Freo's View

VISION FOR GREATER FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, town of east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 26, 2017

 

East Fremantle Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail is Australia’s youngest Deputy Mayor. His impressive presentation at the Fremantle Network of the vision plan for the East Freo Leeuwing Barracks and foreshore showed why he was elected by his peers to the position.

A lot of water will flow under the bridges before the plans will be realised as the Defence Department owns the land and will have the final say after all, but at least the Town of East Fremantle is pro-actively involved in what must be one of the most significant development projects for the town and greater Fremantle.

McPhail said this was Fremantle’s day and Fremantle’s time and that the area is an emerging area for opportunity thanks to Fremantle Council, and it needs a regional big picture view.

He said the two major future visions for river foreshore development in the Perth metro area are the Leeuwin Barracks and the South Quay project, and he showed East Fremantle’s Port to Point Vision, all the way from Fremantle Port to Point Walter. It is about how we reconnect Fremantle to its foreshore McPail said.

He rightly pointed out that the South Quay project is a long way away still, while the Leeuwin development is imminent with land sales starting later this year, and said the East Street jetty area could be beautified by Fremantle Council before that.

Riverside Drive is old and needs to be realligned to accommodate the vision plans and the huge Leeuwin development that would see some 1,400 new residents moving into new apartment buildings, a new hotel, shops and large green open spaces for residents and the wider community to enjoy.

The vision showed two major 15-storey towers on the 14 hectare site plus 4-8 storey buildings spread among the large public spaces that will connect to river boardwalks.

It will require careful planning by the Town of East Fremantle and Mainroads to accommodate the additional vehicle movement along Preston Point Road and Riverside Drive as the majority of the new residents and visitors will be driving cars.

Michael McPhail is right that he sees this as a huge opportunity for Greater Fremantle and I believe it is essential for the two local councils and State Government to work together on a vision plan for the foreshore area from the Fremantle railway station all the way to Point Walter.

Roel Loopers

NIGHTINGALE PROJECT AT FREMANTLE NETWORK

Posted in community, development, fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2017

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I like the monthly Fremantle Network events a lot as they are always very informative and it’s good to stay up to date with what is happening in fab Freo.

Tomorrow Monday April 24 at 6 pm will be the next event upstairs at the National Hotel so come along. It’s free and drinks and food are available from the bar.

Dimitri Kapetas, from EHDO architecture will talk about the Nightingale Project at Wood Street.

Nightingale Housing is a non-profit organisation formed by a group of leading Australian architects. It aims to create affordable housing models that are specifically designed to achieve environmental and social benefits for cities. In other words, Nightingale promotes the building of communities, not just market commodities.
https://www.ehdo.com.au/nightingale-freo/

Also speaking will be the very impressive Michael McPhail, the Deputy Mayor of the Town of East Fremantle (and Western Australia’s youngest!)

His passion for cities and making them better places for the people who live in them infuses everything he does.

The focus of his talk will be the future of the Leeuwin Barracks, and the impact this will have on the future of Greater Fremantle.

Take part in the Fremantle Network events, meet new people, network, be informed and have your say about the future of Freo!

Roel Loopers

NO UGLINESS IN HISTORIC WEST END!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2017

Pakenham Street development proposal

There is an information session at the City of Fremantle on Thursday April 27 at 5.30 pm about the ridiculous development proposal for Pakenham and Phillimore streets in the heritage-listed historic West End.

The proponents want totally inappropriate five storeys of ugliness, so it is important that the community let Fremantle Councillors and State agencies know that we do not want these buildings in our heritage precinct.

You can write a submission against these proposals on the City of Fremantle website. Do it!

Roel Loopers

NEW ARTWORK FOR FREO MALL

Posted in art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2017

 

The foundations for a new artwork are being put in the Fremantle High Street Mall near the corner of William Street as part of the Atwell Arcade development.

I have not heard who the artist is so stay tuned. I’ll put a photo up as soon as it is there!

Roel Loopers

MORE FREMANTLE DOUBLETREE HOTEL DELAY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, hospitality, hotel by freoview on April 10, 2017

The ongoing development delays of the Hilton Doubletree hotel on the site at Point, Adelaide and Cantonment streets are very disappointing for Fremantle.

SKS Land Pty Ltd bought the property from the City of Fremantle on November 28, 2012 but all they have done so far is demolish the retail buildings along Adelaide and Point streets and left us with a vacant eyesore that is not looked after well.

Now the company, which is developing three hotels in Perth, wants another two-year extension before building commencement, to January 2020, so eight years after they purchased the property!

There is an option in the sales contract for the CoF to buy back the property but the City is in no financial position to even consider that, and SKS are playing hardball in the knowledge of that.

The item is on Wednesday’s City of Fremantle FPOL Committee’s agenda and the officers recommend to approve the delay but that SKS gives the CoF control over the vacant site for $ 1 per year, to activate the area, and hand back the management of the Point Street carpark, so the City can gain revenue from it for the next two and a half years.

