The sale and development of the City of Fremantle Knutsford Street depot site is a bit of a conundrum for the City as ratepayers will rightly expect the best financial return for it, especially in light of the City’s very tight financial situation.
Council wants specific sustainability outcomes under the One Planet Living Framework, but experts indicate that might have a negative impact on the value of the property.
There are additional costs involved for developers and Landcorp, and they cite the WGV sustainable development and others as examples for that.
There are questions if the property market can bear the additional costs of OPLF development and still be competitive in a very tight residential market.
It is essential that Fremantle Council is totally transparent about this with the community as we can’t really afford to lose a few million dollars for ideological reasons.
An interesting affordable housing project will be developed in Fremantle on the corner of Blinco and Wood streets in White Gum Valley by the Fini Group.
The EHDO Nightingale apartments will be sold under market value to ‘ethical investors’ who can only sell their property at agreed market value.
The apartments will have shared laundry facilities and communal gardens, so it all sounds very Freo.
I understand the concept was created by Melbourne architects and the Freo project will have 12 apartments initially.
This is what EHDO says:
Nightingale Housing is a non-profit organisation formed by a group of leading Australian architects. It aims to create affordable housing models that are specifically designed to achieve environmental and social benefits for cities. In other words, Nightingale promotes the building of communities, not just market commodities.
The Nightingale ethos is driven by the reality that home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach, especially in Australia’s major cities. The rise of apartments in suburbs has not made housing more affordable, nor has it contributed to suburban quality of life, in terms of good housing and neighbourhood design, access to services, and community building.
Nightingale developments aim to increase affordability by selling housing directly to homebuyers without many of the ‘add on’ costs associated with typical developments, such as agent fees, marketing and display suites. The requirements of the owner-occupier and the community are emphasised over investor profit.
For those interested in alternative living projects the Exploring Tiny Houses in Fremantle – and Different ways of Living Tiny is a good way to connect with like-minded people, network and share ideas.
Join Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton – back from her recent trip to Europe – plus other expert panelists for a discussion and presentation of examples by local people who are pioneering a new phase of modest housing in Fremantle.
Its on Thursday March 2nd at the Fremantle Library from 6pm-7:30pm.
In times of a lack of really affordable housing, homeless people, a fast ageing population, and many mature singles and students looking for small living options, local councils should do more to explore options and find ways of alternative living.
While the LIV residential apartment project at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street is well under way, it is reported that Perth has one of the world’s least-affordable housing markets, according to property experts.
In a report published in the media today they state that house prices are more than six times the average income in Perth, which is $87,300.
According to Demographia, which compares housing affordability in cities of over one million population, Australia’s major problem is urban containment planning policies.
Urban containment, infill and higher density policies in WA try to reduce urban sprawl by encouraging more density rather than releasing new so-called greenfields sites. This often negatively affects older character suburbs where inappropriately high and often ugly buildings are destroying the urban amenity.
Housing experts say that high house prices are not a sign of a city’s success but a sign of failure to deliver the housing that its citizens need. Affordable housing is no doubt impacted by high property prices and that is an additional worry.
The article about development by WA Planning Minister Donna Faragher in today’s West Australian newspaper shows the Liberal party has resigned to the fact they can’t win the seat of Fremantle at the state election in March.
While the minister is excited about all the development in Cockburn, Midland, etc. she does not mention Fremantle once, although the port city is in an unprecedented development boom. So let’s update the minister on what goes on in good old Freo nowadays.
The Heirloom by Match apartments have just opened and opposite from there the LIV Defence Housing is building a huge residential development. Down the road next to St Pat’s another large apartment building will be built and just a couple of metres from there another one at Beach Street.
The Hilton Doubletree development should start early this year and the Quest hotel opened late last year in Packenham Street, while the B. apartments at Bathers Bay are also building new rooms.
Plans for an eight storey apartment building on the former Spotlight site have been approved and plans are well under way for residential development of the former Fremantle Workers Club, while Match is also building new apartments opposite the Local Hotel in South Freo and are developing the former Energy Museum site.
Oh and Minister, there is also a huge development commencing at Kings Square this year, in case you have not heard about it, and the Atwell Arcade development has also been completed, and there are many more substantial building projects in the pipeline for Fremantle.
And the heritage Warders and Gunners cottages are now also ready for occupation, dear Donna.
There is a lot going on in Fremantle and it is disrespectful of the Minister for Planning to not mention it at all.
Living Together Better is on tonight at 6.30 at the Fremantle Townhall, so everyone interested in alternative living/sharing projects should attend and share their opinion and ideas.
