Freo's View


Posted in bar, city of fremantle, city planning, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 7, 2019




The City of Fremantle invited movers and shakers to The Republic Of Fremantle venue in Pakenham Street on Friday afternoon to thank them for being part of the very important journey Fremantle has been on, as Mayor Brad Pettitt said in his short speech.

The Mayor said it had been a very long, but immensely worthwhile journey for Freo, and that Fremantle is turning a corner with all the new development and more planned development.

Dr Pettitt said that there are so many great opportunities in Fremantle but as a Council they could not deal with them all ourselves, and funding was needed for big projects such as the restoration of Arthur’s Head, the railway station forecourt plans, and lightrail for the Freo region.

There are a lot of new challenges to get excited about, the Mayor said.

Pete Adams of the Yolk Property Group said that Fremantle was unique for developers with many opportunities and the group was investing many millions of dollars in Fremantle.

Jason Townes, one of the partners of The Republic of Fremantle gin distillery and tavern that will open in autumn, said he and his partner would not do it anywhere else because they were long-term Freo residents from birth.

By opening Strange Company, Ronnie Nights and The Republic of Fremantle we are tapping into the energy that only exists in Fremantle, Townes said. “Whenever I drive on the freeway and see the hundreds of cars I ask myself why are all these people not living in Fremantle!”

Tourists like to go where locals go so the three venues attract locals and visitors alike, Townes said, so we find back street venues that are different.

He said they were a small company but intended to sell thousands of liters of gin overseas each year, because the gin was unique and used Western Australian wines from the SouthWest. Using wine to distill gin made for a much better product, and they had plans to also make brandy and vermouth out of the Pakenham Street distillery in the coming years.

The people I talked with were all very positive and excited about Freo’s future and that was a really good feeling.


Roel Loopers




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The steel structure of the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre is very impressive as it becomes bigger and higher.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, development, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on December 5, 2019


The Fremantle grapevine is abuzz with the rumour that Coles will be leaving the Woolstores shopping centre and that staff have been told the supermarket chain won’t be part of the new hotel, retail, child care and police station development by Silverleaf Investments, that still needs planning approval by JDAP.

It would be a pretty big shock for Fremantle if there were no longer a supermarket in the CBD, but I am quietly confident that with all the development happening and in the pipeline in Freo another chain like IGA or Woolworths will find the Woolstores option an attractive opportunity.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE at 1.50pm:

The rumours are only partly correct as Coles will only close doors during the development, but return when the new building is finished, which will still leave the CBD without a supermarket for at least two years.





My hope that the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel might be starting soon might well be premature, as I assumed the development application by the SKS Group is merely a modification and not an all new plan.

Unfortunately I have been advised by the City of Fremantle’s Planning Department that the application is a new one, and should it be approved by JDAP next year SKS would have to commence the development only within four years, and that is a very long way away for a development that is very significant for Fremantle.

SKD have been delaying the construction of the building reportedly because of de-watering problems on the Point Street site, where they wanted to have two basement carpark levels, but this new application would now give them the scope to delay by another four years, which would be extremely disappointing.

One can only hope that contractual arrangements with the Hilton hotel group will have a completion date for the hotel that is sooner, rather than much later. Time will tell.

Roel Loopers


Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, hotel, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 3, 2019




Waiting for the development of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel by the SKS Group has been like the theatre play Waiting for Godot, where two people wait for Godot but he never turns up, so it is a huge Christmas present for Fremantle that the SKS Group now appear to be serious about the development with new plans submitted to Fremantle Council.

It is for a seven-storey, 168 hotel rooms, 45 residential apartments, five shops, two commercial units, a bar and a restaurant on the Point Street carpark site.

A public information session about the proposal will be held on 9 January 2020 from 5:30-6pm at the City of Fremantle’s administration offices at Fremantle Oval, 70 Parry Street, Fremantle.

The plans and associated documents are available on the City of Fremantle’s My Say Freo website or can be viewed during business hours at the City’s customer service desk at Fremantle Oval.

The deadline for public submissions is 14 January 2020.

The plans will then be considered by the Fremantle Council’s Planning Committee before being referred to the Joint Development Assessment Panel for a final decision.

