Freo's View

STILL HOPE FOR FREMANTLE HILTON HOTEL

 

Artist’s impression of the DoubleTree by Hilton Fremantle

 

The article in the West Australian today about the one-year delay for the opening of the Doubletree Hilton Perth Waterfront hotel at Elizabeth Quay gives some hope for Fremantle.

The Malaysian SKS Group says it wants to get started on the $ 115 million Fremantle Hilton Doubletree at Point Street this year, so let’s hope this is not again another promise they won’t keep, as the project has been delayed for far too long. The company was due to start with a two-level basement car park last October but applied to Fremantle Council for another delay.

Good news also for Cockburn with the SKS Group planning to build a hotel at Cockburn Central as well.

Roel Loopers

IT HAS BEEN A VERY BIG YEAR FOR FREO’S FUTURE

 

I have been contemplating what the memorable moments in Fremantle were for me this year, so let’s make a start.

  • The Kings Square Redevelopment Project is no doubt the most significant one in decades for our city, so I walk by daily to have a look.
  • The Heart of Beacy project could positively change and modernise the suburb and provide much-needed urban infill.
  •  Andrew-Twiggy- Forrest showing faith in Freo’s future by investing in property here is significant.
  •  The Woolstores hotel development finally approved and two other hotels in Henderson Street as well.
  • If it is environmentally safe the South Fremantle solar farm will be a good development.
  • No more single-use plastic bags.
  • The tavern proposal by Sunset Events for J Shed was finally given the boot by the WAPC.
  • The removal of the stunning Felice Varini yellow art work is a major headache for the city and property owners in High Street.
  • Traffic calming in South Fremantle looks great and so does the Hilton Town centre.
  • Destination Marketing planning for Freo is under way, so let’s wait and see.
  • By-election for South Fremantle won by Andrew Sullivan-again.
  • The Long Table Dinner is huge, great and very Freo.
  •  Age Friendly City working group established.
  • Highrise proposal for Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle stopped.

It has been a big year for Fremantle and next year is going to be similar when many of the approved developments will start and the FOMO retail concept opens at Kings Square before Christmas 2019.

And at the risk of some people accusing me of sucking up, I want to express my thanks to Freo’s very diligent councillors. I do not always like their decisions, but they make them with care and after long deliberations, as I witnessed myself by going to about 80 per cent of council and council committee meetings this year, to see first hand how our grassroots democracy works.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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LET THERE BE. SUNSET

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, photography, sailing, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 4, 2018

 

BE. sunset

 

I was hoping for a real red and soft sun on Monday, because of the bushfire in the northern suburbs, but that did not eventuate.

The photo I took at the yacht club near the Fremantle BE. apartments is pretty nice as well I think.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE HILTON HOTEL DELAY AGAIN

 

G8319O480.3-1

 

The construction of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Point Street carpark site by the SKS Group has been delayed again, with the company telling the City of Fremantle they will now not start the construction of the two-level basement carpark of the hotel before mid next year.

SKS had asked the City less than a year ago to terminate the carpark contract so that they could start building the basement in November this year, but problems with ground water on the site and the very wet winter will again delay the start of construction.

SKS bought the site for $ 11 million from the City of Fremantle in 2012 and planned to build a six-storey mix-use development that would house the 150-rooms four star hotel and the 98 Anchora apartments, as well as retail outlets.

The delays are very frustrating for Fremantle, but while the City of Fremantle has an option in the contract to buy back the site if construction does not start within a reasonable time, SKS basically got the City by the balls, because Fremantle Council does not want the property back and it can’t afford to pay back the $ 11 million either, so that leaves our city in limbo. Waiting seven years for the start of construction is unacceptable SKS!

The good news is that many other developers do not engage in procrastination and delays and that there are many new developments in Fremantle, and the other good news is that there will be more parking over the Christmas period and the first half of next year.

Roel Loopers

HOUGOUMONT HOTEL TO GET SKY BAR AND RESTAURANT

Posted in accommodation, bar, city of fremantle, food, hospitality, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 9, 2018

 

Hougoumont 2

Hougoumont 1

The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council unanimously approved on Wednesday the temporary erection of two sea containers on the Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister Street, which will create a sky restaurant and bar.

The restaurant will have 98 seats, of which 24 will be alfresco.

The roof top addition is for only five years until the Hougoumont starts on Stage Two of the development with additional rooms.

Roel Loopers

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HOUGOUMONT WANT ROOF TOP BAR ADDITION

Posted in accommodation, bar, city of fremantle, development, heritage, hospitality, hotel, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2018

 

The owners of the Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister Street are seeking temporary approval  for two storey additions to the hotel, to be used for food and beverage facilities for the Hotel onsite.

The proposal involves the installation of two sea containers and recladding to create a ‘pop up’ restaurant/bar on the subject site.

Hours of operation are to be consistent with the existing Hotel Accommodation which are Monday – Saturday 6am – 12am and Sunday – 10am – 12 am.

The dining area has been designed to cater for a maximum of 98 seats (74 internal and 24 external) persons; 15-18 full time staff members will operate from the entire premises at any one time (including accommodation, food and beverage components of business);

No live music is to be performed, with only background music to be played.

The business is envisaged to operate for a period of 5 years until the second stage of the Hougoumont Hotel development is to be carried out .

