Freo's View

FREO’S WEST END IS SACRED AND DESERVES PROTECTION!

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on August 15, 2015

workers club

This extremely boring facade of the former Fremantle Workers Club supposedly has heritage value, and is the feeble excuse of the developers who want additional discretionary height to a five story residential building in Henry Street in the centre of the heritage West End, where the height limit is 14 metres.

When the Fremantle Society and many others in the community fought Planning Scheme Amendment 49 that allows buildings of up to 13 storeys in the CBD we were told over and over again by Mayor Brad Pettitt and Council that the West End would be safe from high development and that they would not allow inappropriate heights there, but developers keep pushing the envelope and once one gets through the system others will follow suite and the west end will turn into a disaster. Allowing this development would set a precedent for the area that is not acceptable to the community.

The West End and heritage buildings is why thousands of tourists flock to our city. Almost every one of the 110,000 visitors who come yearly to the Roundhouse marvel at the stunning view down beautiful High Street, so why would anyone want to destroy that and build inappropriately high buildings that will stick out from the heritage buildings and destroy streetscapes and the unique character of the old city?

The facade of the former club is ugly and does nothing for the streetscape of Henry Street, so demolish it and stick to the height limits for the West End. The overall mediocre design of the building is one that shows greed and pushes the number of apartments to the limit and one has to wonder if that is really the kind of infill development Fremantle wants and needs.

The east of the CBD along Queen Victoria and Beach streets is far better suited to erect higher residential and commercial buildings and make a modern entry statement to Fremantle, but the west end of town should be sacred and demands to be protected from greedy developers and average architecture.

Roel Loopers

J SHED TAVERN PLANS A HEADACHE FOR LONG-TERM ARTISTS

Posted in city of fremantle, development, j shed by freoview on August 13, 2015

The Sunset Events project of a tavern at historic J Shed on Arthur Head  has taken on a new form with the City advertising for public comments on changes. The City of Fremantle seeks comment on an application received proposing- Partial change of use to Tavern (including live music), additions and alterations to existing building.

Project architects CODA write that the new plans “Significantly reduced the scale of the development. Consequentially the impact of the project both from a heritage and community aspect has also significantly reduced.”

Two things stand out for me, the first one a two stacked sea container structure as a micro brewery to the east of J Shed at the southern end, making and end to the thoroughfare to Fleet Street and the steps up to Mrs Trivett Lane and the arts studios at Captain’s Lane. That is very bad for connectivity to Victoria Quay and the cohesiveness of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct.

The proposal to have the entry to the tavern and live outdoor music venue straight next to the workshop studio of sculptor Greg James is madness. It would mean the artist would lose access to his workplace when large queues of music lovers line up in front of his door to gain access to concerts. The entry proposal also affects Greg James’ ability to use a forklift, his ute and trucks that might be needed to transport heavy sculptures from his studio to their destination. I am a big fan of CODA but to put the entry there is a stupid idea that needs to be revisited and changed, because it is unacceptable to the artist who works daily and often on weekends at his workshop. A new operator should not interfere with his livelihood and restrict access to his lease at any time of the day or week.

I also wonder about the planned extension of the boardwalk from Kidogo Arthouse, which the City of Fremantle wanted to create good connectivity between the Fishing Boat Harbour and the Maritime Museum and Victoria Quay. The tavern proposal would mean the pathway would have to go around the restricted live music area of the A Class Reserve, heading west to then come back east to north to Victoria Quay. That creates a wayfinding problem and might stop people from using the north south/south north direction. It also limits the visitors to the art galleries of J Shed as they can only come in from the north and no longer from the Fishing Boat Harbour direction.

In my opinion this is a selfish plan where Sunset Events rides rough shot over the long-term artists who have been at J Shed for twenty years. These plans need to be changed to show more respect and consideration for the existing operators at J Shed.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ON THE MOVE

Posted in development, fremantle by freoview on August 1, 2015

evan davies 1evan davies 2pakenham

It is good to see the gorgeous Evan Davies building on the Cappuccino Strip in its old glory and that there is an effort around Fremantle to clean up buildings and make the city look better. Work at the former Boys School at Princess May Park is still going on and the Manning Arcade along the High Street mall and William Street is getting a big paint job done as well.

There is also progress with the residential apartment building on the corner of Pakenham and Banister streets and the short-term accommodation Quest Hotel development on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets.

My only gripe is why the four wifi units on top of the heritage-listed Evan Davies building could not be hidden as they spoil the view-and photos-of the old building.

Roel Loopers

OUTRAGEOUS HERITAGE DESTRUCTION IN EAST FREMANTLE

Posted in local government, town of east fremantle by freoview on July 24, 2015

lh 1 lh 2

I am outraged to read in the Fremantle Herald today that the Town of East Fremantle allowed the heritage-listed former Lauder&Howard building to be destroyed to the point where only a part of the facade is kept to make way for development.

It is unbelievable that Council would have got such bad advise from its planning department and heads should roll over this disgraceful act of heritage vandalism. How ironic that the building was owned and occupied for many years by heritage stallward Les Lauder who started the Fremantle Society over 40 years ago to prevent the destruction of our heritage buildings.

The Herald quotes Councillor Cliff Collison saying “We probably did get it a bit wrong” No Cliff you did not get it “a bit wrong” but very very wrong! It is outrageous that you allowed for the historic1901 erected building to almost be demolished and East Fremantle Council and its planning staff should be ashamed of themselves!

