Freo's View

FREMANTLE NEEDS TO GROW TO PROSPER

 

Now that we are nearing the end of the year, and the end of the decade, it is good to reflect on Fremantle’s progress and opportunities.

While other councils refused to accept the State Government’s direction of higher density infill Fremantle Council was more realistic about the fact that urban infill is necessary because the urban sprawl won’t be sustainable.

Fremantle introduced new planning schemes that encouraged developers to invest in Freo, especially the CBD, and it worked with Sirona Capital on the much-needed modernisation of Kings Square that will see many more people working in the city centre from early next year.

It took a while until developers saw the unique opportunities to build in Fremantle, but they came and we saw the Heirloom and LIV residential apartments being built, plans approved for the Little Lane residential development on the former Spotlight site, redevelopment of the Manning building and the Atwell Arcade office building, plans approved for the development and hotel on the former Police&Justice complex in Henderson Street, the start of the Warders Cottages hotel and tavern development, and new hotel plans will soon be approved for the Woolstores shopping centre site.

Plans have also been approved for a wood frame commercial development in High Street, just east of Kings Square, and we are still waiting for the Match group to start on the development of the former Energy Museum, and for the SKS Group to finally commence the Hilton Doubletree hotel building in Point Street.

The residential development of the former Workers Club in Henry Street is nearing completion, there is substantial development in the Knutsford Street area, and there is development in South Fremantle.

Top that with the Freo Social and Old Synagogue attractions and big plans for the Fishing Boat Harbour and no one can argue that Fremantle has not positioned itself very well for an exciting future that embraces old and new, and low and medium high buildings.

Already the second part of this year Fremantle has seen an increase in visitors and there is little doubt that the new FOMO retail and hospitality precinct, with supermarket, at Kings Square will become an attraction, and the four new hotels will create the 24/7 activation of the CBD that is badly needed.

When one compares Fremantle with Subiaco, where council has been reluctant to embrace urban infill, and have now been told by Planning Minister Rita Safiotti that they will have to approve buildings of up to 20 storeys near the train station, one has to be grateful that Fremantle Council took our city’s destiny in their own hands and kept building heights to a more Freo-friendly level. Future Fremantle Councils will need to start planning for a port city without a container port, as there is little doubt that the Westport Taskforce will recommend to the State Government a relocation of the port to Kwinana.

There is sometimes fair criticism about the architectural quality of buildings, but that is an issue that needs to be addressed at State level, and I am not alone to wish for a bit more colour in our city, instead of the drab colours we have been getting.

I honestly believe that Freo’s future is great and that we all have a lot to look forward to. Anti development sentiments constantly expressed by a few people who are disgruntled with Fremantle Council are not very helpful. Fremantle needs to grow to prosper!

Happy New Year!

 

Roel Loopers

PS and former North Fremantle Councillor Rob Fittock chastised me rightly for not mentioning the Leighton Beach and other development in North Freo. Mea Culpa!

LIV IN THE PAST ADVERTISEMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, property, real estate, residential, Uncategorized by freoview on November 15, 2019

 

LIV

 

A full-page advertisement for the LIV apartments in today’s Fremantle Herald shows how important it is to have local knowledge when one starts marketing.

It is no doubt my ignorance that I have never heard of Space real estate, but a Google search shows they are in Cottesloe. That must be the reason then that they use a very old photo of the Little Market Street Piazza, where Sandrino left well over a year ago, and Kailis Fish Cafe in the Fishing Boat Harbour also had a coat of paint since the published photo was taken.

Love Summer Living in Freo the ad shouts. Yes, we do, but we don’t live in the past Space. A little care for detail goes a long way when one advertises.

If you are interested in buying an apartment at Queen Victoria or Quarry Street: 1 Bedroom $ 380K, 2 Bedroom 455K, 3 Bedroom 950K. http://www.livapartments.com.au

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S SILVERLEAF LINING

 

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Manning 1

Manning 2

woolstores-da

 

The centre core of the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre is now clearly visible when one looks at it from the first floor of the Fremantle Mall in William Street. The core will allow daylight to flood down into the basement library and surroundings.

Over the road the redevelopment of the Manning’s Chambers by Silverleaf Investments is also progressing well and it looks great. I hear that it also looks stunning inside the building with all new handmade window frames for the offices there which are already leased to 80%.

Silverleaf Investments is one of the major players in Fremantle and often gets a lot of criticism, but I believe while the community and Council always will have to demand top quality development we also have to acknowledge how significant all the Silverleaf development is for our city.

