Freo's View

ARE SOME OF FREO’S PIPELINE PROJECTS A PIPE DREAM?

 

I am all for telling the good Freo stories, but the City of Fremantle’s latest media release is basically rehashing old news to counteract today’s criticism in the West Australian.

This is a large section of the media release:

A review of the City of Fremantle’s Economic Development Strategy suggests there is increasing confidence in Fremantle as a place to invest despite the current stagnation in the WA economy.

A report to be considered by Fremantle Council next week said the most recent CommSec ‘State of the States’ report ranked WA’s economy as the second-weakest in the nation, while figures from the WA Treasury indicate lower discretionary spending on retail, food and beverage services.

The report also quotes Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA business confidence surveys in which 64 per cent of respondents said they expected economic conditions to stay the same or worsen over the next 12 months, with weak demand cited as the largest barrier to business growth.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said even though the picture was gloomy for the broader WA economy Fremantle was showing encouraging signs.

“In 2017-18 Fremantle reached a record high of $313 million worth of residential and commercial property approved for construction, defying the WA trend which has seen building approvals fall by 9.2 per cent over the past year,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“Of Fremantle’s current $1.3 billion development pipeline more than $600 million is either built or under construction, with recently completed residential apartment developments continuing to grow the inner city population.

“New residential development either recently built or under construction is continuing to contribute to a projected 68 per cent increase in the number of people living in Fremantle’s city centre by 2021.

“We’ve also seen new businesses continue to open in Fremantle, with a trend towards new food and beverage outlets rather than traditional retail.

“This means Fremantle now boasts an even stronger offering of unique, high-quality hospitality offerings as well as a selection of high-end boutique retail outlets.”

Despite the increased investment in Fremantle the Economic Development Strategy review also highlighted that the broader economic headwinds were challenging for local businesses.

Commercial vacancy rates in the city centre have been increasing in line with the wider metropolitan area, although vacancies in Fremantle were clustered around current redevelopment and construction zones.

While all of the above is true we also need to realistically acknowledge that a lot of the pipeline development has stalled. The Woolstores hotel development, the Hilton Doubletree, the Little Lane on the Spotlight site, the Energy Museum development and also the Justice and Police Complex in Henderson Street are all projects in waiting, and so is the boutique hotel at the Warders Cottages next to Fremantle Markets.

That is a lot of development that might, or might not, go ahead and even senior officers at the City of Fremantle are doubtful that some of them will actually become reality.

The most sensible way for Fremantle Council to move forward is being pragmatic and to accept that some of the planned and approved development projects are still a long way away and that the Kings Square development all on its own won’t bring the economic rebirth Freo badly needs, and our many struggling traders can’t wait for much longer. What is needed is short term action and prioritising a strong marketing campaign.

Roel Loopers

LIONS AND TIGERS FOOD FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, food, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 13, 2019

 

 

Good news for the former Stable Hands restaurant in Fremantle’s Bannister Street, which unfortunately closed after a wall collapsed at the heritage building next door.

A new restaurant will open there in August owned by the owners of the very popular Duck Duck Bruce cafe in Collie Street.

The Lions and Tigers restaurant will seat about 80 guests and will offer Anglo Indian food created by top chef Alia Glorie, and a tandoori oven has been installed.

Roel Loopers

RETAIL DECLINE A HUGE WORRY FOR OUR CITIES

 

Recent media reports in the West Australian and on TV news show that retail is severely struggling in Perth and that Fremantle’s worries are not unique in that regard. Of course that is cold comfort to our Freo traders.

The same complaints Fremantle traders make are made by Perth traders; parking costs, antisocial behaviour and homelessness.

According to one news outlet one in five shops are vacant in the Perth CBD, so that is even higher than in Fremantle, with one trader saying that they were experiencing the worst trading conditions in a decade, with whole days of no sales and no customers entering the shop.

The sad fact is that there is a lot of on-line shopping and that many people prefer the sterile all-weather comfort of shopping centres where there is little antisocial behaviour, no homeless people and three-hour free parking.

In summer shoppers escape to the cool airconditioned comfort of suburban shopping centres, which keep them warm and dry in winter, so that is something old-fashion High Street shopping can’t offer.

While free parking might be an option for big and wealthy Perth council a small city such as Fremantle is reliant on parking fees and parking fines revenue. Fremantle Council would have to substantially raise council rates if it introduced free parking.

Fremantle could however offer free weekday night parking to try to attract more people into town in the evenings.

What the demise of retail will mean for the FOMO retail concept at Kings Square, that will open mid next year, is yet to be seen, but don’t expect miracles in the short term.

There is no point in not supporting local traders but then complain that retail shops, cafes and restaurants close and that so many shops are vacant, so support our Freo traders!

Roel Loopers

NEW YORK DELI FOR FREO’S KAILIS

Posted in city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, food, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 4, 2019

 

kailis. tiff

 

Kailis in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour will be reinventing itself with an all new fish cafe that will focus on the cheaper species of fish such as garfish, mullet and herring.

The new cafe will be a New York style 80s deli with a grill and barbeque section and a raw bar for those of us who love raw fish.