The Doubletree by Hilton proposal is just one of many hotel developments in the pipeline for Fremantle.

The City is also assessing a new application to redevelop the Woolstores shopping centre, which includes a 141-room hotel along with new commercial office space, retail outlets, police station, and a child care centre.

Work is currently underway to convert a row of the historic Warders Cottages on Henderson Street into a boutique 11-room hotel with a new indoor and outdoor bar and dining area nestled between the rear of the cottages and the Fremantle Markets.

Plans have also been approved to transform Fremantle’s state heritage-listed Police and Courthouse complex into a hotel and restaurant precinct.

For more information and to have your say on the Point Street proposal visit the My Say Freo website.



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The latest photos of what the City of Fremantle new Civic Centre development at Kings Square looks like.


Roel Loopers



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Very good to see the start of another development in the Fremantle inner city, with builders McCorkell taken possession of the former Warders Cottages in Henderson Street next to the Fremantle Markets.

The site which is owned by the Hougoumont Hotel people will become a tiny boutique hotel and a tavern at the back between the cottages and the market.

At the former Energy Museum in Parry Street the Match group has put signs up that they will commence with the residential M/27 development there as well, and just down the road at Adelaide Street the Yolk property group has also indicated they will be starting with the Little Lane residential building soon as well.

If, as expected and I hope, Silverleaf Investments will get the go ahead for the Woolstores hotel development, that will also start in the first quarter of next year, so things are very much on the move in good old Freo!

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, community, hospitality, local government, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on November 26, 2019



I was given a preview of the new Fremantle Park sport and community clubhouse this morning, which is under construction and will open in the first quarter of next year.

The $ 4.7 million development will house the Fremantle tennis, bowling and workers clubs, who will be sharing the space, and the building will also be made available to community groups.

The ground-level bowling and tennis club premises are quite modest in comparison to the upstairs space of the Fremantle Workers&Social club. The huge timber dance floor is rather ostentatious and designed with a lot of optimism. It can accommodate at least a hundred dancers. Time will tell if this is over the top and if the clubs will really be able to generate enough interest from the general public to make it all financially viable.

Roel Loopers




There is a very good article about Fremantle by Kim Macdonald in the WestBusiness Insider magazine of the West Australian newspapers.

The front cover headline is Freo, The Billionaires&The Future with photos of Andrew Forrest and Angela Bennett.

The five-page article mentions that there is a lot of interest for investment and development in Fremantle by some of the biggest players in Western Australia, such as Bennett, Forrest, Adrian Fini, Sirona Capital, Silverleaf Investments, etc.

Sirona Capital’s Matthew McNeilly is quoted as saying that there is a lot of love for Fremantle….because you cannot find another Fremantle anywhere else in Australia.

Angela Bennett’s son Todd is the executive director of AMB Capital that wants to do a major development in the Fishing Boat Harbour south of Little Creatures, with residential and short-stay accommodation, retail, food, etc.

Twiggy Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation owns the Spicers site on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall and they are doing a feasibility on developing that into a lifestyle boutique hotel, while the Fini Group wants to develop the Italian Club site, south of the Esplanade, into apartments, a boutique hotel and wellness centre.

Silverleaf Investments is busy developing the Mannings Building, is close to starting the Woolstores hotel development, and also have approved plans for the former Police&Justice complex between Parry and Henderson streets.

Silverleaf’s Gerard O’Brien told WestBusiness that Fremantle is magnetic. Perth wants the CBD Fremantle has got.

It is really good to see the West Australian acknowledging the huge and positive transformation Fremantle is going through. It is a shame though to hear from a Freo newsagent that the magazine was not inserted in the newspapers he got on Thursday, so many people who asked for it were disappointed it was not available.

Roel Loopers




Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, property, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2019


Good to read that mining giant Twiggy Forrest is considering more investment in Fremantle, as a short note yesterday in the West Australian by Kim MacDonald indicated.

According to the article the Minderoo Foundation is looking at developing a lifestyle hotel in our port city and that would be great.

Forrest already owns the Orient Hotel in Fremantle’s historic West End and they also bought the Spicers site carpark on the corner of William and Henderson streets from Sirona Capital last year, the latter would be a very good location for an inner city hotel.

Roel Loopers


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