Freo's View

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

 

 

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

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN ON FREO’S FUTURE

 

The West Australian newspaper published a feature article by Ken Acott today about Fremantle’s future with the headline Freo ripe for new investment to retain its edge.

The article is based on analysis by PCW City Pulse and features the opinion of Nadia van Dommelen, who is a partner in that firm, and also Freo Mayor Brad Pettit.

A lot of what van Dommelen says is not new and she puts a lot of hope in a new waterfront development along Victoria Quay and the move of the container port to Kwinana, so that is still far too far away to be realised.

But Nadia van Dommelen rightly states that Fremantle needs to stop comparing itself with other cities and be proud of the special character and gritty uniqueness of the old port city.

While van Dommelen is excited about eventual waterfront development she believes that the working port, sheds and railway are all part of Fremantle’s charm, and any future development needs to be authentic. She says there is now major opportunity for transformative investment in Fremantle, and that is already happening

I believe Fremantle’s immediate future needs intensive city planning that deals with all the current and imminent development, and that the City’s Council and planners need to have a strategic plan for creating better and more public realm that connects the new developments in the CBD.

The Heirloom and LIV apartments at Queen Victoria Street will be joined in the next few years by the Little Lane apartments in Adelaide Street, the Hilton Doubletree hotel development and apartments at Point Street and the Adani Hotel on the Woolstores site.

Add to that the development of the Manning building, the huge Kings Square development, plans for a new Fremantle Oval Precinct, a small boutique hotel next to the Fremantle Markets plus a four-storey hotel at the former Court and Police site at Henderson Street, and one can envisage a huge change in the inner city that will require more detailed planning for people movement, parking, safety, and enjoyment.

It is imperative that Fremantle Council is very realistic and very pragmatic about what it needs to do and what can be achieved. This is not the time for pie in the sky ideas but for the elected members to have their feet firmly on the ground.

I hope it’s not a bad omen that the West Australian on-line article about Fremantle’s future features a photo of the Botega cafe that recently closed. ; >)

Roel Loopers

 

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NEW FREMANTLE DIFFERENTIAL RATE FOR B&B

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 15, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle is canvassing home owners about charging a differential rate for their homes that are being used as Bed&Breakfast short stay residential accommodation.

The differential rate proposed by Fremantle Council would see an average rate increase of $ 195.00 per year for those who use their property for tourist accommodation.

If this affects you, contact 9432 9999 for more information or/and go to http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/strategicdocuments.

Any comments should be sent to the CEO, City of Fremantle. PO Box 807. Fremantle 6959 by the end of business hours today.

I only received the letter of the City of Fremantle, dated June 8, yesterday June 14, so that gives my property owner no time at all to write to the CEO.

Roel Loopers

ROOFTOP BAR FOR NATIONAL HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, hotel, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2018

 

National

 

Good to see that the Fremantle National Hotel will become even better with a new rooftop bar and 12 luxury hotel rooms on the top floor.

If all goes to plan they will open in September this year.

Roel Loopers

FIVE STOREY HOTEL FOR HENDERSON STREET

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 3, 2018

 

Fremantle’s Silverleaf Investments have applied for building approval for the former Henderson Street Police and Justice complex and Warders Cottages which they bought last year.

The plans will go before the City of Fremantle’s Planning Committee this coming Wednesday at 6pm.

The proposal is for a five-storey hotel, tavern, restaurant, shops and offices development.

The decision making authority is the WA Joined Development Assessment Panel-JDAP.

I was under the impression that the planning scheme only allows for four storey in that historically very significant precinct just a stone’s throw for the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison, but the Officer’s Recommendation is for approval.

If the additional fifth storey is discretionary height is should be refused because the hotel building is bland and shows no connection to the heritage surroundings.

There are concerns in the report about the neighbouring Drillhall, which will be opened by Sunset Events as a full-time live music venue in November this year, so the recommendation is for 10mm thick glass in the hotel windows. Consultants for the Drillhall believe they glass should be even thicker to keep the concert noise out of the hotel rooms.

Check out the architect impressions on the City of Fremantle website. They are in the separate agenda attachments, but my Acrobat Reader is playing up this morning so I can’t copy any images to show you here. Sorry! ; >(

 

Roel Loopers

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COME ON SILVERLEAF. PUT A GARDEN ON THE WOOLSTORES DEVELOPMENT!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2018

 

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What a coincidence to just see an article on Facebook about a rooftop garden on a Melbourne shopping centre, when I only yesterday talked with North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin about the opportunity lost to do something similar with the proposed Woolstores shopping centre development in Fremantle.

Besides the poor design qualities of the proposed development, Murray and I both lamented that a rooftop garden for residents and hotel guests on top of the four-storey carpark had not been included in the development, as that would lift it to another level.

I also sugested that to indicate the bulk of a woolstores the two towers of the development could be linked at the top with massive steel beams, so that there is an impression of bulk, but it does not fill up the space above the carpark.

