Freo's View

THE GOOD AND BAD OF HERITAGE

Posted in development, fremantle, heritage by freoview on August 26, 2015

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It is a real shame how cavalier we sometimes treat our heritage. The beautiful George Hotel in East Fremantle is still vacant and neglected although we have been promised for years that it will be renovated and occupied. Graffiti tagging has started to reappear while next door the former Lauder&Howard building got its guts ripped out and only the heritage facade is still standing.

On a positive note it is good to see the renovations of the Married Quarters cottages at Cantonment Hill, the Warders cottages in the Henderson Street mall, the Boys School at Princess May Park and the facade painting of the Evan Davies building on the Cappuccino Strip, and work under way at Gino’s as well.

And the Manning building all along the High Street mall and Market and William Street looks absolutely magnificent again. Nice also to see new businesses moving into the mall in that building.

Along High Street in the West End several buildings are being renovated or get paint jobs done, so Fremantle’s recovery is well under way.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly independent

MORE GREEN PLANS FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on July 13, 2015

This Wednesday’s Special Projects Committee meeting of the City of Fremantle is well worth attending with items such as the Cantonment Hill masterplan, the Green Plan and a Princess May Park masterplan on the agenda.

The Green Plan has in my opinion rightly identified the importance of incorporating Nature Play green spaces for children and families to enjoy, away from the standarised, and a bit boring and too safe, normal playgrounds.

The creation of Urban Forest is something many councils around Australia are implementing and Fremantle wants to be part of the trend of creating green lungs and combatting heat zones in the city.

The Green Plan also identifies that there needs to be a focus on the provision of green space within high-density areas to compensate for reduced private open space. Mayor Brad Pettitt reported recently on his blog that in some European cities 30% of new development has to be public open space.

All that is good but it is also essential to retain existing green spaces and tree canopy and not take away those and then replace them with new trees and spaces. A building at Pioneer Park for example would be contrary to what we should be doing in the Freo CBD, instead the space should be beautified with modern seating, shade structures and a children’s playground.

The Princess May Park Masterplan follows on quite well from the Green Plan with emphasis on providing good public amenity, playground, seating and light and the integration of the soon to be built Hilton Hotel bar and restaurant with terraces down to the park, and the possible use of the former Boys School and FTI building as a cafe. That would create a great community hub in the east end of the CBD where residential and commercial development is already thriving.

I recommend to attend Fremantle Council meetings as the community can have a real input and impact, and it is the closest we’ll ever get to democracy. In that context it was intriguing to get feed back from the Notre Dame University student council that “The consensus is that students are not interested in local government and never will be.” Politics and governance affects each and every one of us, so we should participate to make sure the community has a voice, even if we believe we often get ignored.

Roel Loopers

ENERGY MUSEUM PROJECT NOT RIGHT FOR LOCATION

Posted in city of fremantle, development by freoview on July 7, 2015

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There are community concerns about the micro-brewery and mixed-use development proposed for the former Fremantle Energy Museum site at 12 Parry Street with some people worried about a pub so close to St Patrick’s and local schools.

While I don’t see a big problem having a micro brewery and restaurant there I do believe the proposed five-storey residential building behind it is too bulky and high for the location, as it is surrounded by low-rise heritage buildings such as the Basilica and the former school buildings at Princess May Park. The bulk of the building would have a big impact on the also heritage-listed residence behind it at 3 Quarry Street.

One also needs to question the need to demolish the Easter part of the Energy Museum building, as it should remain intact, and architects will just have to work around that.

There is a lot of development going on in the East of the CBD and that is a good thing, especially since there will be more people living in that run down part of town, but there is also a charm about many of the older buildings in the area that needs to be respected. The proposed mixed-use development behind the Energy Museum does not show respect for or reflect on the heritage of the site and the surrounding buildings.

Roel Loopers

NEW PRINCESS MAY MARKETS START TONIGHT!!

Posted in fremantle, markets by freoview on January 16, 2015

Princess May Markets

Fremantle’s new PRINCESS MAY MARKETS at CLANCY’S will open today from 5-9 pm! This is very Freo fun for all with international foodstalls offering spit roast, pizza, paella, papusa, Moroccan, Goan Indian, Peruvian, Tequenos(cheese fingers), pies, La Paletta, crepes, juices, etc.

