Freo's View

HOPING FOR BRIGHT FOMO FUTURE

 

 

A cool and wet day in Freo, so starting it off with a bit of colour from the Henderson Street carpark, which is part of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project by Sirona Capital.

I must admit that in the current climate and Covid-19 economy I am anxious about the FOMO retail concept planned for our city square.

While there is some optimism about Fremantle’s future and the revitalisation of the CBD through residential, commercial, hospitality and tourism development, the pandemic will no doubt delay some of those projects and I just hope that FOMO will still start before Christmas this year, once the Walyalup Civic Centre is completed.

Roel Loopers

FOMO COURTYARD LOOKING GOOD

 

 

Now that staff of the Department of Communities have started to move into the Sirona Capital  FOMO buildings at Kings Square the fencing has been removed and one can wander around the courtyard between the south and north campuses.

It feels quite nice in there and there are some benches where one can enjoy a take away coffee from Parlapa in William Street, while watching the construction of Fremantle’s new Walyalup Civic Centre.

There are trees and plenty of shade, but adhere to the social distancing rules!

Roel Loopers

WILL KINGS SQUARE ACTIVATION REMAIN A PIPE DREAM?

 

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The Fremantle community should get used to the black hoardings at Kings Square with Sirona Capital announcing in the Fremantle Herald today that the FOMO retail concept will now only open toward the end of this year, so yet another delay for the activation of our city square.

One has to ask if the Fremantle Kings Square activation is just a pipedream based on hope only, because while Sirona blames the coronavirus for the delay, the article in the Herald makes it pretty clear that they have failed to sign up a significant number of retailers for the exciting and innovative FOMO concept, that was lauded as going to be a first in Australia, and a whole new shopping and hospitality experience.

I questioned earlier this week what was going on with FOMO when the West Australian published an article about the Varsity sports bar being the first to sign up for FOMO, and one can get little confidence out of Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly’s claim in the Herald that five key anchor tenants are in different stages of being signed up. It simply means they have not signed them up yet, although McNeilly told the Herald there was no shortage of interest in FOMO. With all due respect, I take that claim with a grain of salt.

Things will not get better for a long time and many new ventures and developments will stall or falter because investment money will be hard to get because of the Covid-19 crisis. The economy will struggle all over the world, and that will no doubt unfortunately also have a huge impact on Fremantle and our traders.

We can live in hope, but we need to pragmatically and honestly deal with the reality. These are not the times for spin.

Roel Loopers

HOW MANY TENANTS AT FREO’S FOMO CONCEPT?

 

When will the Fremantle community find out the truth about how attractive the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is to retailers and the hospitality industry?

Last year it was reported that Sirona Capital has stated that retailers’ interest in the FOMO concept had been better than anticipated, but today the West Australia reports on their property pages on page 55 that the American-themed sports bar Varsity is the first tenant to sign up for FOMO, which is due to open in April this year, after a few delays.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus crisis will make business owners even more reluctant to sign up for commercial spaces anywhere in Australia and the world, so how well is FOMO doing in that regard?

Surely businesses who want to be part of the FOMO opening in a month time would have signed up a long time ago, but looking through the windows of the Kings Square buildings there is no indication of any shop fronts inside the buildings at ground floor level at all.

As a big supported of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project I am seriously worried, so maybe an honest update from Sirona Capital would be appropriate.

Roel Loopers

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COLOURS OF FREO’S FOMO

 

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A bit of colour and optimism is badly needed during the coronavirus crisis, so here a detail of the Sirona Capital¬† FOMO building at Fremantle’s Kings Square.

On Monday the first 300 staff of the Department of Communities will be moving in and by the end of June that will have risen to 1700 employees, so the activation of the Freo CBD will be starting.

Roel Loopers

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BLAND KINGS SQUARE ART UNSUITABLE

 

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The artwork Sirona Capital put at the FOMO buildings on Kings Square is very disappointing. It is boring, bland and uninspiring.

The Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project is all about the modernisation of our city square and the revitalisation of the inner city. The public art should be colourful and soaring into the sky, but instead we have a work that is of the kind local councils used to put in their parks and gardens in the 1980s.

This artwork does not suit and support the rejuvenation of the inner city. Disappointing!

Roel Loopers

EXCLUSIVE FREO KINGS SQUARE PHOTOS

 

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A new milestone was reached today at the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project with the opening of Newman Court.

It gave me the opportunity to take photos from different angles, which I had not seen before.

In ten days the first 300 staff of the Department of Communities will move in, and by June that will total 1,700 of them.

Roel Loopers

THE NEW FREO NEWMAN COURT

 

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Just a glimpse of what Newman Court at Kings Square will look like when they open it up again. The new paving has just been completed.

Roel Loopers

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FREO KINGS SQUARE ACTIVATION IN MARCH

 

 

Fremantle traders will be delighted to hear that the very long wait is almost over and that the first 300 staff of the Department of Communities will move into their new Kings Square offices on March 23.

By the end of June 1700 staff of that department and the Department of Transport will have moved into the FOMO buildings, and that will bring a lot more people into the CBD on weekdays.

To welcome the new workers the City of Fremantle and the two departments, with support from the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, are putting together a welcome pack providing tips from locals on their favourite shops, cafes and lunch spots and offering special discounts from local businesses.

The new Walyalup Civic Centre building should be completed by October this year, so City of Fremantle staff will be moving back there late this year and early next year.

Roel Loopers

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LATEST FROM THE FREMANTLE WALYALUP CENTRE

 

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Not long to go until Fremantle’s Walyalup civic centre is completed, as this photo I took yesterday shows.

I am really looking forward to Kings Square being activated with the FOMO retail and hospitality centre, the Communities Department moving in, a new library and community meeting rooms, a cafe and bar, and the new children’s playground that will be built later this year.

It has been a long time coming.

Roel Looper

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