Freo's View

FUNDING FOR FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT

 

First State Super, Sirona Capital and Altis Property Partners announced they have signed a $190m funding package agreement, comprising construction and term debt, for the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment.

Kings Square Fremantle is underwritten by a 15-year lease to the WA State Government for 20,000sqm over five levels and across two buildings to accommodate some functions of the Department of Communities, mainly Housing.

The project also includes the introduction of FOMO (Fremantle on My Own), a new urban retail, food and dining destination in a concept which is authentically Fremantle, and the full refurbishment of the 830 bay multi-deck Queensgate car park.

Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly said he was excited to have First State Super on board as a funding partner for the transformational Kings Square Fremantle project. “What sets this project apart from others is that we have actively sought to conceptualise, plan and deliver it in ways that reset traditional thinking for projects of this type, size and scale,”

 

FREMANTLE ELECTORS MEETING TONIGHT!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 21, 2018

 

A reminder that the annual City of Fremantle Electors Meeting will be held at 6pm this evening at the Fremantle Townhall.

Ask questions, put in motions, grill our elected members and staff. This is your evening.

Roel Loopers

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LATEST FROM SIRONA CAPITAL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2018

I just received this media release from Sirona Capital so just want to keep everyone in the loop:

8 February 2018

Comment from Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly Re: Cooper and Oxley

Sirona Capital is being drawn into Cooper and Oxley’s current financial issues when it is widely known throughout the industry that their problems are associated with the construction of a new office/retail/hotel project, Subi XO, located at 500 Hay Street, Subiaco.

There are substantial inaccuracies and rewriting of history in Cooper and Oxley’s writ which will be detailed in our defence if this legal action proceeds.

Cooper and Oxley is a unit holder in the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment, an investment position they took in 2011, and which represents less than three per cent of the overall $220m cost of the project.

This investment cannot be construed to be a loan. Cooper and Oxley is a sophisticated wholesale investor and are aware that real estate equity investments of this type can be, at times, illiquid.

Cooper and Oxley’s involvement in the Kings Square, Fremantle project is limited to their investment in the Trust. They were among several firms who tendered for the construction contract for Kings Square Fremantle. Their tender was unsuccessful. Tenders were assessed on several criteria including price, expertise, capability and financial stability.

After being approached by Cooper and Oxley, Sirona Capital has been assisting Cooper and Oxley’s investment by selling their units in the investment trust. This legal action may undermine the ability to achieve that outcome. To be clear, Cooper and Oxley have always had the ability to do this themselves at any time.

The decision by Cooper and Oxley to pursue a legal remedy and the claims it is making in relation to Sirona’s management of the investment fund will be defended vigorously.

The Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment is now underway. Since signing a 15-year lease with the State Government in late 2016, the pace of work has recently escalated to deliver the commercial component within the Government’s timeframes. Probuild has mobilised on site and significant work has already been undertaken to prepare the former Myer building and the Queensgate building for demolition works, which have begun.

 

HISTORIC LAST COUNCIL MEETING TODAY

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2017

 

It looks like the historic last Ordinary Council meeting in the old Fremantle civic centre could be a very long one this evening.

There are many interesting items on the agenda, where members of the community will want to address Councillors about, so I’ll be in for the long haul.

Here some of the items on the agenda:

  • Annual Financial statement
  • Report on Financial Management Review
  • Proposed tavern at J Shed
  • Local Planning Policy for the Beaconsfield and White Gum Valley town centres
  • Planning policy for taverns and hotels in the CBD
  • Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre future
  • South Terrace traffic calming in South Fremantle
  • Safe Hampton Road crossing at Scott Street

City of Fremantle staff will be moving to Fremantle Oval from Monday December 18 and the next Council meetings will be held in North Fremantle and other location until the new Civic Centre has been built at Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE FINANCIALLY SOUND SAYS MINISTER

Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, finances, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2017

 

I am not a big fan of publishing media releases by Freo City, or anyone else for that matter, but this one about the City of Fremantle’s financial situation is very important, especially during the local government election campaign, where some people claim Freo is going broke because of its investment in the Kings Square Project and selling city assets.

The City of Fremantle has received clarification from the Minister for Local Government over the City’s risk profile.

The City wrote to the Minister, David Templeman, in August after it was identified as being “high risk” in a response to a question in State Parliament.

The City’s risk profile was based on reporting from the 2015/16 financial year, where it recorded an unusually low Financial Health Indicator (FHI) score due a number of factors including a change in accounting methodology.

In his reply the Minister said he accepted information from the City’s auditors that, subject to final audit, the City of Fremantle’s 2016/17 FHI score will restore to approximately 85.

For the MyCouncil website and the Department of Local Government’s risk profile an FHI score of 70 and above indicates sound financial health.

The Minister also said he had asked his Department to review the way it communicates its risk profile process to avoid potential misunderstandings in the future.

FREO CITY NEEDS TO PRIORITISE SPENDING

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, finances, local government by freoview on November 10, 2016

It appears the dire financial situation of the City of Fremantle has shocked some elected members with Councillor Doug Thompson even questioning at the FPOL Committee if the City needed to spend the relatively small sum of $ 54,000 on the first stage of a new club building at Parry Street for the Fremantle Workers, Tennis and Bowling clubs, which is a financial collaboration of the Workers Club, CoF and Department of Recreation and Sport.

Becoming financially more prudence is clearly required and Councillors and officers need to sit down and prioritise expenditure and find savings.

