There was a rather exciting BID-Business Improvement District meeting at the National Hotel on Wednesday evening that spelled out the future of the Fremantle inner city, and I was very impressed.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was important that the business community engaged with the City and that they went on the journey together.
Pettitt admitted the next 3 years are going to be challenging for inner city traders because of the disruptions caused by the massive development at Kings Square and elsewhere in the CBD.
The Mayor said it was disappointing that the Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site will now only start in the first quarter of next year, so that is another lengthy delay.
The more I see of Gerard O’Brien, the boss of Fremantle developers Silverleaf, the more I like his no-nonsense approach and straight-forward message that Fremantle only has a three-year window before Garden City will more than double in size.
“We need to keep moving as we have suffered big time in Fremantle”, O’Brien said. “We need to get our act together and support each other as a community and Council. It needs to be a team effort!”
Silverleaf has huge plans for Fremantle and O’Brien said that they are only the custodians and want to leave something behind that all of Freo can be proud off, not just a glass box.
O’Brien then revealed his plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site and that is very exciting for Fremantle. The development is 26,000 square metres.
There will be an Adina Hotel, commercial floorspace and -hallelujah!- student accommodation! Plus a shopping centre at ground level and underground parking.
Coles will keep trading during the construction period and Gerard O’Brien believed that was essential to keep attracting shoppers into the inner city.
O’Brien said the design of the building pays tribute to the heritage and pays homage to the environment the new building will be in.
I quite like the old&new architecture with red bricks at ground level and vertical cladding similar to the new Perth library and theatre buildings, while the levels above that are very modern, but quite striking and minimalist.
The entire roof will be solar panels, which O’Brien said was a good investment, while the windows will be double-glazed and have new technology in them that will keep out the sun and keep the interior cool. I am impressed!
Silverleaf will also be developing “ the beautiful piece of history” former police and courthouse complex and Warders Cottages at Henderson Street into three-star history tourist accommodation with 64 rooms. It will also have a market place open space and four different concepts that are all about tourism.
New BID CEO Tim Milsom said the transformation of Fremantle is about to happen and that Silverleaf could develop anywhere in the world but chooses to do so in Fremantle.
Milsom said BID have plans for a creative hub and an aspirational business mix but O’Brien said that Fremantle has enough specialty stores.
Milsom said we need to find out from the community and visitors what is missing in Fremantle and what will bring people back. For example there is no hardware store in Freo anymore.
There is no bakery or butcher or corner deli in the CBD either, but more than a dozen new shops will open in Fremantle soon, so that is more good news.
Many 6160 are moving from the former Myer building at Kings Square to the former Spotlight building next to Target and are due to open next week.
I put my neck on the line and say that this is very good news for Fremantle and that we are on the right track to create a great vibrant city where hundreds of tourists will stay over night, eat, drink and shop and where we will finally have many students living in the inner city.
It is International Women’s Day today, so a good opportunity to celebrate all the great and strong women all over the world.
In Fremantle we are lucky to be represented in State Parliament by Simone McGurk and Lyn McLaren, and we have three female Councillors in Hannah Fitzhardinge, Ingrid Waltham and Rachel Pemberton.
W.A very first female Senator Dorothy Tangny is recognised in a mural at the Norfolk Hotel.
Notre Dame University is also lead by a female Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO is Olwyn Williams.
There is an abundance of wonderful, strong women in Fremantle who are community leaders in their own right.
Equality remains a dream unfortunately when women still get paid less than men and the top positions in Australia are predominantly occupied by men. That needs to change!
I am not a fan of quotas though because I believe women can make it on their own merit. Quotas are a bit of tokenism to make political parties, or governments look good.
I do recognise however that it is difficult for women to climb the corporate and political ladders when the majority of decision-makers are men.
Today is a day for women to celebrate their achievements and for men to contemplate why women are still not treated the same in 2017 and why there is still so much domestic violence against women.
We need to do a whole lot better and that starts with one simple word. RESPECT!
In a rather petulant Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today Dean Fehlberg, a partner at MCDF Architects, who designed the mediocre proposal for the new Notre Dame University School of Nursing at 3 High Street claims Fremantle Council rejected the development because it was influenced by emotion and agitation.
Does Fehlberg mean with agitation the genuine concerns raised by Fremantle residents and the Fremantle Society in submissions to Council, and does he mean with emotion that we are very passionate about heritage protection in Fremantle?
