Freo's View



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I understand if you think that the blog posts are a bit Kings Square-centric lately, but that is where most of the action in Fremantle currently is.

I noticed when I drove by this morning that the first glazing has been installed at the former Myer building, and they are working on adding an additional floor on top as well.

And another dramatic photo of the old and new, demolition and construction.

Roel Loopers






The  former MYER building at Fremantle’s Kings Square is a mere skeleton now that the part demolition is at an advanced stage with large sections of the Queen Street facade now also removed.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 23, 2014

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The announcement that the Department of Housing will not relocate to Fremantle is a huge set back for the entire Kings Square development and revitalisation of Fremantle. The move would have been a significant boost to our City’s economy and open up opportunities for new retailers in the CBD.

Then Minister for Housing, Troy Buswell, announced before the last state election that the 1,000 staff would be moved to Fremantle to decentralise government offices.

The owners of the former MYER building Sirona Capital banked very much on the department to move there, although they were one of four tenders to accommodate the Department of Housing.

The whole of the Kings Square development is dependent on the Myer building renovations and for Sirona to find an anchor tenant. Without the Myer building going ahead nothing can happen at Queensgate and with the proposed new Civic Centre.

It appears that the Liberal government has won the election with promises they are unwilling to keep. The Colin Barnett government has disgracefully let the Fremantle business and entire community down. This is a very, very disappointing day for Fremantle!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 16, 2014

It is interesting to read Fremantle Mayor’s Brad Pettitt‘s comments about local council reform in today’s Fremantle Herald. The Mayor said he would be walking away from the amalgamation process if State Government insists councils will have to pay for the majority of the extensive costs.

I am personally not at all impressed that Sate Governments wants to force council amalgamations but not pay for it, but most councils would already have put a huge amount of (wo)man hours in, probably spent money on consultants and legal advise, etc. while some developers might be holding back until the new council boundaries are known.

Is it unreasonable to expect local councils to pay for the mergers? I believe it is, because Premier Colin Barnett can’t behave like a child in a toy shop who wants everything but can’t pay for anything. Even low interest rates would mean local councils would be out of pocket and would have to sell assets or increase rates. Is that what the residents and rate payers want them to do?

If Fremantle “walked away’ if that is legally at all possible, what then would happen to our city that has remained stagnant for years? Will developers still want to build in a smaller Freo or will they only support our city when we grow substantially larger? Does the Mayor know the answers to that?

It is easy to go to the media and boast about billions of dollars worth of development in Fremantle, but so far most of that appears speculative. Don’t hold your breath for any Kings Square development to happen soon, because the State and Federal budget restraints will mean that government agencies are unlikely to be moved, so who then is going to lease the former Myer building office space? Without the Myer development Queensgate can’t happen, and nor can the new Civic Centre be built without those two developments. If we are lucky we’ll get the Spicers site at Henderson Street new building and further East the Hilton Hotel and residential developments like Heirloom by Match in the near future, while the rest is a long way away still.

Walking away from local council reform without asking the Fremantle community what it prefers is not on. It is far too important for Freo’s future for our Mayor to have a public hissy fit without community consultation, because many in the community are so dissatisfied with the present council that they might prefer increased rates over the status quo.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 12, 2014

This afternoon the Fremantle HOLLOW PROJECT will open at Kings Square. A big cardboard pyramid has been built by the Feast Your Eyes crew to create a sense of community, a place for people to meet, to share stories and even to have a meal. It is straight in front of MANY 6160, the former Myer building, where a new retailer is also opening today, and there is new art as well, so hop on the bike and check out the real Freo vibe.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 23, 2014

Part of the former Fremantle MYER building will be transformed into a market I hear. It is unlikely a food market would be allowed inside at ground level as this would require big extraction fans, so it must mean it will be on the roof.

Markets are becoming increasingly popular all around the Perth metro area, and Freo has the Fremantle Markets, E Shed Markets, Growers Green Markets, Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets, Victoria Quay Markets, the Upmarkets, Mad Hatter Markets, and others on the periphery.

The good thing about markets is that they create income for a lot of small and family businesses, and the advantage for them is that instead of having a restaurant or cafe with high rent, long leases and high overheads, the costs of running stalls at markets are considerably lower and so are the risks of failing.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 14, 2014

The W.A. State Government Design Advisory Panel has given approval for the development of the Queensgate building and Spicer site. These are two of the major projects of the Fremantle Kings Square development, that will also see renovations and a facelift of the former Myer building, and the demolition of the present civic centre and the construction of a modern new one.