It is organised by Meriam Salama who is an architect and founder of a social enterprise that seeks to provide affordable housing through co-ownership. Her venture, The Henry Project, seeks to provide opportunities for multiple small households to share ownership of a single dwelling, living independently, but with some shared facilities. The basic premise is that living together equates to living better; living together provides better affordability, and better social connectedness.
Living Together Better will give people the space to meet others similarly interested in the idea, to start developing connections that may lead to this type of co-living.
The model Salama is offering can make affordable housing, with genuine social benefit, a viable alternative in the Fremantle area.
Meriam Salama is an architect and founder of a social enterprise that seeks to provide affordable housing through co-ownership. Her venture, The Henry Project, seeks to provide opportunities for multiple small households to share ownership of a single dwelling, living independently, but with some shared facilities. The basic premise is that living together equates to living better; living together provides better affordability, and better social connectedness.
The Henry Project event is held on 22nd November 2016, and co-hosted by the City of Fremantle, and Shelter WA. It will provide details of how co-ownership works and what these properties might look like.
More importantly, it will give people the space to meet others similarly interested in the idea, to start developing connections that may lead to this type of co-living.
There are more event details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-together-living-better-tickets-28594873035
Through The Henry Project, Meriam hopes to create opportunities to free people from the overwhelming burden of household debt, in order to live more fulfilling lives.
The model she is offering can make affordable housing, with genuine social benefit, a viable alternative in the Fremantle area.
The building boom in Fremantle is good for our city I believe but it also requires long-term strategic planning and a blueprint for where in Fremantle infill should be considered in the next 25 years.
Just doing small planning scheme amendments for a few streets and masterplans for other areas is not good city planning, so the City of Fremantle should do a comprehensive study on where the appropriate locations for medium and high density in Fremantle are.
Developers, investors and home owners should be able to access City of Fremantle information that will show them that a certain street or suburb is earmarked for higher density so they don’t get a nasty shock surprise just after they have purchased property that a six-storey building or even higher could be built next to their two- storey home(s).
It would also assist the Public Transport Authority and other State Government agencies to plan ahead instead of the slow reactive planning that is happening too often.
While it is good to have masterplans for specific areas I believe it is essential to have an infill masterplan blueprint for the entire city, as only that is well-considered and detailed long-term planning.
Fremantle has many good potential development areas just outside the CBD that need to be considered for residential development, because inner city living has become unaffordable for many people. A tiny new one-bedroom apartment in the city centre starts at half a million dollars, so hopefully locations a fifteen-minute bike ride away from the CBD will be cheaper and more affordable to people on lower incomes.
Accommodation for students, artists, pensioners, low-wage earners, etc. need to be part of the residential mix in Fremantle or we might develop into a yuppy city for the well-off only. That would not be very Freo at all!
An innovative residential development concept by Fremantle Council for 7 Quarry Street, which will by-pass developers, will no doubt be considered another socialist, lefty brain snap by Council critics.
The City wants to sell the former youth centre and toy library site that is worth around $ 2.7 million to a co-operative of people who will reside in the building, and who will ultimately themselves decide on the design and the need for green and communal spaces, etc. This model of residential development has been successful as the so-called Baugruppen model in Germany.
The zoning would allow for approximately 20 apartments on the block that is just east of Parry Street and an easy ten-minute walk to Kings Square.
Only people who intend to live in the building can be part of the co-operative, not investors.
It is interesting to note in that context that the sale of ‘other-development’ – apartments in the Perth metro area dropped 41.9 per cent in August compared to Juli this year, which indicates an over supply of the residential unit market.
Co-operative living has been suggested for many years and was also discussed during the Freo 2020 visioning sessions, with the idea that like-minded people could use shared communal spaces. This was also considered to be a good model for aged people to help improve their social life and contact with other people, but also for artists who could have a studio space to share in the building.
Now hoping we don’t get another proposal for an ugly cheap building in inner city Freo, but finally something outstanding.
W.A. Planning Minister Donna Faragher’s statement that higher density is needed near train stations is not up to the high standards we expect of a Minister. Making broad sweeping statements is plain wrong and surely the state government in collaboration with local councils needs to find the best suitable areas near public transport to increase density and infill, instead of demanding higher density near all train stations.
Older unique character suburbs like Fremantle, Claremont and Subiaco, etc. would be destroyed if we just planted highrise buildings close to the train stations, while in other newer suburbs high density might actually improve the amenity.
Governments have this strange attitude that change needs to happen everywhere instead of targeting suitable suburbs for higher density living. It would also help if the state actually supported local councils which want to increase infill by improving public transport corridors and not just along the railway line where most older suburbs are.