Freo's View

GIVE ME FREO OVER PERTH ANY TIME!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, perth, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018

 

ca 6

 

 

I lasted just over an hour in Perth this morning as I find the CBD there rather boring.

I was surprised how quiet it was and how many vagrants were lurking around, and there were ample retail vacancies and for lease signs all over the place. Buskers played amplified music way too loud and so did some of the cafes.

Most of the new buildings under construction are average or worse, and the inappropriateness in context to heritage buildings is staggering.

The saving grace was the gorgeous tranquil architecture of the Cadogan Singing School at St George’s cathedral, and the stunning new Perth Library where window cleaners were doing a high trapeze act.

So happy to be back in Fremantle. It’s far from perfect, but so much more beautiful than the Perth CBD.

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE DIRECTORY TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

 

Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt with the directory

 

 

The Kings Square Fremantle Business Directory is a joint initiative by the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital to support Fremantle traders who are affected by the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

The directory is being distributed to more than 15,000 households in the Fremantle area to promote the diverse range of retail and food and beverage offerings surrounding Kings Square.

The 44 page booklet is designed to support local traders through the construction period of arguably the most important redevelopment project in the port city’s history.

The business directory, which includes vouchers and promotion of businesses adjacent to Kings Square is one of many ways the City and Sirona have supported local traders since the project commenced late last year.

Other initiatives have included:

# one hour free on-street parking in surrounding streets
# directional signage and site fence advertising with ‘Shop local and support Freo traders’ messaging
# bunting and pole wraps to attract people and showcase the Kings Square retail precinct
# free parking permits for customers of businesses directly affected by the recent Queen Street road closures
# regular face-to-face contact with traders to share information and discuss ideas for promoting the area
# a series of ‘trader forums’ where local businesses receive project updates and can provide feedback and ask questions of project staff
# free advertising space for local businesses in construction workforce lunchrooms
# free custom designed outdoor signage for eligible local businesses.

Construction of the new buildings will commence soon and that means hundreds of workers in Fremantle, so hopefully that too will support our struggling local traders!

Roel Loopers

 

NO ASBESTOS AT WORKERS CLUB

Posted in city of fremantle, development, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 3, 2018

 

Tests show no asbestos at school

Testing has shown there is no asbestos in samples of dust and materials taken from Fremantle’s Lance Holt Primary School.

City of Fremantle Chief Executive Officer Philip St John said independent analysis of nine samples taken from locations around the school earlier today found no trace of asbestos.

The City has advised the school of the findings and will continue to liaise  with Lance Holt staff and parents and closely monitor the demolition works on the site of the former Workers Club at 7 Henry Street.

The City took action to instruct the demolition contractor to cease works until further notice while testing could be undertaken in response to concerns about dust emissions from the site.

Mr St John said the City was yet to receive results of the soil tests taken from the demolition site which was closed and contained this morning.

“Our immediate priority was to clarify the situation regarding Lance Holt Primary School. Now that the tests conducted at the school have come back negative, we will focus our attention back on the demolition site.

“As soon as we receive the results back from the laboratory where they were sent for testing, we will determine any further action.”

UPDATE at 18.17 hours: Testing has revealed asbestos at the former Workers Club site but not at the Lance Holt School opposite the demolition site!

FREMANTLE FESTIVAL TO BECOME WINTER EVENT

Posted in city of fremantle, entertainment, festivals, fremantle festival, Uncategorized by freoview on March 23, 2018

 

The annual Fremantle Festival, one of the longest running festivals in Australia, is proposed for a major change from a summer festival to a winter festival.

Officers recommend to Fremantle Council to only have a three-day festival in October this year and then change the date of the festival in 2019 to the month of July.

In the agenda item that will go to Ordinary Council this coming Wednesday officers say there is too much competition during the summer months. A winter festival would revitalise a dormant Fremantle and pull residents out of their hibernation and support traders who are struggling during the quiet winter months.

Roel Loopers

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TO BID OR NOT TO BID IS THE FREO QUESTION

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking the community’s views on the best way to promote Fremantle as an attractive destination to shop and enjoy.

The City of Fremantle’s current marketing activities include the Fremantle Story website, magazine and social media platforms, school holiday activities and other promotions and also the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID).

Fremantle BID is funded through the City Centre Differential Rate levied by the City of Fremantle on commercial properties with the Fremantle CBD.

Local businesses are being asked if they support continuing the existing model, or would prefer to see the City’s destination marketing budget combined with the differential rate funds to expand the overall program.

The one-year funding agreement with the BID due to expire at the end of June.

The City worked with the business community to set up Fremantle BID in 2012 to address the economic impact of many years of decline in daily visitor numbers to Fremantle’s CBD.

It was a five-year program to support local businesses, with funding extended for a further year in 2017. In that time, the City has contributed around $2.2 million to the BID in differential rate funds.

 

The alternative model would establish a group of marketing professionals and business representatives to advise the council on how to get the best value from marketing activities and the biggest benefit for local business.

Under this proposal, the City’s funding of Fremantle BID would cease at the end of the current financial year.

People can find more information and provide their views on the proposal on the My Say Freo website.

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT GETTING THE DEVELOPMENT BALANCE RIGHT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, planning, Uncategorized by freoview on March 14, 2018

 

There is a big conundrum about development in Fremantle and elsewhere. The difficult question about urban infill in older character places is how much, how big, how high, how good, what kind of and when to stop.

