Freo's View

NEW PLANS FOR SMALLER J SHED TAVERN

 

The City of Fremantle Planning Committee will next Wednesday, May 2, deliberate another planning approval by Sunset Venues for the No One unit at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

The application is for Partial change of use to tavern, additions and alterations to existing building.

Fremantle Council agreed two weeks ago to change the lease conditions for a smaller-300 patron-venue and rent reduction, so the next steps are planning approval and a liquor license.

I would have been a lot more at ease if the application had been for a large licensed restaurant/cafe that could cater for weddings and corporate functions. The insistence of creating a tavern at Arthur’s Head does not sit well with inner city residents and the neighbouring artists at J Shed.

There is little doubt that the planning approval with sail quickly through Fremantle Council and it will then be up to the WA Planning Commission and liquor licensing authorities to stop the tavern, or approve it.

Whatever the outcome, this has been going on for far too long!

Roel Loopers

WHALERS TUNNEL TO REOPEN SOON(ISH)

 

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It looks like the Fremantle Whalers Tunnel below the historic Roundhouse and the foot/bicycle path along Arthur’s Head will reopen in a couple of weeks.

City of Fremantle officer Daniel Sharp told me that they will shave off the dangerous corner near the retaining wall along the path soon and also build scaffolding to extend the Whalers Tunnel on the beach side, so that any rockfall would not endanger people walking or cycling through the tunnel.

Together with the State Heritage Office Fremantle City is looking for more permanent solutions to the chronic problem of erosion and rockfall danger.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SYNAGOGUE FOR SALE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on April 18, 2018

 

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The former Fremantle Synagogue on the corner of South Terrace and Parry Street is up for sale.

The present owner wanted to develop it at the back for short-term tourist accommodation but heritage issues stopped the development that has been dormant for over a year.

The site will be a great asset with the planned Fremantle Oval development plans the City of Fremantle has that will activate that area of the inner city.

Roel Loopers

ROYAL GEORGE TOWER REVEALED

 

 

 

I received these artist’s impressions of the proposed new slim tower behind the Royal George hotel in East Fremantle from developers Saracen Properties.

The developers plan to fully renovate the beautiful heritage listed Royal George for tourist accommodation, a gin distillery, bar, restaurants, etc.

They also want to build a 15 storey elliptical spike set on a four storey podium along Duke Street, and create a community square between the former Brush Factory building and the Royal George.

The architect for the project is highly-regarded Michael Patroni of the Fremantle spaceagency.

Roel Loopers

 

TALL DEVELOPMENT FOR ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL

 

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The development proposal by Saracen Properties for the Royal George hotel site in East Fremantle is as exciting as it will be controversial.

The plans for the restoration of the gorgeous heritage building are great and would see the old building, that has been vacant for far too many years, be brought back to life and activation.

The entire building would be restored, including the massive and very high cellars below, that would house a gin distillery or winemaking facility.

On Thursday afternoon Joel Saracen took me on a tour inside the building while our great Freo architect Michael Patroni of the High Street Spaceagency explained his thinking behind the concept.

The Royal George would house a cafe, restaurant, bar, function and community meeting rooms and tourist accommodation, while they would also develop a new public realm between the former Brush Factory building and the Royal George.

On the flip side all the expensive heritage restoration needs to be paid for and the proposal is for a 19 storey slim elliptical spike that is set back from a so called podium in Duke Street. It would house 40 large apartments. The building would have ‘fins’ to make it visually more attractive and would become an iconic landmark pointing to the Fremantle area.

The height along Duke Street would be similar to the height of the Brush Factorey and Royal George.

Parking for residents would be provided for inside the building with a car stacker, but does not include parking for the restaurant and bar patrons.

I know height is always going to be an issue in Fremantle, but I believe that a really well designed slim and very high building could be accommodated in that location. No doubt many locals will disagree with me.

There is a very nice brochure that explains most things but I am flabbergasted by the ‘clever’ PR of explaining why a taller building is better than a shorter and wider building, and showing the ugly shorter box, but not actually showing the proposed 19-storey slim tower. The cynical public will no doubt ask what the developers are trying to hide by not showing the tower.

The decision making authority will be the WA State Development Assessment Panel, not East Fremantle Council.

Roel Loopers

PS: I was promised on Thursday that the developers would email me some images, but still have not received any at 10 am on Saturday so just copied some from the brochure. I publish a daily blog not a quarterly magazine. :>)

 

MSC CUPOLA GREAT HERITAGE FEATURE

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on April 13, 2018

 

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What an absolute delight it was this Friday morning to see the Mediterranean Shipping Company-MSC reinstalling the cupola on top of the heritage building on the corner of Cliff and Philimore streets.

The company has to be thanked and applauded for spending a lot of money on doing that important bit extra.  They should be an example and inspiration for other property owners of heritage buildings in Fremantle’s West End and elsewhere to reinstall some of the former features on buildings.

