The continuing delay of the development of the Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Fremantle Point Street carpark site and the delay of settlement of the Spicer site at Henderson Street raises questions about the contracts the City of Fremantle signs with developers.
It is nice to have a clause in the Hilton sales contract that stipulates the City can buy back the site if development does not happen within a certain period, but it is totally useless as Fremantle is not in a financial position to buy back the Point Street property, and anyway, what to do with it then?
The delay of the Kings Square project meant that valuable revenue from the Queensgate carpark was lost to the COF and the delay of settlement with Sirona Capital of the Spicer property also means that Fremantle will have to wait till they get paid for it, when the City’s coffers are very empty.
Would it not be better to include penalties for delays, let’s say $ 10,000 per week, as that would be a clear message that Fremantle wants and needs development now and not sometime down the track when the Hilton developers have built three other hotels in Perth first.
Money is a great incentive to get things done fast and buy-back clauses are unrealistic when the City of Fremantle does not have the money for it.
This photo taken from the top of the Fremantle Townhall on Friday has historic significance for Fremantle as the inner east CBD will look very different in a few years from now with major development plans for the area.
In about five years we will see the new Woolstores shopping centre commercial, hotel and student development by Silverleaf, the Point Street Hilton Doubletree hotel project, and the eight-storey residential development of the former Spotlight building, and just beyond that the residential development next to the Hotel Australia at Beach Street.
Word at the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre is that development of the site will start in six months, so I am keen to see plans for the development.
There has not been public consultation yet about the plans but I hear the developers are quite frustrated getting knocked back at the Design Advisory Committee of the City of Fremantle.
It is going to be a huge and very high development so it is essential for the CoF to stay firm and for developers Silverleaf to be patient because it is essential that we are getting outstanding architecture in the inner city.
Just over the road at the Point Street carpark site there are still no signs the Hilton Doubletree hotel development will get under way any time soon, although they need to get started in the first quarter of this year. Hurry up please because the vacant site is an eyesore.
That makes me question why developers are allowed to demolish buildings when they do not have a commencement date for development. The shops were used as pop-ups and at least created some activity in the area and looked a whole lot better than the Adelaide desert we now have to look at.
The residential development of the LIV apartments at Queen Victoria Street, opposite the just completed Heirloom by Match development, has started and what a delight it is to see the well-overdue modernisation of Fremantle’s East End.
Down the road at Princess May park the Hilton Doubletree hotel development should also start early next year and there are quite a few approved development projects that will commence in the area in the near future.
Together with the Kings Square development this gives me great hope for a brilliant Fremantle future and the revival of the retail, hospitality and tourism industry in our city.
I agree with the critics that a lot of the new development is boring and mediocre and that is a rotten shame, because Fremantle deserves to get creative and outstanding architecture that would become the heritage of the future, but sadly excellence in design is lacking often.
On another note, whenever I post something positive about Fremantle I get accused of having gone soft on Council so let me just make a few points. I am not a one-eyed Liberal, Labor, Greens, Socialist, Communist, Capitalist, Dockers, Eagles supporter and I do not have a political agenda. I consider myself to be a moderate with an open mind.
I don’t believe in God(s), chakras and healers but I do have great respect for the universe and nature and find my solace and inspiration there.
I also don’t have issues with vegetarians and vegans, as long as they don’t tell me what to eat, and I (barely) tolerate soy latte, non caffeine and skim milk coffee drinkers. ; >)
My aim is to try to be fair and balanced on this blog, but I have no doubt that I have failed a few times at that, because like Fremantle, the world, all humans and politicians I am not perfect.
I truly believe that renaissance is happening in Fremantle and that most of it is positive and good for our city. Many more people living and working in and visiting Freo will create an exciting vibrancy that has been lacking, and I am looking forward to it.
The start of construction of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Point Street carpark site has been delayed again with Fremantle Council on Wednesday agreeing to extend the contract by one year.
Council approved the sale of the site in December 2012 and the contract required the SKS group who bought the property to commence building within three years of receiving planning approval, however SKS has now advised the City of Fremantle it will not start construction before the second quarter of 2017.
Council does have the option to buy back the property at an estimated value of $ 9.6 million, but what would it do with it then?
The construction delay is because of dewatering issues for the basement of the new building that now has to be redesigned, according to SKS.
What is means is that we will have to live with this ugly eyesore for another year in the centre of the city.
Sirona Capital was also granted a six months extension to finalise its lease negotiations with the WA Government for the Department of Housing to move to Kings Square.
Nice to see something happening at the proposed site of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel on the corner of Point and Queen Adelaide streets.
The derelict site looks pretty awful in the centre of Freo and the Point Street carpark is also an eyesore.
This development together with the upgrade of Princess May Park and the occupation of the former Boys School by DAADA will attract a lot more activity to that area, which will also be good for Clancy’s and the Adelaide Plaza building.
The Hilton Doubletree development at Fremantle Point Street will be starting in early 2017 according to information on the agenda of next Wednesday’s City of Fremantle Ordinary Council meeting.
According to the agenda item the SKS group responsible for the development will be opening an office opposite the site in Point Street soon, and development has been pushed back from the last quarter of this year to the first quarter of next year.
There is also a development application out for the Westgate Mall site east of the Target building, so Queen Adelaide Street could become a hive of building development next year, connecting Kings Square with the residential development along Queen Victoria, Beach and Quarry streets.
The Princess May Park masterplan has also been approved so changes there are also due soon, and DAADA is to move into the former Boys School there next year as well.
I wonder if the City of Fremantle will be flexible enough to revisit the new masterplan for Princess May Park now that the Hilton Doubletree hotel development is delayed for at least two years, and might never happen because of the new Adina Hotel development on the Woolstores shopping centre site over the road.
The masterplan is in parts about linking the western part of Princess May Park with the terraced planned section of the Hilton, that would open up into the park with a cafe, etc. If this does not happen that part of the park might have to be redesigned to accommodate other development should the Doubletree remain a plan rather than a built reality.
It is bad enough that the SKS group has decided to delay by two years the development of the Hilton Doubletree hotel on the corner of Point and Queen Adelaide streets in Fremantle, but it is not acceptable they now leave the site in a mess and don’t clean it up.
After I complained about it a few months ago they partly cleaned up the site and put metres of unattractive SKS banners on the fence, but just next to the still standing carpark they have not bothered to clean up this mess or make it safe, as the partly demolished walls are a safety hazard to the public.
This no care attitude of the developers shows little respect for the community and is basically very bad manners. Where is your corporate pride and responsibility SKS?
The owners of the Port Stationary building in Fremantle’s High Street have applied to demolish the building, without showing plans for the development of the site.
The exterior of the building is very bland next to the majestic heritage buildings to the east and west of it, so I personally see no issues with demolishing it. I would however make approval to allow that subject to first seeing the building development plans, otherwise we might end up with an ugly vacant site in the heritage street for years, and that would not be acceptable.
No doubt architect Ben Braham, who is the son of the building owner, could produce a stunning design for a great building that will compliment the streetscape more than the ugly building that is there now.
No demolition without development plans though! We are experiencing what it look like at Point and Queen Adelaide street where buildings were demolished to make way for the Hilton Doubletree hotel development that is now delayed for at least two years, leaving Freo with an ugly site.