Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2017


High Street 1


I just love Freo! I love being part of this great community and this unique city.

Took this photo a couple of hours ago from the Roundhouse steps.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2017


The monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel on Monday had three speakers, so I will split up the reporting on it and start with High Street retailer Gaelle Beech of the ANJEL MS ethical fashion shop.

Gaelle’s talk was inspiring as it was not the typical whinge we get from too many in the community, but it was more about why we don’t sell the unique beauty of Fremantle and especially the gorgeous heritage High Street better as a shopping destination.

High Street is one of the most gorgeous shopping precincts in Australia that ends at Bathers Beach, so why don’t we promote that better?

“We don’t treasure enough what we have got in Fremantle and forget to show the beauty of it to our visitors” Gaelle rightly said.

The West End is unique but many visitors don’t even know where High Street is and there is no retail map showing the diversity of shopping.

We need West End traders to work together and not individually, and we need you as the community to support us she said.

High Street needs more vibrancy with buskers and art, and traders and City of Fremantle marketing should not assume everyone knows about us.

Gaelle Beech said she loves Fremantle and would not have a shop anywhere else in Perth. She also has an outlet at Fremantle Markets on weekends.

ANJEL MS specialises in ethical fashion and supports young designers in Katmandu, India and Bali, so go and check it out and support our struggling local traders.

“We have an amazing city! Which shopping centre has a beach at the end of it! Gaelle said with passion and I could not agree more.

She got laughter and applause when a Notre Dame University student lamented that it cost them $ 1,200 a year in parking. “You are young, walk and use public transport” she encouraged. Yes indeed!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, heritage, hospitality, retail, shopping, tourism, western australia by freoview on May 20, 2016

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Gorgeous historic High Street in the West End of Fremantle is one of my favourite streets by day and by night. It appears I am not the only one who believes that as the footfall in the street has significantly increased according to Nicholas Takacs of A Beautiful City.

Wandering through the street that has some of the most beautiful buildings in WA this morning , I took these photos.

The Freo shopping experience is so much better than sterile shopping centres, and there are so many cute cafes to relax in.

P.S. The National Hotel is catering for the wild weather this weekend and have real English roast on special with all the trimmings such as bubble&squeak and black pudding.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, local government by freoview on April 1, 2016

West End Mall


The West End of Fremantle could become one of the most beautiful pedestrian shopping malls in Australia if secret plans by the City of Fremantle become reality.

The plans that are being discussed at the Special Projects Committee and were leaked to Freo’s View show the West End Mall planned in three stages, with stage one going to Mouat Street. Stage two would see the mall extended all the way to the Roundhouse, with the railway crossing relocated to line up straight in front of the Whalers Tunnel. This would no doubt create a greater awareness of Arthur Head and Bathers Beach and help to activate the often dormant west end of the city dramatically. It would also fit in well with Council’s desire to make the CBD more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

Pakenham Street and Cliff Street would remain open and the only traffic crossings through the new mall, while Henry Street and Mouat Street would be closed at High Street and become two-way cul de sac between Philimore street and High street and between Marine Terrace and High street. This would allow south to north traffic through Cliff, Pakenham and South Terrace/Market Street and north to south traffic through Cliff and Market St/South Tce.

The footpaths along High Street would be levelled with the road surface and the entire mall paved and seats, planters, a water feature and artworks installed to create a heritage ambience.

Stage three however is outrageous and in my opinion unacceptable and should be scrapped immediately, as it involves realigning the historic Whalers Tunnel. The officers suggest to take up the idea of former WA Premier Peter Dowding and straighten up the historic Whalers Tunnel so that it will be in line with High Street, so that Bathers Beach will become visible for people walking west along the street. I believe that is totally ridiculous and akin to moving the Roundhouse to another location.

Without stage three the proposed West End Mall could become a great celebration of Fremantle’s heritage and the acknowledgment of the planned West End Heritage Precinct to celebrate the gold boom period architecture in High Street, so I hope the plans will go to community consultation and become reality soon.

What is your opinion?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on July 21, 2015

rain 4 rain 3 rain 2 rain 1

Record rain falls in July for the Perth metro area and the squalls last night in Fremantle almost blew my bedroom windows in.

It’s all good for nature and our water supply but not for my mood. I need sunshine and warmth to feel happy so I can’t wait for spring and tell myself it is only a few more sleeps away. :>)

Here some photos I took of the winter weather.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, parking by freoview on June 12, 2015


The LAPA Brazilian restaurant did not wait long to start installing the parklet, that is taking a parking and a loading bay from High Street, approved by Fremantle Council only a couple of weeks ago.