Fehlberg shows a hint of arrogance and severe lack of self-criticism when he compares the height of the proposed UNDA building with the gorgeous National Hotel, Pearse Building, Orient Hotel and Fremantle Hotel. These are all buildings of outstanding Goldrush period architecture and can in no way be compared to the unimaginative, boring and mediocre design proposal for the historic West End of Fremantle by the MCDF Architects.
The architects are no doubts also aware that the criticism about the height of the proposed building is because the planning rules for the West End Conservation Area only allow for three-storey buildings with an option of a fourth storey if the architecture is outstanding, which it isn’t!
Architect Fehlberg also criticises the Slavin Architects designed MSC building in Cliff Street because “it is all glass and flowing curved lines of steel with no masonry at all and without any precedence in the West End.”
Indeed Mr Fehlberg, and that makes the MSC building so delightfully unique, inspiring, creative and heritage of the future architecture, while your team ignores the heritage significance and beauty of the West End by proposing a very bland design. It does not add to the architectural greatness of the West End, but the MSC building does.
Dean Fehlberg writes in the Herald that he was very disappointed with the Fremantle Council level of debate….and disrespect shown for the opinion of the State Heritage Office and City’s Design Advisory Committee.
What concerns the community and Fremantle Councillors more is the disrespect shown by MCDF Architects for the unique beauty and historic significance of the West End and that the architects believe their non-creative boredom is appropriate next to the stunning Lionel Samson building and opposite the beautiful Fremantle Hotel building and in Western Australia’s most beautiful street.
Harsh self-criticism is a great way forward to becoming excellent at what one does, not acknowledging one’s own limitations means accepting mediocrity.
Fremantle Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond has advised city residents that the university has asked the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP to adjourn the application for a five-storey development at 3 High street by four weeks so that the university can further explore the details.
The application was scheduled to be considered by JDAP next Thursday on March 9.
UNDA are engaging an independent heritage specialist to assist them in addressing the heritage matters which have been raised. They will also be seeking the input and comments of the City Officers and Councillors throughout this time, the Vice Chancellor said.
This is a very professional and mature approach by Notre Dame University and shows real consideration and respect for the feedback they received from Fremantle Council and residents.
If as I expect the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel next Thursday rejects the application by Notre Dame University for a five-storey development at 3 High Street, the university will have to look at alternative solutions.
The School of Nursing requires a lot of floor space, so a lower three-storey building in the West End won’t be big enough for UNDA I presume.
I found the perfect location for the new Notre Dame building on the corner of Suffolk Street and South Terrace, opposite Fremantle Hospital.
It is a leisurely ten-minute walk from the rest of the UNDA campus, close to public transport and parking and just a ten-minute walk to the railway station.
The vacant site is outside the West End conservation area, so height won’t be an issue and neither would be street level activation.
The City of Fremantle is planning a new carpark at the Stan Reilley site, so no worries about parking either, and Queensgate and Collie Street parking is nearby as well.
WA’s Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP will make a ruling on the development application by Fremantle’s Notre Dame University for a five-storey building at 3 High Street on Thursday March 9 at 9.30 am.
The council chambers are located on the first floor of the council offices at 8 William Street, Fremantle. Access to the council chambers is via the stairs located next to the children’s playground on the eastern side of the building.
Should you wish to speak at the JDAP meeting, please complete a presentation request form which can be found via the following link https://www.planning.wa.gov.au/7581.asp which must be submitted to the JDAP secretariat via email@example.com
For contact details, accessing the agenda and additional information please visit the http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/Development-Assessment-Panels.asp.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the meeting and address the panel as I will be in Fiona Stanley Hospital that day, so please do raise your objections and submit your written protest against this totally inappropriate and very ugly building for Freo’s West End!!
High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End is the most beautiful street in Western Australia in my opinion.
It is also a fantastic old-style high street shopping experience that has a sense of wonderment about it. If it had a roof over it it would be one of the world’s most stunning shopping arcades.
There is such a large variety of traders in the Goldrush period buildings that I thought to mention them all, because there are probably quite a few you don’t know about:
- The National and Orient hotels, Lapa Brazilian restaurant, Roma Cucina Italian restaurant.
