Freo's View

FREMANTLE VACANCIES NOT TOO BAD

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, real estate, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

Fremantle is doing pretty well in the commercial vacancy rate comparison with other councils.

The West Australian this week released the vacancy figures for Bayview Terrace in Claremont at 10.16%, Napoleon Street in Cottesloe at 6.81% and Rokeby Road in Subiaco at 5.94%, but failed to mention Fremantle shopping streets.

The best performing street was Oxford Street in Leederville that has no vacancies.

When we compare Freo’s main shopping streets we are doing alright here and it is not as bleak as some people think.

Commercial vacancies in Fremantle high streets are:

  • High Street mall and west end 5%
  • South Terrace 3%
  • Cappuccino Strip and Market Street 5%

However the more run-down part of Fremantle that is waiting to be developed has higher vacancy rates:

  • Cantonment Street 16%
  • Adelaide Street 21%

Adelaide Street is of course waiting for the Hilton Hotel and Little Laneway (Spotlight site) developments, while Cantonment Street will be transformed with the Woolstores shopping centre development.

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE RATES WELL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 15, 2017

 

City of Fremantle ratepayers can’t complain much about recent council rate rises. They are on the lower bottom of the scale, when compared to the other 23 local councils which have set the rates for the new financial year.

Fremantle has a rate increase of just 1.9% and that is excellent compared to the 4.95% rise in the City of Bayswater.

There are only six of the 23 councils which have increased rates by less than Fremantle, the lowest being the Town of Claremont with just 1%.

Our neighbour the City of Cockburn has a rate rise of 1.75%

East Fremantle will decide their rates on July 25, so stay tuned for that.

 

Roel Loopers

SAT IS THE NEW TAG

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 29, 2014

Most people hate TAGS, those spray painted initials by immature and disrespectful fools on buildings. TAGS are the ugly part of graffiti and cost local councils many thousands of dollars each year to clean up. Creative murals of graffiti art however are fantastic and should be encouraged.

To spray TAGS, and leaving one’s mark like a dog that urinates against trees, is illegal and incurs fines, but with recent development I wonder if we should still be worried about TAGS when SAT appears to be a far worse new form of urban vandalism.

SAT is state government initiated and sanctioned ‘graffiti’ that destroys cities and suburbs. SAT overrules local councils and makes planning departments obsolete. SAT erodes democracy because the community no longer has a say about the lifestyle they want to live and about the character of their cities. SAT dramatically and irreversibly changes the face and character of suburbs, with little regard for the wishes of the residents, ratepayers and elected council members.

Local government is invaded and pushed aside by the Western Australian State Government, who demands higher density living and forces unacceptable high-rise in low-rise city centres. Subiaco and Cottesloe will never have the same appeal again, once modern ugliness has destroyed the ambience there.

The proponents of high-rise keep assuring us that we will get iconic buildings, and that is true to some extent, because a building that totally dwarfs adjoining buildings and streets will be iconic in the sense that it sticks out like a huge eyesore. Sixteen storeys in the centre of Subi? You must be kidding!

The rationale for putting high-rise in the centres is that the buildings need to be close to public transport, shopping, etc, while these high buildings really should be built on the periphery so that they don’t destroy the uniqueness of many of the older suburbs. High-rise near the Mandurah railway station for example would make sense because, for all the wrong reasons, the station was not built in the city centre.

There is nothing wrong with higher density living. I believe it is essential because we can no longer afford the urban sprawl, as it has become far too expensive to build the infrastructure needed for it. But city planning has to be done with respect for the character of place. Sterile sameness of monotone concrete boxes is not the best solution to cope with increasing population. Far more sensitivity needs to be shown by our State Government that appears to be on an ego-driven high-rise crusade.

In Fremantle we can accommodate high-rise in the Knutsford Street. It’s a five-minute walk to public transport and an easy twenty-minute walk or five-minute bike ride into the city centre. Beaconsfield and Hilton and probably even White Gum Valley could also accommodate higher rise. Be warned though that there are a few elected members in Freo who can envisage an “iconic 21-storey building” on the Woolstores site.

People make cities. People create the ambience and lifestyle they want to live in, a place where they have a sense of belonging and where the community takes on ownership. By dismissing the wishes of the local communities, state government is making local governments irrelevant, because they can no longer decide what they want their cities to look like.

SAT is vandalism far worse than TAG and it needs to be stopped before it gets out of hand.

 

Roel Loopers

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FORCED HIGHRISE IS STATE VANDALISM

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 15, 2014
Could this be Fremantle's future?

Could this be Fremantle’s future?

 

The decision by Western Australian Planning Minister John Day to overrule Subiaco council and allow a 16-storey building on the former Subiaco Markets site on Rokeby Road has huge implications for all local councils because it renders communities powerless to decide their own destiny and lifestyle.

