Freo's View

SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW KINGS SQUARE PAVING

 

 

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Now that the fences have come down around the paving trial at Kings Square I went to have another look at what is considered for the new paving of our city square once the new Civic Centre has been built.

It is going to be hard for Councillors and the public to imagine what any of the suggestions will look like on a much larger scale, so that is going to be a challenge. Once some options have been shortlisted it would be good to get some renders done on what the entire square would look like.

My impression is that some much larger and square paving options have not been included and that many of the suggestions have far too small individual pavers for such a large area, and most of the suggestions are rectangular. It is rather disappointing and uninspiring what is on offer.

For me personally not one suggestion stands out that I think would be great, so maybe other options need to be considered by the officers and more homework to be done on the internet to see what other council have come up with in major city square. It might be a good idea to also ask the Civic Centre architects to make suggestions about the paving.

Roel Loopers

WHAT IF FREO DID NOT BUILD THE CIVIC CENTRE AT KINGS SQUARE?

 

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Since I published the article about the Kings Square new Civic Centre yesterday I had some comments saying they like the open space where the Civic Centre is going to be built, and the Fremantle Society is demanding the building should be constructed somewhere else and not at our City square.

Let’s have a pragmatic and realistic look at that.

The City of Fremantle does very likely have contractual obligations with Sirona Capital and the architects, so that would create a major headache.

What would we do with the empty square? Fountains, trees, shade structures, seating, drink water fountains, more CCTV, etc. would cost a lot of money.

A new Civic Centre has to be built and that will cost close to what the one at Kings Square is going to cost. Where would we build it? The City’s properties which are for sale in Quarry Street could probably handle a 2-3 storey Civic Centre, but parking for visitors would be a major headache.

Building the Civic Centre at the also for sale Works Depot site at Knutsford Street would get rid of the parking issues, but is it a good location for a Civic Centre?

And let us not forget that one of the main reasons for the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is activation of the CBD, so would we really want to pull out the around 400 Council workers and the many hundreds of people who go to the library or visit the administration building each week. That seems counter productive to me.

I am well aware of all the grandiose town squares in Europe, but Kings Square has not and will not be like that, because Fremantle does have its own unique character, on which we can build on and modernise, and progress for the future.

It is my understanding that even after the new Civic Centre has been built Kings Square still has more square metres of public open space than Forrest Place in Perth. Correct me if I am wrong.

Roel Loopers

 

 

SOS-FREMANTLE SOCIETY DROWNING IN NONSENSE

 

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One has to wonder what is going on at the Fremantle Society when one reads today’s tabloid-style advertisement in the Fremantle Herald.

SOS-Save Our Square it yells, insinuating that if the new Civic Centre is built by the City of Fremantle Kings Square will be lost, which is utter nonsense.

Kings Square has been two triangles, separated by the High Street road reserve, for decades, so what is all the Fremantle Society grand-standing about?

The northern triangle is the property of the St John’s church and the southern triangle belongs to the City. That will remain so.

Do the members of FS really expect that Fremantle Council will change the decision they made years ago, when they agreed on the Kings Square Redevelopment Project with Sirona Capital? Surely FS knows the horse has bolted and the start of the construction of the new Civic Centre is only a month or two away.

The Society calls for the square to be reinstated, so they want that big empty space that was created by the demolition of the former Civic Centre just to remain that? And they are happy for the City to have wasted many thousands of dollars on architects and consultants, which would have to start all over again if we were to build a civic centre elsewhere in Fremantle?

How on the ball about Fremantle issues is the Frematle Society when one of their committee members lives in Nannup, another one travels the world, and its president also spent at least a third of last year overseas? Not much up to date local knowledge at FS committee meetings one might suggest.

The Kings Square Redevelopment Project is good for Fremantle, and so are the many other developments in our city. It is time for the Fremantle Society to start accepting that the world changes constantly and Freo will do the same. That is a good thing!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE UPDATE

 

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I really like the lightness the London plane trees have brought to Fremantle’s Kings Square, and the old wooden benched underneath them fit in well.

New plants are being put in the area where the former Moreton Bay-Christmas- fig tree was, until the Civic Centre and playground are finished and a replacement fig tree will be planted there.

Builders Pindan have put signs on the fence of the new Civic Centre, so hopefully the contract with the City of Fremantle will soon be signed and construction can start asap.

Roel Loopers

WHAT THE NEW PAVEMENT AT KINGS SQUARE MIGHT LOOK LIKE

 

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It’s all fenced off and obscured from people observing the ‘secret’ pavement trial at Kings Square.

This is being done so Council can approve what the pavement at Kings Square will look like once the new Civic Centre has been built.

I had a peek over the fence to keep my Freo’s View readers in the loop.

Roel Loopers

FREO CIVIC CENTRE SPACE READY TO GO

 

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The demolition of the City of Fremantle’s old administration building in Kings Square is now complete, as the photo above shows, with 95 per cent of the building’s materials recovered for recycling.

A total of 6443 tonnes of material was removed from the site, including 5841 tonnes of bricks and concrete, 294 tonnes of steel and 83 tonnes of general waste.

The bricks and concrete from the old building will be crushed and recycled as road base or drainage materials, while the steel will be recycled and used in the manufacture of new steel products.

The demolition of the old administration building was carried out by experienced demolition contractor Delta Pty Ltd.

While the bulk of the project was carried out using heavy machinery, sections of the building connected to the historic Fremantle Town Hall were taken down by hand.

Scaffolding was erected to protect the Town Hall during demolition and noise, dust and vibration monitoring was conducted throughout the demolition process.

The project also included the removal of 224 tonnes of asbestos. Strict environmental management controls, including airborne control sampling, were in place during the asbestos removal.

The new building, designed by the world-renowned Kerry Hill Architects, is a key component of the broader $270 million Kings Square Renewal project – a joint initiative between the City and Sirona Capital.

Last month Pindan Constructions was selected as the City’s preferred contractor for the project, with the awarding of the contract now subject to final negotiations.

If those negotiations are successfully concluded construction is expected to start early next year.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE TWIGGY FORREST INVESTMENT IN FREMANTLE

 

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While the Fremantle knockers will always be there, Andrew-Twiggy-Forrest, one of Western Australia’s most prominent business man, is showing confidence in our port city.

The Forrest Family Investments Pty Ltd. intends to purchase the Spicer site on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall from Sirona Capital, once this is agreed on by Fremantle Council on Wednesday.

Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation only a few months ago bought the Orient Hotel in the historic West End and I have been told also another property in Pakenham Street.

The Spicer site is stage three of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project, after the completion of the Myer and Queensgate construction and the City of Fremantle’s new civic centre.

Under the sale contract  the Forrest Family Investments agrees to assume all of Sirona Capital’s obligations in relation to the development of the site.

I believe this is very good news for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

 

FUTURE FACADES OF FREMANTLE’S KINGS SQUARE

 

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The Newman Court facades of the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project late on Wednesday afternoon.

Roel Loopers

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THE NEW FACE OF KINGS SQUARE

 

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We are getting more and more an idea what the buildings at Fremantle’s Kings Square will look like, with these steel structures now being added to the facade of the former Myer building.

Probuild are working hard for developers Sirona Capital to finish the project on time so that the FOMO retail precinct can open late next year.

 

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FREMANTLE’S RENAISSANCE REFLECTED

 

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A rather symbolic photo of Fremantle’s renaissance. The Townhall reflected in the new facade of the FOMO building, which replaced the Queensgate building at Kings Square.

 

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Roel Loopers

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