakenham Street to Market Street.
Collie Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace.
Essex Lane, between Collie Street and Essex Street.
Essex Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace.
High Street, between Little High Street and Market Street.
Leake Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street.
Marine Terrace, between Cliff Street and Suffolk Street, and Howard Street and Price Street.
Market Street, between High Street and Bannister Street.
Nairn Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street.
Norfolk Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace.
Pakenham Street, between Collie Street and Leake Street.
South Terrace, between Bannister Street and Norfolk Street.
We estimate this construction work will be completed between June and November 2019.

Streets no longer included in this package of work:

Henry Street, between Marine Terrace and Phillimore Street.
Pakenham Street, Leake Street to Phillimore Street.
Phillimore Street, between Henry Street and Pakenham Street.
Short Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street.
Renewal of the water mains on these streets will be completed at a later date.

Who to contact

For more information, please visit watercorporation.com.au/pipesforfremantle. Alternatively, telephone our dedicated Pipes for Perth Customer Solutions team on (08) 9420 3529, available weekdays during business hours or email pipesforperth@watercorporation.com.au.

Roel Loopers

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COMPARING SHOP VACANCIES

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on March 23, 2019

 

Retail vacancies

I pinched this graph from Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s blog who responded to some of the negativity on social media on his blog. Read his blog post here: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/

This one is about comparing the retail vacancies in the major shopping streets in the Perth metro area. It is always good to have the facts at hand and it shows that there are a lot of empty shops in a lot of streets.

Roel Loopers

TRADERS UPDATED ABOUT KINGS SQUARE PROCESS

 

Kings Square

 

Only a handful of local traders turned up yesterday for an update about the building progress of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

These updates at the Federal Hotel have been regular events to keep affected traders in the loop.

Those who came heard form builders Pindan and Probuild, Sirona Capital and City of Fremantle Director Infrastructure and Project Delivery Graham Tattersall that things are going very well and to schedule.

Completion of our Civic Centre community facility will be in July 2020, so a construction period of 18 months. Excavation will start in two weeks for the lower level and the main structure will be up before Christmas this year, so that will give us all a much better idea of what we can expect and how it works in the space.

Sirona is on the home straight with their two buildings and they are estimated to be completed by August/September this year. The paving of Newman Court on the Sirona side will be done in September and the Civic Centre half toward completion of that building.

Queen Street should be back to normal in July when the hoarding there comes down, so that will make traffic flow a bit easier.

The Newman Court thoroughfare between William Street and Queen Street will be open before Christmas, so that is good news as well. Scaffolding around the carpark will be removed in July.

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

 

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