Freo's View

A LOVELY FREO WAY TO END THE WEEKEND

Posted in city of fremantle, food, fremantle ports, markets, Uncategorized, victoria quay by freoview on February 18, 2019

 

vq 1

 

The Merchants’ Mess Food Truck Markets on Fremantle’s Victoria Quay is a nice way to activate the area on a Sunday afternoon and  early evening.

Good food, mellow music, ships entering and leaving the port, the Rottnest Island ferries dropping off and picking up passengers, and the sun setting behind the port is a lovely way to end the weekend.

There is a very big Portside Traders Markets coming up on Saturday March 16 from 10am-4pm, so make a note of it!

Roel Loopers

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ANOTHER TALK FEST ABOUT FREMANTLE’S VICTORIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, fremantle ports, Uncategorized, victoria quay by freoview on February 5, 2019

 

Old plans for Victoria Quay by CODA

 

I am glad I don’t eat Weet-Bix because I would have choked on them reading the Fremantle Gazette this morning, where on page three it is announced that a ‘steering group’ has been formed with plans for the transformation of Victoria Qiay in Fremantle Port.

I wonder how many more steering and working groups, community and expert consultations and how many more announcements and spin doctoring it will take before we actually see any development on Victoria Quay.

The Steering Group will be chaired by Simone McGurk MLA and will yet again have members of Fremantle Ports, Freo City, Department of Transport, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, the Chamber of Commerce and the Westport Taskfoce on it.

A few years ago CODA architects were engaged by Fremantle Ports to go through a lengthy consultation process and plans were drawn up for Victoria Quay, but nothing ever happened.

Many, many years ago when she was also the Minister for Fremantle Port I walked around with Alannah MacTiernan and other dignitaries where she showed off the Phillimore Street/Cliff Street plans to connect the port better with the city, but nothing ever was done about it. The intersection there is awful with many motorists driving against the one-way traffic flow, while others who want to go to the B Shed ferry terminal end up on the South Mole due to very poor way-finding signs.

So now we’ll have another steering group where Transperth will tell us they don’t want to move the busport further east, we will also not see Pakenham street extended into the port, and I bet that the Cliff Street intersection at Phillimore Street will remain an unacceptable nightmare for motorists for many more years to come.

When will Fremantle Ports and the State Government stop wasting everyone’s time with more talk fests which have no action plans? It is a waste of manpower and taxpayers’ money!

Roel Loopers

 

SUMMER FUN AT FREO’S VICTORIA QUAY

Posted in bar, city of fremantle, entertainment, food, fremantle port, hospitality, Uncategorized, victoria quay by freoview on December 14, 2018

 

VC

 

The very popular pop-up summer DOCK Bar at Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port has opened again for a month, so a perfect spot to watch the sunset and have a cold drink.

The logo above is Vicky.  She is the face of summer at Victoria Quay at Fremantle Port .

Throughout summer there will be terrific activities including maritime movies by the quay, food and merchant markets, Rock Rattle and Roll  Festival and heaps more.

Roel Loopers

 

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WE NEED TO KEEP AN EYE ON VICTORIA QUAY

Posted in development, fremantle, victoria quay by freoview on July 11, 2015

Victoria-Quay-plans

I had not seen this artist impression of the planned Fremantle Ports Victoria Quay development that Oneperth published on-line, so wanted to share it with you. The publication reports State Planning Commission has recommended the approval of the plans.

What is missing in the picture is the railway line crossing at Pakenham Street that was going to connect with the extended Peter Hughes Drive, that was proposed, but we do see a substantial building taking up most of Pioneer Park.

The independent Oneperth also suggests there would be a four-storey bus exchange, probably to the east of the railway station. From memory it was suggested a pedestrian bridge would connect with the to be developed Woolstores shopping centre.

It will be interesting to see if State Government will release final plans for the project ahead of the planned sale of the port as that might well increase the price and put more money in the empty mismanaged coffers of our state.

According to Oneperth there had been no submissions received during a 21 day period, which seems extremely strange, but then again, I am not aware a submission period had been advertised, so most people in Fremantle probably would not have known about it.