The State is muscling in to local government more and more, with Direction 2031 forcing all councils to increase living density and demanding they allow higher buildings in their councils, no matter if it destroys the unique character of those suburbs.

It should greatly worry us all that the Design Advisory Panel and the Minister can overrule any council decisions on building heights, design and quality and that we no longer have a say on how we would like to live.

The result will be a sanitised Perth metro area with councils looking more and more the same and sterile, with the individuality of character being taken away from them. In years to come it might not make much difference where one lives, because Fremantle could look a lot more like West Perth.

There is no doubt that the urban sprawl of Perth can’t continue. It is not sustainable that we develop hundreds of kilometres along a coastal corridor and all have our own patch with a single house and garden. Higher density needs to be encouraged, but it needs to be done with restraint. To put a sixteen-storey building in the centre of Subiaco is vandalism. It’s disgraceful to alter the character of the comfortable shopping area there and is akin to allowing 16 storeys in Freo’s High Street mall.

We should all be very worried that the power of local governments is being drastically eroded by our State Government, and we should ask what the purpose and benefits of council amalgamations are when councils can’t decide their own future anyway. Is local government still relevant?

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE FOREVER PETITION TO STATE PARLIAMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 10, 2014

freo forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today at 12 noon the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, Mayor Brad Pettitt and Fremantle Society President Henty Farrar will hand over the petition to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson against the State Government’s proposal to merge Fremantle with Melville. The Fremantle Forever campaign collected thousands of signatures around Fremantle asking State Government to reconsider the boundaries.

The Fremantle Forever campaign grew out the Sock It Colin! campaign, initiated by the Fremantle Society with a full page advertisement in the Fremantle Herald, and became an a-political and bipartisan community movement with the positive agenda to suggest better alternative boundaries to grow Fremantle to a larger local council.

Close collaboration with the City of Fremantle meant we agreed that merging with Melville would not be beneficiary for Fremantle, but merging with East Fremantle and moving the boundaries further South into Cockburn, as far as Russell Road and as far East as Stock Road would make cohesive new boundaries for a larger Fremantle. The City followed this up with an advertising campaign in the local papers and strong lobbying. First indications from State Government were that they agreed and they significantly changed their proposal to accommodate Freo’s wishes.

Local government reform has now been handed to the Local Government Advisory Board who will present State Government with its preferred boundaries in the next weeks. The State can then accept or reject those suggested boundaries, but not change them. The anticipation in Fremantle and other councils is high, with many councils rejecting change and amalgamations and some wanting to take legal action.

How many local governments will W.A. have after the reform and what will the new boundaries be? I for one hope State Government will largely accept the recommendations by Fremantle Council, because the new boundaries they suggest make far more sense than a merger with Melville.

Roel Loopers

AMALGAMATION COSTLY FOR COUNCILS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 12, 2014

I think we should all be trying to do what the W.A. State Government wants to do and that is to get someone else to pay for something you desperately want. Local councils, most of which do not want to amalgamate with other councils, will be forced to pay most of the extensive costs the mergers will cost, because our State Government is more or less broke and can’t afford to pay for what they want.

Today Mayors and CEOs of the affected councils will meet with Local Government Minister Tony- Scrooge- Simpson, and the Minister will see some angry and disappointed faces. Local governments fear they might have to sell assets, raise rates and cut services because all the State wants to offer them is some loans, and that is not good enough they say.

Fremantle could well be liable for millions of dollars to amalgamate with East Fremantle and get bits of Melville and Cockburn, but are Freo’s residents willing to pay for it?

I just saw a lovely house. It’s only 1.3 million. Can someone please transfer the money into my account today. Premier Colin Barnett told me that’s how you do it.

Roel Loopers

COUNCIL MERGERS. HOW BIG WILL FREO BE?

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 22, 2012

It looks like we are going to find out on Wednesday what the Barnett government has in mind for local council amalgamations. A closed session has been called for all Mayors and CEO’s who will be meeting with W.A. Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister John Castrilli.

We all have been waiting for a long time to find out what the outcome of the Metropolitan Local Review Panel will be, as a merging of Fremantle with East Fremantle, Cockburn and maybe even Melville have been suggested.

I know Fremantle would be quite happy to amalgamate with East Fremantle and get a bit of Cockburn as far as Coogee, so let’s hope Colin Barnett is not going to make ours a mega council that will be bigger than ISAF and undoubtedly fail.

At least it looks as if we are going to know what’s on the cards before the 2013 state election and that is a good thing because if we don’t like what Barnett is proposing we have to throw the Liberals out. Labor has announced it does not support forced amalgamations of councils.

Roel Loopers

 

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