One can only hope that the Woolstores shopping centre commercial/residential development and Adina Hotel by Silverleaf will commence soon as the ongoing delays of buildings that have been approved is holding Fremantle back.

Roel Loopers

 

CUTE DOURO ROAD MURAL ART

Posted in architecture, art, fremantle by freoview on April 9, 2017

 

This cute mural has been painted on the architecturally very creative new building at Douro Road in South Fremantle, so check it out when you ride, walk or drive by next time.

Roel Loopers

SUPPORT FREO TRADERS DURING DEVELOPMENT

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, development, kings square by freoview on April 5, 2017

The problems traders in Scarborough face, and business closures because of the massive redevelopment there, sends a message to Fremantle Council to be pro-active and assists retailers and the hospitality industry over the next 3 years during the Kings Square project development that will have serious short-term negative implications for businesses in the area.

While the City of Fremantle is not exactly rolling in money it might be a good idea to stop charging cafes alfresco fees during the development period and also to allow retailers to move out into the streets to show their wares.

Free parking at the Parry Street and Beach Street carparks could also be a consideration for the start of the week to try to support our local traders. If they can hang in there for the next three years they will all benefit from an invigorated Freo economy with new hotels opening, new office workers coming to Fremantle and many more people residing in the inner city. The long-term future for Fremantle is a very good one and well worth investing in!

We don’t want more shop closures, vacant buildings and people going broke, so we need to support them as well as we can. Let’s start talking about it now as a priority!

Roel Loopers

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LIV DEVELOPMENT GROWING FAST

Posted in architecture, development, fremantle by freoview on April 3, 2017

It is very lively and productive at the LIV residential development at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets.

It is a very large development by Defence Housing straight opposite the beautiful Heirloom by Match development.

The east end of Fremantle is going through a well-overdue facelift that will improve the run down area dramatically.

Roel Loopers

 

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TREASURER RINGS ALARM BELLS FOR KINGS SQUARE

 

The announcement at a function on Friday night by new Western Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt that the state government will not go ahead with the relocation of government departments because of the financial implications is very worrying for Fremantle and should send alarm bells ringing at the City of Fremantle.

Wyatt said that he had to make substantial savings to fix the budget and that the state unfortunately does not have the money for expensive relocations. The new government was in favour of the decentralisation of the workforce away from the Perth CBD but it would be better to reduce public servant staff numbers through early redundancy, increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce duplications of services, creating smaller offices, as the state could not afford the very costly relocation of departments in the near future because of the dire financial state of Western Australia.

The move of Department of Housing and other departments to Fremantle is essential for the success of the Fremantle Kings Square project and if this is cancelled or substantially delayed by the new Labor government it will have a huge negative impact for Fremantle.

The question is if Sirona Capital can afford to go ahead with the project if the lease with state government departments is ripped up, or could this be the end of Freo’s big dream of economic recovery through the biggest inner city project in many decades?

This is very worrying news at the start of the month where the demolition of the Queensgate building was due to start. I for one hope the exciting Kings Square project will progress as planned and that solutions will be found fast if Wyatt’s assertions are correct.

Many in the Fremantle community have questioned the need for a new expensive Civic Centre at Kings Square and no doubt they would be delighted if the project did not go ahead, but I believe it would be very disappointing if our city square is not modernised and activated.

Roel Loopers

PUBLIC COUNCIL MEETINGS NOT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, fremantle society, local government by freoview on March 31, 2017

The Fremantle Society continues sending misinformation to their members, now claiming that recent decisions by Fremantle Council were made behind closed doors, as was put in capital letters screaming it out in an email.

Fact is that the one-year delay of the Sirona Capital settlement for the Spicer site development and the Kings Square playground went through the proper democratic process at Council and from public Council committees to public full Council meeting, so nothing of that process was irregular or behind closed doors.

This is part of the rambling email to the Fremantle Society members:

Democracy Dead at Fremantle Council

Major decisions affecting ratepayer assets have been made BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at Fremantle Council.

Giving council’s developer mates Sirona Capital an extra year to decide on the Spicer site, the $550,000 playgound in King’s Square, and major decisions affecting the n ew administration building we dont need, were all made behind closed doors at a sub committee of council and then simple reported at council.

Insipid Media

The media seem disinterested in major Fremantle governance issues like decisions being made behind closed doors.

It is time the Fremantle Society stopped the nonsense of making non-factual claims about Fremantle Council and started to make a positive difference instead of silly political grandstanding.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with rigorously scrutinising Council and severely criticising them when they deserve it, as I myself regularly do here on Freo’s View, but it needs to be based on facts. The issues mentioned in the FS email were not behind closed doors but at public council committees and council meetings I attended as an observer, and they were not ‘confidential items’ on the agenda either, so open to public scrutiny.

Agendas and Minutes of Council and Council Committee meetings can be read on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

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