Here another scenic shot taken from the Fremantle Townhall last Friday with the new Atwell Arcade building prominently in the foreground.
I had a look inside the renovated Atwell Arcade building and was very impressed with some of the stunning office spaces they have created on the first floor above Cotton On and the other shops in the High Street Mall.
There is no doubt in my mind that this development is good for the Fremantle retail and hospitality industries and our city overall.
Cotton On will open this Friday and looks very impressive and the modern arcade looks inviting.
Maybe some of the heritage character has been lost but I believe the development is a real gain for Freo and a milestone for the revival of Fremantle.
As I have said before the exterior of the new building is not outstanding but for me an acceptable compromise in this location because it angles away as a huge set back and it appears very soft against the blue sky.
It is still cotton off for the mannequins at the new Fremantle COTTON ON in the High Street mall Atwell Arcade, but it is only days away until the national franchise will open their large new shop there.
The arcade is nearly finished and should also open soon, and it is good to see that the mall no longer is the derelict area with many vacant shops.
While there are no City of Fremantle Christmas lights in the streets yet over 40 retailers have participated in a BID project to light up their windows at night, so have a look for them. Support our local Freo businesses and buy your Christmas presents in town this year!
There are many cute shops along High and Market streets and elsewhere that offer a lot more than bland mass-produced products, so check them out!
It looks like Cotton On might move into the Atwell Arcade in the Fremantle High Street mall before Christmas, and what a positive difference that would make to the drab shopping street.
While there will always be room for improvement and the redevelopment does have it critics I believe it has been a good compromise. The initial proposal was for a five-storey building which I vehemently opposed on behalf of the Fremantle Society.
The four-storey building is not overpowering in that location and it angles away from High Street, and the panels create welcome softness to the concrete. I personally quite like the way it looks from Cantonment Street.
I had another look at the five-storey proposal for 18-22 Adelaide Street at Fremantle’s Kings Square at yesterday’s information session and walked out appalled at the laziness of the architects who have not even tried to show respect for the surrounding heritage.
They propose set-back square boxes above the old two-storey facade, when a tiny design change could have created more suitable vertical lines and make it into a building that shows at least a little bit of sympathy and reference to Fremantle’s character and heritage.
Five storeys is of course far too high as the building should not be higher than the facade of the beautiful heritage building to the west of it.
I also had a walk around the almost completed controversial Atwell Arcade development and believe it blends in sufficiently as it has a softness about it and angles away from the High Street mall.
Fremantle is in a challenging time where a lot of development is happening and more applications for very substantial and high buildings are in the pipeline, so we need to find a compromise on what is acceptable for our city and viable for developers, but ugly, boring and mediocre is not on, and neither is inappropriate height in certain locations. If developers need more height they will have to move to the east of the CBD, not in the centre, and definitely not in the West End either.
Small retail is sadly still a bit of a revolving door in Fremantle with new small businesses opening and closing regularly. No doubt some of the failures are due to a bit of naivety and not doing market research before opening shop.
The small fashion boutique next to Common Ground and The Bank cafe in High Street has closed, but west of it in the former newsagency next to the Adam Monk Gallery and Bitches Brew framers ACAI Brothers superfood bar is setting up shop.
At Atwell Arcade they are nearing the end of the development and already HYPE is moving in goods on the corner of Cantonment and Market streets, under the new tin awning. Lights are hanging in the arcade and in the High Street mall new businesses have opened in the development.
In the former TAFE Quinlan cafe site at High Street a new small cafe has opened as part of the private hospitality training centre there. No idea why a small cafe needs five large flat screens on its walls, so not my cup of tea for a quiet coffee and reading the morning papers.
We still got a long way to go in Freo to claim economic recovery, but with the real prospect of development at Kings Square and many more buildings sites popping up around the CBD Fremantle is well on its way to the future.
The crane at Fremantle Atwell Arcade came down very early this morning, so the building should be opening soon and become home to office workers and new shops.
Development is happening all over Freo with the verandas being reinstalled at the Henderson Street Warders Cottages, the first tenants have moved in at the Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill, and the Heirloom by Match development at Queen Victoria Street has finished its first apartments, which are now open for inspection, and the MSC building in Cliff Street is also at the final stages.
The announcement if and where the Department of Housing will be moving in Fremantle is also due in a few months, so Freo is on track for its economic recovery.
It’s slow news time but I need to look after the loyal readers of this blog.
Having a break from work on the Atwell Arcade development in Fremantle.
While I am delighted about the development boom in Fremantle I sometimes despair about the mediocre design and lack of flair and creativity.
Two buildings in progress do have an impact on the heritage ambience of our city and the Quest Hotel development on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets is in my opinion awful and unacceptable.
The reason discretionary extra height was given by Fremantle Council was to retain the interior heritage character of the building. My understanding was it would only go one floor up, but this ugliness is massively towering over the heritage building and the adjoining one. Boooh!
I personally have fewer issues with the Atwell Arcade development as it is more subtle, albeit it bland. They have continued the vertical aspects of the heritage building and the panelling has softened the impact on the streetscape. The fact that the building is angled away from the High Street mall also makes it less intrusive.
The worst view is probably from the Queens Street carpark where the ugly aircon and lift shaft dominate, but the parking lot is part of Planning Scheme Amendment 49 so will no doubt be developed some time and obscure the view to the Atwell new building.
I am all for new development in Fremantle but please do show some consideration and respect for the heritage character of our city, architects, designers and developers. Cheap is not always best and you do have a corporate responsibility!
The scaffolding is coming down at the Fremantle Atwell Arcade development, so we will see some activity there in the next few months when it officially opens.
It is not a great building and that is disappointing, but it is also not at intrusive and offensive as I feared it might be. It is basically boring when it could have been inspiring.
Better architecture should be a must for every development in Fremantle, but how can we legislate for it so that it becomes reality?