While this is good news, the work on the Myer building has been pushed back now to the first quarter of next year and will not, as announced last year, start mid this year, so that is another half year delay that will also delay the Queensgate and civic centre buildings.

It is my understanding that Sirona Capital still has not signed up a major ‘anchor’ tenant for the Myer building and until this happens construction will not commence. The Department of Housing has not been forthcoming in announcing if they will still move to Fremantle and if that move will be to the Myer site or elsewhere. There is a lot of speculation that Housing might sign up for the Victoria Quay development by Fremantle Ports.

It is important to understand the timeline here to see what this means for the overall development of Kings Square. Once Myer has been completed CoF staff will relocate there from the Queensgate building, that would then be demolished and the new building erected. When the new Queensgate building is ready, CoF staff will vacate the civic building at the Town Hall and move to Queensgate, the civic centre will then be flattened and a new building erected on the triangle in front of Myer. In essence, nothing much will happen until the former Myer site is finished. Only the Spicer site development can commence independent from that.

It is very disappointing that the State Government does not understand that Fremantle needs a bit of support here. Troy Buswell announced Housing would move to Fremantle, but since then nothing much has happened and that is leaving Freo’s extremely important Kings Square development in limbo. Surely Premier Colin Barnett and his cabinet can make a decision soon on this and announce Housing will be moving to the Myer building, which would be a great step forward for our city.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 30, 2014

It is always disappointing when new and different things can’t continue because of the location. The Fremantle rooftop bar and music venue Dave’s Cans in the former MYER buildings is such a case, with them today announcing the end of live music there. Here is what they wrote on their Facebook page:

Due to noise complaints and ongoing opposition from a group of very vocal residents in the Fremantle area, the Dave’s Cans rooftop bar we will be ceasing any live / well amplified electroni…c music as of Saturday, February 1 2014.

Please understand that we have fought as much as possible to keep this venue alive in its live music capacity, as we believe that it was an important addition to the Fremantle area. We are extremely upset and saddened to see the end of this era of the venue.

The bar will for now operate as a small capacity festival type bar with house music and quiet DJ performances only. We’d still love to see you up there for a drink if you’d like to any time.

The show on Friday night will still be running so please come down and have one big last night with us!

I am not trying to score cheap points here and kick people while they are down, but the location for a live music venue needs to be very carefully considered. The strong sea breeze in Freo would take the noise from a rooftop bar a long way, and I hear the venue played maybe too loud at times, so we need to learn from it, because we want good live music events in Fremantle, but maybe they need to be further from residential areas, as it is no good to invest energy and good money and then be stopped because of noise complaints.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 17, 2014

The Fremantle MANY 6160 rooftop bar at the former MYER building is pretty popular. 400 attended the music show last Sunday with Dilip ‘n the Davs and other bands. It’s on again this Sunday the 19th at Dave’s Cans.

Part proceeds to aid  victims of the Hills fire. The DAVs will be doing a double setter 7.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue open 4 pm. Live music starts 6 pm with Katie White & Ewan Buckley doing solo/duo sets. $5 entry. “Rooftop to the Hills”.

Celebrate Life and help others at same time.



Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 16, 2014

Stuff is always happening in Fremantle, rumours float around, the grapevine is abuzz, and  good cafe gossip is always available, so what is happening at MYER, MYRE, I mean MANY 6160 on Kings Square? The retail and design incubator started off very well late last year, but I have since been told retailers received a letter at the start of the year that the rent would be doubled, which created quite an uproar, according to my informant who has a space there.

The Feast Your Eyes Gallery had a goodbye party, saying they were moving, and an advertisement is asking for new interested parties for the retail and workshop spaces.

It would be a worry if Many 6160 faltered for whatever reason, as an empty space at Kings Square is just horrible. Of course development should start by mid year, if Sirona Capital is true to their word.  I hear that Woolworth will leave Adelaide Plaza and move to the MANY-MYRE-MYER building. That would be a significant anchor tenant to have at the retail level, so let’s hope we’ll receive good and positive news from that development soon.

In that regard, I believe struggling Freo retailers have a right to be worried, when major development in the CBD will not start before 2018, with new building probably not opening before 2020. That is a very long time to wait for the activation and revitalisation of the CBD. What can be done in the meantime to support our traders?

Roel Loopers

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