Very well done MSC and a big thank you from the Fremantle community!

Roel Loopers

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT GETTING THE DEVELOPMENT BALANCE RIGHT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, planning, Uncategorized by freoview on March 14, 2018

 

There is a big conundrum about development in Fremantle and elsewhere. The difficult question about urban infill in older character places is how much, how big, how high, how good, what kind of and when to stop.

We are getting very confusing messages from people, with many moving from WA to Melbourne because it is so European, whatever that means, while I read that many people in Sydney want to move out and go to Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane because Sydney is getting too big, traffic too mad and property prices too high.

Feedback from tourists is that most of them love Fremantle but are not impressed with the bland mediocrity of many of the new buildings in Perth, while they adore Freo’s gorgeous heritage West End.

What is good and appropriate development for Fremantle and how much is needed? We can forever argue about what we like or not but for example the development of the dormant Henderson Street in connection with that of Kings Square and the future development of Fremantle Oval is a good thing I believe.

One can rightly question though if the massive planned Woolstores shopping centre development and the eight-storey Little Lane on the Spotlight site are just a bit too much for Fremantle and overkill.

Does Fremantle need more highrise apartment buildings or should is start encouraging micro lots of around 100sqm for terrace housing/townhouses, that would suit our inner city much better.

I believe it is all about balance, but developers and city and state planners are not getting the right mix in my opinion.

I left Sydney in 1985 because real estate was simply unaffordable there while house prices in Perth were very cheap then, and it looks like this is still going on, although Fremantle is relatively expensive to move to.

It is time the WA state government organised a symposium on how much and what kind of development is needed, so that it can give better guidance to developers and local councils and its own JDAP and SAT.

It is imperative to show real respect for character cities like Fremantle, Subiaco and others and develop with restraint. To keep pushing for urban infill when the targets might be unrealistic will be detrimental to the uniqueness of our heritage cities.

Roel Loopers

EAST FREMANTLE TOWNHALL RENOVATIONS

 

 

While Fremantle is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Kings Square project and the new Civic Centre the Town of East Fremantle councillors and staff have just returned to the Townhall there after 14 months of renovating the old building.

The renovation involved the removal of all previous office infrastructure i.e. floor coverings, fittings, partitions, bench tops etc. and included structural improvements, disabled access inclusion and an upgrade to all utilities.  The building was stripped of all services, electrical and mechanical and the plumbing has been replaced.

The aim  of the renovation is to provide a better use of the office space, an opportunity for community meetings, a more functional and contemporary reception and front counter, as well as getting the most out of one of the Town’s most beautiful buildings.

Roel Loopers

(Photos supplied)

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HOTEL FOR FREO’S CONVICT VILLAGE

 

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The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council last night recommended for approval by the WA JDAP the development of a five-storey hotel, restaurant, tavern and shops at the heritage listed Henderson Street Police and Justice complex and Warders Cottages by Fremantle’s Silverleaf Investments.

The Fremantle Society was concerned that five storeys on the site did not fit in with the City’s own criteria, but planning staff and Councillors had a different opinion.

It was agreed that further work needed to be done on dealing with the noise of the future live music venue of the Drillhall, but the overall concept was welcomed by the elected members and officers.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was a good outcome and Councillor Dave Hume said it was a really good outcome and good interpretation of the historic site, and the access way through the development from Henderson to Parry streets was excellent.

Councillor Adin Lang said he had given it a lot of consideration and while the sightlines might impact somewhat the development showcases what is inside the old buildings. We are lucky we don’t have the site empty for ten years as was the case with the Warders Cottages, Lang said.

Councillor Ingrid Waltham said it was a fantastic adaptive re-use of the convict precinct and a good outcome.

The City’s heritage architect Alan Kelsall said the additional fifth storey allows the developers to have a minimal impact on the heritage buildings. “The benefit on the heritage buildings out weights the impact of the higher building.”

The deciding authority for the $10 million development is the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel.

Roel Loopers

ACTIVATE FREMANTLE’S HIDDEN GEM

Posted in bathers beach, beaches, city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 5, 2018

 

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Fremantle’s hidden gem Bathers Beach has a nice new long sign at Fleet Street to welcome tourists.

This little beach has a lot of potential but requires that Council walks the talk and actually supports the activation of Bathers Beach by putting public toilets  there.

In a perfect world the boardwalk should be extended all the way to J Shed, but at least new lights should be installed along the path from J Shed to Kidogo Arthouse, and they need  to be taller as the present low solar lights get vandalised regularly and that is becoming costly.

While the Leighton, Port and South beaches are packed with people Bathers Beach remains under utilised. One only ever sees a handful of people sun baking and swimming there, so the numbers need to increase to help the activation of Arthur’s Head and the historic West End.

 

Roel Loopers

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