I am of the opinion that Council should have reversed the decision after the officers failed to mention that the take-away section of the establishment for which the parklet is put up is only operating from 11.30 am to 2 pm, so the street level activation, mentioned at Council as desirable, is not going to happen throughout the operating hours of the restaurant but only for a short two and a half lunchtime hours only. Why give away two important vehicle bays that support the other traders in High Street for that?

Interesting to note that after I mentioned the operating hours of the take-away of LAPA on this blog the sign with those times has been removed from the premises.

Roel Loopers


Posted in abeautifulcity, fremantle, retail by freoview on February 14, 2015

I regularly catch up with leasing and retail expert Nicholas Takacs of abeatifulcity and of course we talk about the decline of Fremantle’s retail often. For me these meetings are educational because Nicholas goes all over Perth to check out how different retailers do business, market themselves, beautify their shops, etc. and he also is contracted to put up people counters in shopping centres and streets and  he gives advise to traders and centre managers.

I am not qualified to put words into Nicholas mouth, so what I am writing about are just my thoughts inspired by the long talk I had with him yesterday at Gino’s where we talked about the importance and success of local shopping destinations like Claremont Crescent in Swanbourne, Angove Street in North Perth, Oxford Street in Leederville and that lovely Angelo Street one in South Perth, to name just a few.

That made me think about how we say that retail in Fremantle is not doing well, when we actually mean it is not doing well in the CBD. Out of that comes the question if we should make the CBD bigger by including successful shopping destinations such as the Peaches and IGA strip along Hampton Road, the Romano’s and IGA shopping precinct at Lefroy Road, Woolworth  further down Hampton Road on the corner of Douro Road, the Hilton shopping area at South Street, etc. Retail in those and many other smaller shopping ‘centres’ is doing very well and that is probably because of proximity but because they also provide a community feeling not unlike markets. Maybe retail thinking in the old ‘High Street’ way is passe and localised destinations are the future of retail instead of the centralised CBD.

This brings me to another point Nicholas and I talked about and that is that property owners in the High Street Mall are finally cleaning up and beautifying vacant shops there. It looks so much better that one has to wonder why it took so long to get this done.

Nicholas has a very good blog that might inspire retailers to spruce up their shops, change the way they present and market, so check it out:

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 10, 2014

Fremantle West End resident and writer of the Freoramble blog Graham Morgan is a nice bloke, but sadly he loses the plot now and then and makes all-out attacks. His latest blog post about a market proposal in the area is such a case.

Without mentioning me he calls me “the chief blogger” who is employed by markets proponent Georgie Adeane and she, according to Morgan, “is not content taking over the beautiful precinct around Bathers Beach” but now also dares to suggest a market at the end of High Street near Chalkys Cafe.

Morgan claims I have been dismissive about his complaints about people parking when the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets are on, so let’s deal with the facts, hey Graham.

When Morgan alerted me to people parking in front of his carpark exit I emailed him to say I would check it out, which I did. I went to his building three times during a five-hour Saturday market session, and while people were illegally parking in High Street west of Cliff Street, no cars were parking in front of the carpark exit to Morgan’s building. I did however also inform the City of Fremantle about Morgan’s complaint and asked to send parking inspectors to the area. I also advised Morgan we promoted that people park at TAFE and J Shed to get to the markets.

Graham Morgan just hates markets. He told me he does not like Growers Green either because markets take business away from shops. And that might not be good for Graham’s wholesale fruit&vegie business maybe?

The owners of Sweetlips at Bathers Beach love the summer sunset markets because it has increased their Saturday trade enormously. The markets attract thousands of people who would not normally come to the area on a Saturday evening. Henry Liascos of Cicerrelo’s, Char Char Bull and the soon to open Bathers Beach House also told me he is happy for the sunset markets to continue, so why does Morgan have a problem with it?

Morgan also claims I do not disclose that Georgie Adeane employs me to help with the markets during the summer months. Yes I get one day a week work from her between November and April, nothing else, and I have disclosed that on many occasions.

Graham just doesn’t like it. He sent me photos of a small 30 centimetre-high sign I put near the Whalers Tunnel because it was in an inappropriate location, another time I was told we left a sign at Sweetlips promoting the weekly markets.

Graham, chill out or move out! You live in the centre of a vibrant city and contrary to most other people who live in your building, you are the only one complaining, the others actually come to the markets and enjoy it.