Fairy Sandie will be there to have fun with the kids. There will be face painting and renowned graffiti artist Lady Bananas will do her Street Art for Kids workshops each Friday as well. There is also Henna painting, massage, stalls that sell clothing, accessories, vintage, retro, bricabrac, flowers, Indian fairtrade, plants, shoes, jewellery, preserves, books, etc.

Clancy’s live outdoor music stage will feature Melbourne-based roots legend Benny Walker and there will be a Little Creatures outdoor bar in the alfresco area of the famous family pub.

The trees in the park will be lit up and of course the Basilica will be a beautiful backdrop for the weekly event.

Come and join Kylie Wheatley and me and say hello. It will be a great night out and a vibrant start to the weekend.

Roel Loopers

FACELIFT FOR FREMANTLE BOYS SCHOOL

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on January 8, 2015

Boys School

Good to see that heritage conservation works have started on the former Fremantle BOYS SCHOOL at Princess May Park. The City is spending a lot of money on it so let’s hope they will find a new tenant to replace the Film and Television Institute-FTI- which occupied the building for many years. An art film and international films cinema would be nice there.

Roel Loopers

NEW FRIDAY NIGHT MARKET FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle, markets by freoview on December 15, 2014

Be ready for a whole new Friday night market, Fremantle!

Kylie Wheatley of Red Tent Events has announced than in collaboration with Clancy’s Fish Pub the Princess May Night Market will start on January 16 next year.

Food, vintage, market and artist’s stalls will be there with live bands and DJs.

If you have great products to sell contact Kylie via de website: http://www.redtentevents.com.au

Roel Loopers

THRILLED ABOUT FREO CBD DEVELOPMENT

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on November 16, 2014

I am so thrilled about development just a stone’s throw away from the Fremantle Townhall that I can’t get enough of the demolition along Queen Adelaide Street.

The boring buildings have gone and the Westgate car park is to follow suit, to make way for the all new Hilton Doubletree hotel that will be built on that site.

The City of Fremantle now needs to be pro active and develop plans to make Princess May Park an attractive green oasis in the CBD with creative seats and shade structures. The former Boys School would make a great cafe, art gallery or small bar.

Roel Loopers

PILE OF RUBBLE PROGRESS FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 8, 2014

Hilton

I am not a very macho man so earthmoving machines normally don’t do much for me, but to see this pile of rubble at the Port Cinema site at Princess May Park in Fremantle made my day already (and it’s only going to get better with perfect weather and festival events!)

This is the very welcome start of the construction of the Hilton hotel on the Point Street carpark site and something Freo desperately needs. The more tourists we can accommodate to stay overnight, the better it will be for our retail economy and hospitality industry, so I can’t wait till the hotel opens in 2016.

Roel Loopers

THE OX IS SLOW BUT FREMANTLE IS PATIENT

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on September 3, 2014

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The ox is slow but the earth is patient, the saying goes. We can truly say that the Fremantle community, especially the business community, has been very patient and that we have been waiting for change, progress, new buildings and new businesses for a very long time.

The ox is moving, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and sun on the horizon, so don’t despair and just hang in there!

The demolition of the buildings at Adelaide and Point streets has started to make way for the new Hilton Hotel at Princess May Park, and in the west end of town ground work has begun on the new Mediterranean Shipping Company office building at Cliff Street.

I anticipate that we can also soon expect an announcement that a state government department will move into the former MYER building, which would be the start of the essential Kings Square revitalisation.

The final draft plan for Victoria Quay should also be made public soon, after a few details have been ironed out with the Public Transport Authority.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S CLANCYS RE-OPENS FRIDAY!

Posted in fremantle by freoview on August 6, 2014

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It was organised chaos at Fremantle’s Clancys today, as staff were in a rush to get the place ready for the “very sssssoft opening” on Friday, where any glitches can be ironed out.

I like the vibrant colours and new feel of the place, which is still very much our own Clancys. Booths have been installed inside and the alfresco area at Princess May Park has substantially grown. The new inside toilets have a bit of class, there is airconditioning and also heating outside, and music will be piped everywhere, including the kitchen.

The menu will remain very much like the old one, but the new relocated kitchen looks stunning as well,with a few more state of the art deep fryers and other gadgets, so go and check out Clancys this weekend!

Roel Loopers

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