We are getting very confusing messages from people, with many moving from WA to Melbourne because it is so European, whatever that means, while I read that many people in Sydney want to move out and go to Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane because Sydney is getting too big, traffic too mad and property prices too high.

Feedback from tourists is that most of them love Fremantle but are not impressed with the bland mediocrity of many of the new buildings in Perth, while they adore Freo’s gorgeous heritage West End.

What is good and appropriate development for Fremantle and how much is needed? We can forever argue about what we like or not but for example the development of the dormant Henderson Street in connection with that of Kings Square and the future development of Fremantle Oval is a good thing I believe.

One can rightly question though if the massive planned Woolstores shopping centre development and the eight-storey Little Lane on the Spotlight site are just a bit too much for Fremantle and overkill.

Does Fremantle need more highrise apartment buildings or should is start encouraging micro lots of around 100sqm for terrace housing/townhouses, that would suit our inner city much better.

I believe it is all about balance, but developers and city and state planners are not getting the right mix in my opinion.

I left Sydney in 1985 because real estate was simply unaffordable there while house prices in Perth were very cheap then, and it looks like this is still going on, although Fremantle is relatively expensive to move to.

It is time the WA state government organised a symposium on how much and what kind of development is needed, so that it can give better guidance to developers and local councils and its own JDAP and SAT.

It is imperative to show real respect for character cities like Fremantle, Subiaco and others and develop with restraint. To keep pushing for urban infill when the targets might be unrealistic will be detrimental to the uniqueness of our heritage cities.

Roel Loopers

EAST FREMANTLE TOWNHALL RENOVATIONS

 

 

While Fremantle is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Kings Square project and the new Civic Centre the Town of East Fremantle councillors and staff have just returned to the Townhall there after 14 months of renovating the old building.

The renovation involved the removal of all previous office infrastructure i.e. floor coverings, fittings, partitions, bench tops etc. and included structural improvements, disabled access inclusion and an upgrade to all utilities.  The building was stripped of all services, electrical and mechanical and the plumbing has been replaced.

The aim  of the renovation is to provide a better use of the office space, an opportunity for community meetings, a more functional and contemporary reception and front counter, as well as getting the most out of one of the Town’s most beautiful buildings.

Roel Loopers

(Photos supplied)

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CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!

Posted in city of fremantle, rubbish, Uncategorized by freoview on March 7, 2018

 

clean up!

 

I noticed this sign at Pakenham Street this morning. It is unfortunately an ongoing problem in Fremantle that event organisers plaster our city with info about upcoming events, but once the events are over they can’t be bothered to take away signs.

I removed three signs about the Queen’s Baton Relay which was held two and a half weeks ago, but the onus is on organisers to remove the stuff they put up.

We would not need Clean Up Australia Day if everyone had a clean up after yourself day every day!!!

Roel Loopers

 

SLOW DOWN TO PROTECT FREMANTLE’S CHARACTER

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on March 6, 2018

 

LIV 2

 

I spoke with an always thoughtful Fremantle resident at the South Ward candidate forum last week, who was very concerned that the glut of new development in the CBD is threatening the Freo lifestyle we all love.

The man, who has lived in Fremantle for a very long time, is not against development or higher density but feels that it is all happening too fast and I kind of agree with him.

There is a massing of apartment development that is rationally and emotionally hard to accept for many in the community, because it needs a longer and slower period to getting used to the new modern Fremantle. People are concerned that it seems to be happening too fast and over night, and that worries those who love the laid back lifestyle in Fremantle.

The tsunami of residential apartments is like a huge wave that threatens to drown that special and unique Freo lifestyle.

You won’t get an argument from me that we need more people living and working in Fremantle and more visitors to stay overnight in hotels to boost our local economy, but it needs to be done more deliberately because we seem to be getting more of the same and not the required variety of development to encourage diversity.

I agree with restrained and targeted urban infill because the urban sprawl clearly can’t go on indefinitely, but the pace of it in Fremantle needs to be slowed down. Urban infill needs to be better spread around the councils. Mosman Park and other western suburbs do very little to fill the government set infill targets while Fremantle is in a mad rush to change the special character of the old city irreversibly in the hope that it will rejuvenate and activate our city.

There is a lack of diversity in the new planned development that will not attract many families. Why don’t developers also offer 2-3 storey townhouses in the residential mix in our CBD? Imagine, instead of a four storey carpark, the Woolstores development had a row of 3-4 storey townhouses along Cantonmment Street between the two bookend highrise buildings

Life is all about balance and while Fremantle Council has done very well to attract development, we are just not getting the right mix and the desired outstanding architectural quality.

We are now on the road to modernisation so let’s stop behaving like beggars and accept just about anything developers propose. Fremantle needs quality and diverse development in the inner city, not just a wave of small apartments in ugly high buildings!

Roel Loopers

FREO ARTS CENTRE PRECINCT GET TOGETHER

Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, Uncategorized by freoview on March 5, 2018

 

March 10. art centre precinct meeting

 

The Fremantle Arts Centre Precinct has organised a day to meet the neighbours, this Saturday March 10 from 4pm at the Fremantle Tennis Club at Parry Street.

There is a lot happening in the precinct with substantial residential development, the Cantonment Hill development and the new shared clubhouse that will be built for the tennis, bowling and workers clubs.

It is always good to get to know your neighbours and Fremantle police is encouraging the revival of neighbourhood watch groups, so bring a plate and have a chat!

Roel Loopers

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