Markets are great for cities and extremely popular all over the world. It is one of the first things tourists will ask about, so if you don’t like a lively inner city, maybe a retirement village in the country is something you should be contemplating.

Baseless attacks on me are pretty silly, Graham and I have no idea why you continue making them. According to Graham I am also a Greenie who works for a Greenie.

And I have not been informed by Georgie Adeane that she has applied for the Alleycat markets or any others but am aware she wanted to do others and in other suburbs as well.

By the way, Graham, I will continue to oppose the proposed tavern and live music venue at J Shed although it does not affect me personally in any way or form. I am sure this blog post will help to put freoramble on the map. Check out the number of hits you get because I promoted it for you. Next drinks are on you! ; >)

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on August 28, 2014

Nicholas Takacs


It is good to see a Fremantle based business getting national acclaim in the West Australian newspaper today.

Nicholas Takacs of ABEAUTIFULCITY is a former retail leasing agent and was also an economic advisor at the City of Fremantle. Since leaving COF Takacs has been advising the councils of Joondalup, Nedlands, Victoria Park, Claremont, Fremantle BID, and shopping centres, through the installation of people counters.

Well done Nic. Good branding for your relatively new business!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on August 27, 2014

My report on today’s Fremantle Council meeting has to start with to mention that the woman who died in the car crash at Bibra Lake yesterday was a COF employee. She worked at the ground floor reception desk, so no doubt I know her and have spoken to her. It should remind us all that no matter how often we talk about changing our city and progress, we should never forget it is all about people and that it only takes a split second for those we love and respect to be no longer with us. May she rest in peace.

The main item on the agenda for me was the proposed development of Atwell Arcade in the High Street Mall, and it was interesting to observe how different individuals look at these issues.

The first public speaker owns the property to the west of it and, no doubt with dollar signs in his eyes about the possibility of seeing the value of his property go up, told Council this development would create opportunity, that Atwell Arcade had never worked and that his family loved the idea of putting a vibrant retailer in that location.

The architect for the development also came up  that this was more about Fremantle finally getting the economic revitalisation it badly needed, and less about building an inappropriate building that lacks respect for the heritage surroundings. Oh yeah and if Council did not approve it fast the tenants who had already committed would go somewhere else and the development would not happen. After all they are giving Freo 300 office staff and a national retailer, so why make the changes requested by the Design Advisory Committee. If floor space has to be reduced it won’t be viable, he warned.

Of course John Downson for FICRA spoke in the same vein as the Fremantle Society had done at a previous meeting that the plans are shocking and ignore the townscape character of the area.

Over to the Elected Members. I was personally disappointed that Mayor Brad Pettitt said that time is of the essence for the office component and that Council wants revitalisation and new buildings in the CBD. The DAC is getting pretty close but we are not there yet, but the developers had said that tenants who had committed to move in would be lost if there was more delay. Sounds more like a threat to me, but the Mayor was happy to accept that as a reason to move forward fast, instead of getting it right. “I don’t want to lose this opportunity. This is a really important one with 300 office staff revitalising the heart of the city”

Breath of fresh air then that Councillors Strachan, Massie and Pemberton stood up to say they could not support it without the required changes and that leaving it to the discretion of the CEO to sign off on was not the way to go and that it should be deferred to the DAC.

Councillor Bill Massie, who is often the voice of common sense on Council, and who is very pro-development, said the proposal was risky because it is in the heart of heritage, and the design was not compatible with the area. Hallelujah!

Councillor Andrew Sullivan made the strongest points about the developers being in a rush to get the building approved. It was not about Council giving in and fast forwarding the process, but about the developers accepting all the recommendations of the DAC and make all the significant changes required, so that a fast decision could be made.

Sullivan also pointed out that even after the, to be demolished, arcade would be reconstructed it would diminish its cultural significance because it was no longer the original.

It is a good outcome that Council deferred the matter back to the DAC and that a special Council meeting will be held after the next DAC meeting to accommodate the developers, as long as they are willing to make the important design changes required by the DAC.

Councillor Massie then asked whatever happened with the 3D equipment the City had bought for a lot of money a few years ago and why that was not used for major developments, but the Director did not even know if that equipment was still at COF. The Fremantle Society have asked for 3D plans for major developments in the past, but for some reason council staff appear unwilling to use it and that needs to change.

Fremantle Council should never ever let developers threaten them with walking away unless they get what they want. Councillors were elected to make the right decisions for the community, not to make fast and inappropriate ones to appease developers who could not care less about destroying Fremantle’s unique character.

Roel Loopers

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