Councillors might have to reconsider the purchase of one or two of the Warders Cottages as community benefits for that are questionable since the cottages are tiny and have limited community use and hence will create limited income for the City but constant expenditure.

While the sale of the Knutsford Street depot will create a big sum of income for the city it might want to reconsider building a new administration building at Kings Square and compromise by extending the present one.

The present building boom will over time see a substantial rate increase for the City with more people buying residential and commercial property in Fremantle, but that is still many years away from making a positive impact on the City’s finances.

Fremantle is in a transformative state of substantial development that will see the City grow and prosper with more tourist, residential and office accommodation. That will also boost the retail and hospitality industries, but council expenditure needs to be more focussed and that can start with the administration increasing its performance in most areas and reducing the costs of external consultants, etc.

It is fantastic to have big plans and dreams for Fremantle, but financial reality has to come first so let’s put a focus group together that will make recommendations to Council on how to improve the City’s financial performance.

Roel Loopers

CITY OF FREMANTLE FINANCES A CONCERN

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, finances, local government by freoview on November 8, 2016

The City of Fremantle’s financial position is not very good according to the latest CoF Financial Year 2016 financial statements prepared for the Audit & Risk Management Committee, which includes comments made by the auditor on financial ratios.

A significant loss has been recorded for FY16 and well below budget, and there are pretty unflattering comments about CoFs’ financial ratios.

Assets Sustainability Ratio is below regional & state level, Debt Service Ratio which indicates ability to service debt is limited and declining, and Operating Surplus Ratio has continued to trend downwards and is below both regional and State averages.

The reports states ” …To help alleviate the continued erosion of ratios both the Council and management will need to consider ways to improve the operating position either via increasing revenue or by decreasing expenditure (or combination of both).”

I wonder how much of the expenditure is for personnel cost as there appear to be new people on big salaries popping up regularly at the City of Fremantle. Maybe it’s time for new CEO Phil StJohn to stamp down on expenditure and make his mark as this downward trend is a worry.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE PORTS SALE HAS COST $ 11 MILLION ALREADY

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, western australia by freoview on August 21, 2016

The WA Liberal/National State Government has so far spent a staggering $ 11 million on the preparation of the sale/49-year lease of Fremantle Ports, according to media reports.

Treasurer Mike Nahan confirmed they had spent that huge sum of money on consultants and exterior advise, although the National Party and Labor Party are against the sale, so it most likely won’t eventuate with the state election due in March 2017 and a probable change of government.

The present government has shown an insane lack of care for our state’s finances and a willingness to irresponsibly waste money at their leisure.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S BUDGET AT $ 90.98 MILLION

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on June 27, 2016

A special council meeting of the City of Fremantle will be held this Wednesday to debate the budget for 2016/17, so here some figures that might interest the community.

The total budgeted expenditure for Fremantle for  2016/17 will be $ 90.98 million. This will be funded from the following revenue resources:

$ 42.49 million in general rates, $ 32.60 million of other operating revenue, $ 4.10 million of capital grants and contributions, $ 4.79 million in new loans and borrowings, $ 31.85 million disposal of assets(transferred tp Reserves), $ 6.70 million of surplus cash, $ 6.50 million Reserves.

The general rate increase will be 3% and minimum rate increase will go from $ 1,222 to $ 1,259 in next financial year’s budget.

Roel Loopers

FREO COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON FLY BY NIGHT AND ENKEL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on March 16, 2016

I love going to Fremantle Council meetings because I can witness first hand how thorough Councillors are, the questions and suggestions they raise, and the frustrations they too sometimes have with the process and slow moving bureaucracy.

Council meetings also always make me confident that all the conspiracy theories about Elected Members going to bed with developers and proponents of whatever are basically rubbish. If Councillors went to bed with that many people they’d need to take a lot of Viagra, and that includes the two female members on Council.

Anyway, back to tonight’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee, ably chaired by Councillor Dave Hume. The Fly by Night Club was on the agenda and in a way it is a really sad saga. Forced out of their home the old Drillhall and moving into Victoria Hall without a liquor license has been very hard. They are in the red by between $ 40,000.00- $ 60,000.00, still don’t have a license and need City of Fremantle financial support. But the City has been accused both of not supporting cultural organisations enough, and bailing out groups like Deckchair Theatre and Kulcha too often, so Councillors are between a rock and a hard place.

No doubt most people want the 30 year-old Fly to continue, but at what cost to the community and ratepayers? As Councillor Rachel Pemberton stated, they cannot rely on continuous financial support from the City and need to start transformative moves and fundraising projects to get out of the precarious financial situation they are in.

The item will go to full council next week, but committee supported that the City will pay sound proofing at a cost of $ 20,516 and allow a debt relief to the club of $ 20,000.

The lease of the former Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill to the ENKEL group has raised some eyebrows in the community as the group is relatively new and unknown. An ENKEL spokesman was very confident they would get financial support and sponsorship, but Mayor Brad Pettitt said he wanted more detailed information on that before the item goes to full council, and that he wanted to feel confident ENKEL could pull off the big projects, and what financial resources they would be able to put in themselves.

The Mayor was clearly not happy that the process is taking so long and that ENKEL cannot access the premises, and said he felt that the officers had not given the Elected Members enough information about the timeline. “I feel I am asked to make a decision while only having half of the information.” Councillor  Doug Thompson supported the Mayor’s frustration. They were promised additional detailed information before next Wednesday’s full Council meeting.

Roel Loopers

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