Kailis will also bring back two of my favourites; whitebait and fishwings.

Renowned seafood chef Peter Manifis will be running the show as the company is moving with the changing times in hospitality where people want something special when they go out and eat something they don’t cook at home.

Roel Loopers

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SOUTH FREMANTLE PHOTO FEATURE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, community, hospitality, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on July 1, 2019

 

 

After a week of wet weather and mainly being inside I needed to get out and about  and get some fresh air and exercise, so I decided to do a little photo feature on South Fremantle. I walked around for an hour and took these shots.

Roel Loopers

MANNING REDEVELOPMENT ON TRACK

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on June 24, 2019

 

Manning 2

Manning 1

 

Work on the Manning Building redevelopment in the Fremantle inner city is progressing well with two large metal frames installed at the back of it in Paddy Troy Lane.

The Silverleaf Investments development will see a new tavern, micro brewery and distillery being added to the heritage building and hopefully help with the Fremantle Council’s efforts of  revitalising the CBD.

Roel Loopers

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LATEST FROM KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT

 

FOMO 1

FOMO 2

 

The latest look at the new Sirona Capital buildings along Fremantle’s William Street and Queen Street.

It is all part of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project with the new City of Fremantle civic centre building progressing well at Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

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BOOKS, WINE AND FOOD AT STRANGE COMPANY

Posted in bar, BOOKS, city of fremantle, hospitality, reading, Uncategorized by freoview on June 13, 2019

 

The STRANGE EDITIONS 3.0
A winter book club is back at Fremantle’s Strange Company bar.

The very popular winter book club returns for its third year with a series of celebrated local authors who will be joining to discuss their most recent novels.

All of the books will be available at the bar ahead of each session, and the Strange Company crew are more than happy to have a chat with you about them over a drink or two.

The book club is on the last Tuesday of each month (June – September) to discuss these exceptional books and enjoy some quality wine.

June 25: Anne-Louise Willoughby for ‘Nora Heysen: A Portrait’
Hosted by editor, publisher and critic Naama Grey-Smith

.

30th July
Alice Nelson for ‘The Children’s House’
 Hosted by award-winning author and academic Brenda Walker.

27th August 
Marcella Polain for ‘Driving Into The Sun’
 Hosted by ABC Radio Perth’s Gillian O’Shaughnessy.

24th September 
Steve Hawke for ‘Out Of Time’
 Hosted by journalist, university lecturer and ABC Radio Perth presenter Glynn Greensmith

Please note, this is a free event, but RSVP is essential as places are limited.

Roel Loopers

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ALL THE FREMANTLE BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

Posted in business, city of fremantle, fremantle chamber of commerce, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2019

 

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce emailed me all the winners of Friday night’s business awards ceremony at the Esplanade Hotel so here they are:

CITY OF FREMANTLE LEADERSHIP AWARD SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE: THE RAW KITCHEN-ZERO STORE

CITY OF FREMANTLE LEADERSHIP AWARD DESTINATION MARKETING CAMPAIGN:
Fremantle Ports Quay to Summer Campaign

TAMS EXCELLENCE AWARD MARINE, ENGINEERING & DEFENCE INDUSTRY: IKAD Engineering

EXCELLENCE AWARD PROFESSIONAL SERVICE: Centre for Accessibility

NOTRE DAME EXCELLENCE AWARD INNOVATION: WA Maritime Museum

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING EVENT: City of Fremantle – Street Arts Festival 2019

TELSTRA AWARD FOR BEST RETAIL: Glen Cowans Fine Art Photography Gallery

AFA AWARD FOR BEST ATTRACTION: WA Maritime Museum-The Antarctica VR Experience

PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD: PERCY FLINT

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: WA MARITIME MUSEUM

BUSINESS FOUNDATIONS SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: THE RAW KITCHEN – ZERO STORE

WATER PIPES FOR FREMANTLE COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Posted in city of fremantle, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2019

 

I received this information below late yesterday from the Water Corporation regarding the planned work on water pipes in the Fremantle CBD, so it is important to share it with the community. Please pass it on!

Today we met with representatives from the City of Fremantle, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, West End Traders and Freo Now to discuss the proposed work. Key concerns raised included the proposed streets for renewal in 2019, in particular High Street, the timing of this work and potential negative impacts to the businesses.

Following this meeting, we’re looking for expressions of interest from individuals to form a working group. The purpose of the working group is to hear comments, questions and concerns from representatives across the whole project area. Your feedback will play an important role in our decision making process for the project.

Please email pipesforperth@watercorporation.com.au with your contact details, if you’re businesses owner, building owner, or resident and why you’re interested in being a part of the group.

We hope to form this working group as soon as possible and meet within the next week to discuss next steps.

Customer survey

Please check your email inboxes for a customer survey which was sent this morning, asking customers to vote for your preferred working hours and days for the work. We encourage everyone to participate and provide your feedback. This information and your feedback will be used in determining suitable working days and hours for the project.

The survey will remain open until midnight Friday 14 June. The results will be shared with everyone Monday 17 June.

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