I wonder if the City of Fremantle will be flexible enough to revisit the new masterplan for Princess May Park now that the Hilton Doubletree hotel development is delayed for at least two years, and might never happen because of the new Adina Hotel development on the Woolstores shopping centre site over the road.
The masterplan is in parts about linking the western part of Princess May Park with the terraced planned section of the Hilton, that would open up into the park with a cafe, etc. If this does not happen that part of the park might have to be redesigned to accommodate other development should the Doubletree remain a plan rather than a built reality.
I don’t care that it seems the City of Fremantle has made an executive decision to not comment on this blog any more, but I do care that they do ignore the questions I ask and the maintenance issues I point out.
Several weeks ago I reported on the mess at the newly renovated former Boys School/FTI building, but today it looked worse and the City has no taken any action to prevent the back courtyard to be used as a dump.
Princess May Park is a significant heritage precinct in Fremantle and deserves to be cared for a lot better. Shame on you COF!
Freo’s View reader David sent me some email last night about the now derelict Hilton Double Tree hotel development site on the corner of Point and Queen Adelaide streets. The developers have announced a delay of two years and David suggested the City of Fremantle could do what some eastern state councils do and beautify the area and make it into a park for the time being.
I think the idea is good but the land is no longer owned by the City and insurance issues might also be a consideration.
Does anyone have ideas how we could make a positive out of a negative and make the land near Princess May Park and the old Boys School more attractive?
The City of Fremantle has just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating the heritage-listed former Boys School/FTI building at Princess May Park, but already the anti-social behaviour has started. The little back yard is full with booze bottles and rubbish and the metal fences have been damaged and pulled off their hinges.
I wonder why the CCTV camera in the park was removed as it was a great help to identify anti-social behaviour in the area fast, to the delight of Clancy’s. The mast is still standing high but the camera is no longer there.
The West Australian reports today that the two-year delay of the 150-room Double Tree Hilton hotel at Princess May Park is due to the many lengthy discussions between the SKS Group and the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee and heritage department.
Construction of the seven-storey hotel was due to start late last year but it now appears it will not happen for a long time, leaving that part of town in a derelict state.
Fact is that the initial design I first viewed at a public viewing was unacceptable, boring, uninspiring and disrespectful to the heritage area, so the City’s DAP and heritage department tried to get changes that would improve the proposed building.
New buildings in a historic city like Fremantle need to acknowledge and compliment the heritage of place and create a new amenity with character that respects and enhances, but instead we see developers proposing bland boxes that have no reference to the history and lack a sense of place. SKS general manager Francis Foong should not blame the development process and COF but his company’s own uninspiring design of the building.
It is disappointing to see that there is still no building start for the Hilton Double Tree development at Fremantle’s Queen Adelaide and Point street as it was projected to start late 2015.
The site now looks derelict but the City of Fremantle told me the developers have agreed to tidy it up. They demolished the retail buildings but left the Point Street carpark standing and operational. According to my source the SKS Group have not yet applied for a building permit although all development approvals have been given by the WA Development Assessment Panel.
I contacted SKS yesterday and asked if they could tell me an estimated time of building commencement but they have not responded to my email.
The Hilton development is in my opinion critical to Fremantle’s economic recovery as it would create substantial tourist accommodation, which is lacking in our city. It is also essential for the creation of a much better Princess May Park and the modernisation of the eastern part of the CBD, so I hope the delay will not be as lengthy as the Kings Square project one.
There will be a big Christmas party in Fremantle’s Princess May Park this Friday from 4-10 pm. There will be food and gift stalls and a Clancy’s pop up bar, and of course Father Christmas will be there.
There will be live music by local school bands and the Celtic big band The Fling, so get ready to make this a family night out and sit under the stars.
The Fremantle Esplanade Reserve has not looked this good for many years and the challenge for the City is now to keep it that way and don’t let the expensive surface upgrade be destroyed by too many large events.
It is also important to get the new Masterplan for the Esplanade right, and also the one for historic Princess May Park.
Connectivity and way finding are the buzz words that have substituted placemaking, and instead of looking well after our parks we are getting so called parklets with a few plants.
Planned paths through the Esplanade and Princess May should not be the cheap and common concrete ones but creative paving, maybe even some cobblestone at Pioneer Park?
I do understand that we all want to keep our green areas but I also accept that in our hot climate large grass areas are difficult to maintain and need a lot of water. There is a need for compromise and that should be more trees, more shade for people, more protection from the sun for grass, and trees and large bushes create a nicer overall amenity than just vast areas of lawn.
It did cost a hell of a lot of money to make the Esplanade look great again, so let’s see if it will be protected better or if the City of Fremantle just wasted ratepayers’ money by letting it be damaged again.
I am not sure at all that the residents of North Fremantle near McCabe Street are going to like this, but the headquarters of the Mediterranean Shipping Company at 15 McCabe Street is for sale. The real estate agent says the 1690 sqm. site has “significant redevelopment appeal” so maybe the locals there are in for another battle to stop highrise buildings in the area.
The MSC staff will relocate to their new building in Cliff Street later this year, and that is a welcome development for the West End of Fremantle and no doubt good for the cafes along High Street.
Another development will be going ahead in the centre of Fremantle soon, with Council giving approval to the Match group to redevelop the former Energy Museum site at Parry Street.
The heritage-listed building will be developed into a Bread in Common-style food and beverage venue and behind it a four-storey apartment building will be built that will house forty 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. I hope the apartment building will compliment the heritage building with good matching design and not negatively overshadow it.
I am not sure if the initial idea to also have a micro brewery on site has been dropped after protest from residents and St Patrick’s so stay tuned.
I believe a Bread in Common style venue would be great for the East of the CBD and will become a real attraction for the hundreds of people who will move into the area once the Heirloom development is finished in 2017. It would fit in well with the Hilton hotel development, the upgrade of Princess May Park and new tenants for the former FTI building.
ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.
Written and published by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.
The City of Fremantle will hold a community consultation session on site at Princess May Park this Saturday to show the draft Masterplan for the area. It will be at the back of Clancy’s from 10-12 am, so just in time to stay on and have lunch at Freo’s great family pub.
The Princess May Park heritage precinct is on the cusp of development and community activation with the start of the Hilton hotel building very soon and a lot of building activity to the East of it along Queen Victoria, Quarry and Beach streets. The former Energy Museum site is also destined for development, so it is essential to integrate the Masterplan with traffic management along there as the intersection at Parry and Adelaide Street is a pretty awful one.
Go and have a look, have your say, put a written submission to Council and be pro-active. There is little use complaining when the horse has bolted so be creative and part of the solution!
ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.
Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.