Opinion: I am not at all certain that two sea containers on top are a very good look in the West End heritage area, and while the proposal is for a temporary five-year use only, there is no guarantee that the applicants won’t apply to make it permanent after that.

The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council will debate the matter on Wednesday.

Roel Loopers

 

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GREAT FREO BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, architecture, art, bar, city of fremantle, food, history, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 13, 2018

 

 

National Hotel owner Karl Bullers gave me a quick preview of the new rooftop bar and twelve boutique hotel rooms and I left very impressed.

The rooftop bar will no doubt become one of Fremantle’s favourites, with sweeping views over the port, the historic West End and all over the city. The weather was very dull yesterday, so my photos unfortunately don’t do justice to the magnificence of it.

The hotel rooms are all individually styled with handmade furniture by Clint of Port Jarrah, which is just down the road from the hotel in High Street.

The rooms are really cosy and homely, some have views to the port, others over the city. The TVs are internet connected, there are bath tubs in some and twin showers in others, so recommend them to visitors who want something special smack bang in the middle of our beautiful city.

Noise insulation and double glazed windows are all there to ensure absolute comfort for hotel guests.

There are very good paintings along the corridors by local artists, which are for sale, and the National Hotel does not charge commission so is supporting our local creatives

The rooftop bar will officially open on Melbourne Cup Day but Karl Bullers told me that if the weather is fine next weekend he will give it a soft opening to see how it all goes.

It is a great new addition to Fremantle by an owner who has clearly got faith in Freo’s future.

Roel Loopers

This post is a community service and not an advertorial. I do not accept advertising, payment or gifts for my blog posts.

 

TWIGGY BUYS FREO’S ORIENT HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2018

 

Orient

 

Andrew-Twiggy Forrest’s Minderoo Group has purchased the historic Fremantle Orient Hotel in the West End of the port city.

This can be seen as a show of confidence in Freo’s future, so it will be interesting to see what they plan to do with the heritage listed building.

Will the backpackers stay or will the company develop the building into a boutique hotel?

Roel Loopers

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THE GREATER FREMANTLE ACTION PLAN

 

chamber function

 

Future Freo chairman Adrian Fini launched the Greater Fremantle Action Plan by the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce in the Australia II gallery of the Maritime Museum on Thursday evening, in front of Minister Simone McGurk, Mayor Brad Pettitt and several councillors and CoF staff, as well as representatives from Notre Dame University, Fremantle Port, Silverleaf Investments and business leaders.

The 28-page Action Plan is well worth reading and I assume the Chamber will put it on line, as it is too substantial to address every item in it here on the blog.

FCOC chair Ivan Dzeba said that Fremantle is already a great place but it can be better, while Adrian Fini said that we do need change and will fall apart if we don’t move forward.

We need to ask ourselves what is Fremantle’s strength and cultural identity, and we have great opportunities which need great leadership, but growth in technology will take shoppers away, but Fremantle has unique offerings that other shopping precincts do not have.

There is a deep journey ahead that demand teamwork with council, businesses and the community working together, Fini said.

The Greater Fremantle Action Plan records Freo’s strengths as having:

  • Dynamic economy particularly in transport and related industries, the arts and receational services, accommodation, food and health care
  • A unique profile consisting of heritage strength and character
  • Fremantle Port remains Fremantle’s most important industry
  • Fremantle has a unique combination of the knowledge economy and creative industries
  • Health services and related sectors continue to play an important role despite the downsizing of Fremantle Hospital
  • Fremantle has a global reputation as a tourist destination

 

So what are the plans for action?

 

Create the Conditions

  • Business attraction plan
  • Destination marketing campaign
  • Develop financial incentives
  • Policy and regulation review
  • Complete structure plan
  • Develop infrastructure to support a cultural plan

Connecting People, Places & Markets

  • Planning for affordable housing
  • Improvements to urban realm in commercial areas
  • Improvements to public transport
  • Sophisticated city centre parking plan
  • Connected cycle path network
  • Improvements to regional connections
  • Improvements to visitor booths and wayfinding
  • Improvements to pedestrian access

Promoting our Place

  • Broader and more unified approach to marketing
  • Develop relevant Fremantle ‘apps’
  • Unique brand development
  • Expand toursim accommodation
  • Explore new tourism opportunities
  • Grow conference/events industry

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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FREMANTLE ESPLANADE HOTEL FOR SALE

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, esplanade, hospitality, hotel, property, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 2, 2018

 

Fremantle’s iconic Esplanade Hotel is for sale! The historic hotel which opened in 1897 is on the market and is expected to attract offers of around $ 110 million.

The  300 room hotel was sold by long-time owner Marylyn New only six years ago in 2012 for just $ 90 million.

The Esplanade Hotel  has been refurbished and restored and is receiving most of its revenue from tourist accommodation and conferences.

It is being sold with a 3043sqm site opposite the hotel at 7 Essex Street, that has 172 parking bays, and a 78sqm leased retail tenancy and a 314sqm office.

I am not sure if Marine House, opposite the hotel, has been sold yet. It was put on the market about half a year ago.

CBRE’s Aaron Desange, Ryan McGinnity and Chloe Mason have been appointed to sell the hotel, so if you got a hundred million dollars under the bed, contact them.

 

Roel Loopers

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