Freo's View

HUGE URBAN DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, fremantle by freoview on February 20, 2016

 

I had a walk through the new Landcorp development at the corner of Amherst and Blinco Street yesterday because I believe the area has huge potential to become one of the major urban infill projects in Fremantle and WA and is in need of a collaborative masterplan between the City of Fremantle and WA state government. It needs Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority style planning and management because the potential area is huge from Blinco to nearly Stevens Street and from Wood to Montreal Street and the golf course.

The area could become a showcase for urban development and higher density living that is just a ten-minute bicycle ride from Kings Square.

At present there are the 2-3 storey boxes designed by architect Michael Patroni, but a State Government that demands that local governments increase density the next step to the south surely must go up with higher buildings between 4-8 storeys.

Once the City of Fremantle has built its new works depot in O’Connor the Knutsford Street site on the corner of Montreal Street will also become available for development, so the whole area needs serious long-term planning and not just ad hoc development.

The potential to make this the new suburb for all income earners is huge. You could have 16 storey landmark spikes with penthouses with sweeping 360 degree views, but also student, low-income and Homeswest accommodation.

Busses come through Amherst Street and many more through Leach Highway/High Street so the new residential suburb would be close enough to public transport corridors to make it a desirable location for young and old, the well-off and the less-affluent. And it would only take twenty minutes to walk to the CBD.

With such high numbers of residents there would have to be retail outlets for cafes and delis, good public open and green spaces would have to be planned for, and part of the enormous development area could also have small office accommodation.

What it needs to create an outstanding new suburb is intensive long-term urban planning and consistent governance. The State should not demand higher density living from councils when it does not build it itself. Simply releasing land to developers to build single houses is short-sighted financial gain only. I am surprised the new buildings that are already occupied are only 2-3 storeys high, because there is not a lot of community amenity and lifestyle in danger in what was basically a semi-industrial area, so the area is well-suited for higher and more substantial buildings.

Roel Loopers

PERTH ELIZABETH LOW QUAY

Posted in elizabeth quay, fremantle, perth by freoview on January 30, 2016

 

I made my epic journey from Fremantle across the mighty roaring Swan river this morning to have a look at the Elizabeth Quay development in Perth and must say I am underwhelmed. It appears to be a whole lot of money for not that much at all, but that is just my first impression.

To be fair to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority EQ is still a work in progress and will benefit from more buildings around it and more hospitality venues. There is also still a major ceramics artwork by Sandra Hill and Jenny Dawson to be installed, so I will reserve my final judgment for a few years.

The thing that impressed me most was the giant bird man in a boat by Aboriginal artist Laurel Nannup. It’s stunning!

There was not much food on offer so why did the MRA not put signs around EQ to point out that the Swan River Community Market was on only metres to the east of the development? After all they pay to have the markets there so why not do some decent marketing to support the stallholders.

Roel Looper

GREAT NEW MARKET AT ELIZABETH QUAY

Posted in fremantle, markets, perth by freoview on October 27, 2015

Here some more impressions of Saturday’s SWAN RIVER COMMUNITY MARKETS at Elizabeth Quay/Barrack Street jetty in Perth, that  is being organised by Fremantle’s Kylie Wheatley of Red Tent Events fame, and that I am also involved with.

The market has huge potential in my opinion once the Elizabeth Quay building site is finished. I believe the official opening of that will be around Christmas time this year, so only two months away. It is a very impressive development that could well become a major tourist attraction. Go and see for yourself.

The markets are on Saturdays from 8 am to 1pm.

Roel Loopers

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CLOUDS OVER FREMANTLE SOLAR PLANT

Posted in city of fremantle, solar by freoview on September 7, 2015

The future of Fremantle’s proposed solar power station on the former tip site is in doubt with approved tender FIRST SOLAR withdrawing from the project because of the power generation market and concerns about the limited site capacity.

The due diligence process was always going to be interesting as the heavily contaminated site would require costly intense soil removal and cleaning. As the contract photographer for the Midland Redevelopment Authority for 11 years I personally witnessed the huge and very time-consuming clean up of the former railway workshops area there, and one has to question if it is financially viable for a relatively small solar plant to invest that much money into the Fremantle project.

Sydney-based EPURON, who were the runner up during the tender process, will now do their due diligence and see if a smaller than the originally proposed 10 MW plant is viable. Time will tell.

Roel Loopers

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