- Chalkys, Blink, Hush, Breakers, High Street Dispensary, Piccolo, Cafe 55, Quinlans, and Common Grind cafes.
- Japingka, Adam Monk, Artisan Store galleries.
- New Edition and the Second Hand bookshops
and there is a whole lot more!
Clara Beauty, Remedy, Bousfield, Adulshop, the Police station, Notre Dame University, Enzo D’Allessandro hairdresser, Djurra, Ugg Australia shoes, Three Stories fashion, Common Ground fashion, Fremantle Beach and the Sundance backpackers, Printline, Bitches Brew framers, Unique Hair, Bodkins Bootery, Anjel MS fashion and Fremantle Art Space, Kartique. Ame Belle fashion, Port Stationary, Dreske Somoff leather, Tuart Place social services, Australian Maritime Officers Union, West Coast Cruise&Travel Centre, High Street Chemist, Haute on High fashion, Lee’s newsagency, Compendium, Ancient Earth, Lavita hairdresser, Finishing Touch gallery, Rialto Apartments, The Record Finder with two shops, Port Jarrah furniture, Absolutely Adult, the Buffalo and Navy clubs, ACAI Bros raw food, Brazilian Butterfly beauty, Miss Chats Bar.
You still want to argue there is no shopping variety in Fremantle? This is just one street full with it!
To top it all off Freo’s most gorgeous street ends at WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and the lovely Bathers Beach.
It is anyone’s guess why the City of Fremantle and BID don’t do more to promote High Street as a great shopping experience that has character, is very Freo, and very different from the sterile shopping boredom in the major centres.
What a delight it is to see thousands of Notre Dame University students back in Fremantle’s West End.
The streets and cafes are full with gorgeous and colourful young people. I love it!
I considered doing a photo story on it but I’d probably get accused of being a dirty old pervert photographing young students, so this UNDA promo will have to do.
Don’t forget to come to the Fremantle Candidates Election Forum tonight hosted by former ABC political reporter Peter Kennedy.
It is on from 6.30-8.30 pm at Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets in the West End.
All candidates have been invited so it could be a very lively debate in regard to the Perth Freight Link and sale of Fremantle Port.
Fremantle has long been considered a safe seat for the Labor party but the demographics have been changing in recent years due to increased residential development, so Simone McGurk has a fight on her hands to retain her seat.
I’ll report on the debate at around 9.30 this evening!
Fremantle Council unanimously rejected the development proposal for a five-storey building by Notre Dame University on the corner of High and Cliff streets on Wednesday evening.
It was telling that the only person on the night who spoke in favour of the terribly mediocre and boring development proposal for 3 High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End was Olwyn Williams the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.
Very disappointing that the Chamber does not recognise that Fremantle is so popular with overseas and interstate visitors because of Fremantle’s beautiful West End and historic significance.
Everyone else who spoke was very strongly against the absolutely inappropriate proposal for what is arguably the most beautiful street in Western Australia. I understand 45 submissions against the proposal were sent to Fremantle Council and only three in support of it.
Some comments from public speakers: The design is totally inappropriate- Architecture unworthy of the historic location- Does not respect existing heritage buildings- Rethink the location of the building and move it to the east end of Fremantle.
Councillor Jon Strachan said it was clear cut to him that he could not support the proposal, while Councillor David Hume said the street level activation carrot that was dangled was not enough to approve the building.
Councillor Rachel Pemberton said the proposed building does not integrate with the other facades at all and that the ‘urban grain’ is very important.
Councillor Simon Nabor said it was too bulky, too big and dominates the area, while Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin said that it is a terrible outcome and that High Street is an extremely important heritage street.
Councillor Andrew Sullivan who also spoke against the building warned that it might be approvable for the State’s JDAP which is the decision-making authority.
I am outraged to learn that the State Heritage Office has recommended approval for the building. The way they are going they are becoming as incompetent as the EPA. This is the same office that put the entire West End on the State Heritage List, but now supports the UNDA monstrosity that has no place in the historic West End.
I urge my friends at Notre Dame to not push this ahead against the wishes of the Fremantle community and council. UNDA needs to accept that the floor space they need for the new School of Nursing can’t be achieved at 3 High Street because it breaks development and heritage rules for the West End Conservation Area. Move the building east of the Townhall and you’ll get all the space you require! Please do it!!