Roel Loopers

FREO CRANES A SIGN OF PROGRESS

Posted in city of fremantle, development by freoview on July 24, 2015

I have never been a blokey kind of a bloke who is interested in trucks, cars and building sites but I am quite excited to see a huge crane going up in the centre of Fremantle for the Atwell Arcade project of retail and commercial use. For me it is one of the signs that Fremantle is moving forward and that better times are ahead.

The one main thing I am worried about though is development approval leniency by Fremantle Council and that we could end up with a lot of very boring and inappropriate buildings and as a community we should voice loud and clear that we are not going to accept that. Progress.YES! Mediocrity. NO!

Roel Loopers

FIVE STOREY BUILDING FOR WORKERS CLUB SITE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on July 24, 2015

The City of Fremantle will be holding an information session from 5.30-6pm on Thursday the 13th of August to get community input on a proposed five-storey multiple dwelling proposal in Henry Street on the former Fremantle Workers Club site in the heart of the West End heritage precinct.

This is another attempt getting a storey more that the four storeys allowed in the West End of Fremantle and the architects’ drawings don’t really give a good perspective of how that would look as they only show a Henry Street frontage from an angle  but not front on. The Workers Club facade would be retained under this proposal.

The developers write the proposal does not protrude beyond the ‘envelope’ given under LPS 4 and that the proposed building would only read as a strong three-storey building at street level.

I will reserve my decision on this until I have seen more detailed plans and artist’s impressions, but I am reluctant to start allowing five storey buildings in an area that is supposed to be protected and has a four-storey maximum allowance.

Roel Loopers

INVEST IN FREMANTLE’S FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on July 23, 2015

Invest_Fremantle_cover

The City of Fremantle’s Economic and Marketing Department has put together the INVEST FREMANTLE brochure to entice more developers to spend their money here. It is an interesting brochure with some interesting facts and an areal view artist impression that will shock the Freo purists when they see all those high buildings to the east and north of Kings Square.

The ‘investment pipeline’ sounds fantastic on paper and the reality is not bad either as there is a lot of building and maintenance activity going on in central Fremantle. It is questionable though if COF can claim that the construction of the Hilton Double Tree hotel project has commenced, as is claimed twice in the brochure. On half of the site buildings have been flattened, while the Point Street carpark still stands and operates and no construction work has started there yet.

19 Douro Road is listed as development approved, while construction there has started, and Douro Road is spelt Duoro.

Retail rent in central Freo is expensive, in fact it is more expensive to rent space in Market Street and the Cappuccino Strip than it is on Bayview Terrace in exclusive and rich Claremont. Market Street is $ 1,250 per sqm, Marine Terrace $ 1,850 per sqm and Bayview Terrace only $ 1,150 per sqm.

Mayor Brad Pettitt writes in his foreword that Fremantle is home to one of the oldest buildings in WA, but the Roundhouse is of course the oldest remaining public building in the state.

54% of the Freo workforce lives in Fremantle. Tourism and Hospitality were responsible for $ 373.8 million turnover and in 2013 1,26 million people visited Freo.

I received the info about Invest Fremantle on Facebook but it will be on the City of Fremantle website, so have a read and give us some feedback.

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME ARCHITECT MARCUS COLLINS DEAD

Posted in fremantle, marcus collins, notre dame univesrity by freoview on July 21, 2015

Marcus Collins the architect who had a significant influence on the design of the Fremantle Notre Dame University campus has died. Collins was part of the Notre Dame family since 1993 and in 2009 received a Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to the Fremantle campus design.

Some of the stunning adaptive re-use design of the university heritage buildings was done by Marcus Collins and his team and he will be well remembered in Fremantle for the excellent work he did.

Roel Loopers

RECORD RAIN DRENCHES FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on July 21, 2015

rain 4 rain 3 rain 2 rain 1

Record rain falls in July for the Perth metro area and the squalls last night in Fremantle almost blew my bedroom windows in.

It’s all good for nature and our water supply but not for my mood. I need sunshine and warmth to feel happy so I can’t wait for spring and tell myself it is only a few more sleeps away. :>)

Here some photos I took of the winter weather.

Roel Loopers

THERE IS A LOT TO LOVE ABOUT FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle, heritage by freoview on July 20, 2015

Heirloom

I am very much looking forward to the Heirloom by Match project development of the heritage Dalgety&Co woolstores at Queen Victoria and Beach Street because it will dramatically revitalise the east of the Fremantle CBD and no doubt will attract traders who want to operate close to where hundreds of people live.

Before I moved to Fremantle the woolstores was always the landmark for me that I had arrived in the historic port town and there was always a sense of anticipation there, never knowing what kind of festival or event would surprise me.

Wandering along the harbour and through the Fishing Boat Harbour and delighting in the stunning west end heritage buildings made me fall in love with the city. I always felt there was something special, something unique and different in Freo and once I started living here I realised I never had experienced that strong sense of community anywhere else before.

When I drive out of Freo by train or car I say goodbye to those special spots. I love that moment short before driving over the bridge on the train of seeing the entire port and the stunning Maritime Museum. On my way out of town by car the iconic Dalgety woolstores is a sign for me I am leaving Freo. A last quick look up to the right down the road to the signal station and the Fremantle experience has finished for a while.

I have been told I live in a bubble away from reality and that I should get out of town more often because Fremantle is not as good as I perceive it, but I don’t think that is right. My sense of belonging and comfort here does not make me blind to the imperfections and things that need to improve. My love for Freo is not unconditional but in fact demands from me that I participate and I hope to make a tiny difference and make our city an even better place. But I’ll defend Freo like a parent defends a child, knowing all its shortcomings but also knowing it is very special.

Roel Loopers

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