I believe the ten-storey tower just to the east behind the railway station needs to be lowered to no more than six storeys as it overpowers the heritage station, and the huge building at Pioneer Park is unacceptable. Mayor Brad Pettitt has just written about increasing public open spaces and Fremantle can’t afford to lose Pioneer Park as a lingering and recreation point to offset the proposed commercial ugliness at Victoria Quay.

Roel Loopers

PROMISING VICTORIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, fremantle ports, victoria quay by freoview on October 9, 2014

The City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee had a first discussion about the just released plans for Victoria Quay by Fremantle Ports. My first impression is that the Ports have listened and taken all the community workshops input into account and the plans are so much better than the two ugly ING boxes proposed years ago that were abandoned due to public pressure.

What we now see is a series of low 4-5 storey buildings with just one higher 10-12 storey building east of Queens Street.

This is an integrated plan and a lot about connectivity between the CBD and the waterfront, with a shift of the busport to the east and a new entry from Queens Street.

There would also be a new railway crossing at Pakenham Street, and Peter Huges Drive in the Port, north of the railway line, would be extended all the way to Cliff Street, which would be an alternative east-west connection to Phillimore Street.

I think these are sensible and acceptable plans that  still require detailed fine-tuning and consideration, but as an overall concept they are positive for Fremantle and to activate Victoria Quay, so well done to Fremantle Ports and consultants CODA for listening so well to the community and all the stakeholders.

On behalf of the Fremantle Society I spoke yesterday against the proposal for a substantial building on Pioneer Park along Short and Pakenham streets and warned that we can not afford to lose more green open space in the inner city, even more so because new development will see many more people using the CBD and they will need green lingering nodes and places for people to relax and children to play.

I pointed out that the City’s desire to activate the reserve was partly to blame on them because they have done little to make the park attractive. For example why is there not a playground near the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre that attracts a lot of kids?

But thinking about it this morning I thought I could envisage a row of 2-3 storey residential townhouses along Short Street being quite attractive and taking up only a small percentage of the green space.

I believe that the City of Fremantle in general needs to better plan public and green spaces, as they do at Subi Centro in Subiaco where the Carter Lane precinct is being promoted as “Green Spaces Galore” and being a “distinctive feature of the precinct.”

There is a bit of ambiguity in the statement that Victoria Quay would have retail that does not undermine retail in the CBD. How is that going to work? The area is designed as a commercial/retail/tourism precinct so that would have cafes, bars and restaurants which would no doubt compete with those along the Cappuccino Strip and elsewhere in the inner city. It’s a silly notion really to believe a new waterfront destination will not attract people away from the CBD. Of course it will, but that is just the way the world works and CBD traders will have to counter act that.

Concerns were raised that there is the opportunity for building heights to go up if they have excellence in design, but that no limit has been set on the additional discretionary height. That is not acceptable and needs to be addressed, and there needs to be a Design Advisory Committee appointed for that and not been left to the discretion of Fremantle Ports.

The idea raised by some Councillors that there could be a “development authority’ for implementing the VQ development is not a bad one as it would bring cohesion to it and deal easier with stakeholders like the Public Transport Authority. This would also take care about a possibility that only the commercially most viable buildings would be built but the public realm neglected.

I am not sure why there would be the need for weather proof access to the train station from the Post Office in Market Street, as Councillor Sullivan keeps talking about. It sounds a bit too much to me as those ugly passage ways they build between school buildings and I can’t see any need for that in a city environment. All over the world one crosses station forecourt squares without being protected from the rain or sun, so why Fremantle needs to have something like it, that will be a visual barrier at Market Street, and needs to be high enough to accommodate buses and trucks, is not something I support. It is a walk that takes two minutes so why we would need protection from the rain and sun I do not understand.

The timeframe and implementation of the plans are crucial I believe. Ideally we would not want VQ commercial office space to compete with that being built at Kings Square, so hopefully Sirona Capital will get a head start and pre-lease the Myer and Queensgate buildings soon and can get started on the development there that is most essential for the re-activation of the inner city.

I am worried about Freo’s short-term future but excited about the long-term one. The modernisation and revitalisation of our city is essential to retain the State’s second city status and it is crucial for our local economy and traders. The entire development of Fremantle though needs to be handled sensitively and the authorities need to insist on high quality and well designed new buildings. Boring bland concret boxes will not do and have to be rejected vehemently.

Roel Loopers

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