Unfortunately we are getting very conservative and rather boring new development in Fremantle and that is partly to blame on a council that is so keen on economic recovery that it is willing to compromise far too easily on the beauty and aesthetics of new buildings.

Fremantle is unique and that unique character needs to be acknowledged with creative and outstanding design!

Roel Loopers

SILVER LINING FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on December 31, 2017

 

Only one more sleep and we are starting a new year, which will be a very significant one for Fremantle.

I am very optimistic about the future of our delightful port city, as 2018 will be a year of transition, change and consolidation for Freo.

Major development will start early in the year at Kings Square and other massive development is in the pipeline.

The large LIV apartment building at Queen Victoria Street will be completed toward the end of the year, and the Warders Cottages boutique hotel will be built next to the Fremantle Markets.

One of the major development players in town is Silverleaf, which are embarking on the huge development of the Woolstores shopping centre site, the Manning Building and the Police and Justice complex at Henderson Street.

Being one of the major developers responsible for future building Fremantle Silverleaf does not only have a real opportunity to make a big impact, but also have an obligation to create beauty and character in the CBD.

Silverleaf, Match, Sirona Capital, and other developers can create history by building exceptional heritage of the future buildings of creative architecture and old-fashion craftsmanship pride.

Cheap and cheerful concrete boxes with a bit of cladding to make them more appealing are not very Freo at all, and should be refused. There needs to be softness and roundness instead of square hard corners, and lovely features that makes building attractive.

Building modern Fremantle just a stone’s throw from the old heritage town comes with responsibility to do more than just watching the triple bottom financial line for investors. It comes with community demand for outstanding design and respect for Freo’s character and lifestyle.

It is just mindset and goodwill that are the difference between building boring mediocrity or classy high-quality eye-catchers!

Roel Loopers

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THE YEAR WE HAD IN FREMANTLE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 21, 2017

 

Christmas is only fours sleeps away and the year has just ten days left, so this is a good time to reflect on what kind of year it was for Fremantle. I do this randomly as important issues come to my mind.

The October local government election was a resounding rebuke for the right-leaning very vocal social media negativity, with all the sitting members re-elected. I find it hard to argue that this is not a vote of confidence in the plans and policies Fremantle Council has implemented. City ward even elected a new Green councillor.

The positivity and negativity of massive planned development is a fine line between a stunning modern Fremantle CBD and an aesthetic disaster that could kill our city’s unique heritage character.

Quite a few new hotels are in the pipeline and that will be good to attract more tourism and for visitors to stay overnight, but the many plans for more taverns in the inner city are a worry.

The Kings Square Project is finally underway and will be the game-changer Fremantle desperately needs, and the new FOMO retail concept by Sirona Capital sounds very exciting.

The change of Australia Day celebrations on January 26 to One Day on the 28th shows Fremantle council is getting more serious about Aboriginal issues, and the funding to investigate a purpose-built Aboriginal centre is also a clear indication that council wants to do more than just tokenism.

The heritage listing of the entire West End is significant and well overdue.

The cancellation of the Roe 8 Perth Freight Link by the new state government, and the Westport taskforce could well open up opportunities for the development of Victoria Quay.

The Long Table Dinner along High Street was a resounding success and raised $ 80,000 for St Pats, so well done Freo community for caring!

Fremantle City took back ownership of Fremantle Oval which opens up opportunities for good development of that precinct. And good riddance to the greedy Dockers!

The development of the South Fremantle Senior High School into Fremantle College and the departure of TAFE also create fantastic opportunities for substantial development in the heart of Beaconsfield.

Well-overdue traffic improvement in the Hilton centre are happening and so is traffic calming in South Fremantle.

The J Shed tavern saga continues and is a stand-off between what the community wants and Freo council stubbornly does not want to accept, while it also fails to concede that the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct concept is a failure.

Notre Dame University listened to the community and scrapped plans for a five-storey School of Nursing and Midwifery in High Street and bought the three-building Customs House complex instead to accommodate expansion.

Fremantle culture is maturing very well with outstanding exhibitions and concerts at the Fremantle Arts Centre and the very impressive and creative High Tide Biennale during the Fremantle Festival. More of that please!

The Cantonment Hill Project is now underway with the opening of the Tuckfield Oval playground.

The City of Fremantle has added three new communication officers, so we should rightly expect much better genuine communication and information from the City. The October election showed that there is a lot of ignorance in the community about what Fremantle Council and the administration do and that needs to be improved.

Well, that’s all that comes to my mind early this Thursday morning, so remind me what I failed to mention and I might do another article on other important issues in a few days time.

Roel Loopers

BOUTIQUE ACCOMMODATION AT THE FREO NATIONAL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, hospitality, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 22, 2017

 

National

 

The historic Fremantle National Hotel will become a real hotel next year with the addition of twelve boutique hotel rooms.

Owner Karl Buller told me yesterday they will also develop a rooftop bar and wedding function centre, so these are very welcome additions to the Freo CBD.

Construction work is estimated to take six months, so it should all be up and running by mid next year. Stay tuned!

Roel Loopers

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