Silverleaf is developing the Woolstores, Manning’s Chambers, the Police&Justice complex and will no doubt also make changes to the Newport hotel they own, so this family business is very important for Fremantle and should be respected for that.

The Yolk Property group is also playing a part in Fremantle’s renaissance with the Little Lane development next to Target, and if the SKS Group finally makes a move on the Hilton Double Tree hotel development the inner city of Fremantle will be substantially modernised to attracts more people to live, work and visit. Bring it on!

Roel Loopers

 

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STAMP DUTY REBATE. BUY AN APARTMENT IN FREMANTLE NOW!

 

STAMP DUTY REBATE

 

BUY AN APARTMENT IN FREMANTLE NOW!

Apartment and unit buyers will get a rebate worth up to $50,000 on eligible properties under a two-year scheme announced by the WA State Government today.

The rebate will be available for two years to any buyer who signs a pre-construction contract for a new residential unit or apartment in a multi-storey development.

Multiple rebates will be available to the same applicant and there will be no cap on the purchase price.

Roel Loopers

HOW TO GET MORE COMMUNITY VALUE OUT OF PERCENTAGE FOR THE ARTS

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, culture, development, local government, property, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2019

 

An interesting article by Kim Macdonald on the Property Pages of the West Australian reports that some developers do not believe that public art is value for money and that the percentage for the arts scheme some councils, such as Fremantle, have is arbitrary and does not give enough consideration to location.

Good public art, that provokes debate and public engagement enhances our streets, but sometimes public art is only decorative and not of very high creative standards, but that of course is about personal taste as well.

Some of the huge mural paintings in Perth are outstanding, and I regret that the stunning artwork on the Fremantle Myer building as Kings Square could not be saved because I really liked it.

Developers do not like the percentage for the arts scheme because it adds cost to the building, but in Fremantle’s case the Manning building development by Silverleaf Investments for example has been allowed to use the percentage for the arts contribution to reinstate the old veranda along William Street.

Flexibility is what is needed, and I believe it is a sensible idea from Richard Pappas of Celcius Properties, who told the West that the public art money should be put into a pool, and not necessarily be part of a new development. Money could be spent instead on public spaces, amenities, playgrounds, extending the tree canopy, etc.

There is quite a bit of sameness in public art, especially 3D art where big steel beams appear to be the favourite for local and state development. The one thing the percentage for the arts need to do is enhance the quality and lifestyle of the community, so if that is a new park a few kilometres away from a new development that is an alternative councils should consider.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

 

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Good signs for Fremantle! The M/27 residential development by the Match group of the former Energy Museum at Parry Street is getting closer to realisation with only seven units left, so pre-sales have been going well.

The Yolk property group have also indicated they will be starting soon on the Little Lane residential development on the former Spotlight site next to Target, so that would be two major residential developments in the hart of the Freo CBD.

Roel Loopers

MORE NEW HOMES IN WHITE GUM VALLEY

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, home, living, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2019

 

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A large residential development is under construction in White Gum Valley. The boundaries of the East Village by Landgate are Montreal, Blinco, Wood and Knutsford streets, so a welcome addition to Fremantle.

It is close to public transport, Booyeembara Park, the golf course and Monument Hill.

As a demonstration project, East Village in Fremantle will be a living laboratory, delivering valuable lessons from real-life initiatives to support a more sustainable way of living.

A range of water initiatives have been designed to bring Waterwise living to life at the estate. Other features will include electric vehicle fast charging, solar panels and battery storage, share electric vehicle scheme, quality landscaped private and public spaces.

The estate will deliver Australia’s first blockchain ready homes, with new residents participating in leading trials of this new technology. Residents will be supported to embrace One Planet Living through a range of innovation initiatives.

Roel Loopers

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FREO CAPPUCCINO STRIP SITE FOR SALE

Posted in brewery, cappuccino strip, city of fremantle, hospitality, property, Uncategorized by freoview on September 18, 2019

 

Monk

 

The prominent Monk Brewery site on the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip is for sale.

Savills Australia has the 923 square metre site listed, but no worries for the fans of the brewery. Their lease expires in April next years but they do have a five year option to extend that.

Does anyone remember when Miss Maud was there? ; >)

Roel Loopers

FREO TECHNICAL COLLEGE FOR SALE

Posted in city of fremantle, education, property, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on August 31, 2019

 

Technical College

 

I hear the Fremantle Technical College opposite the Fremantle Markets is for sale, so what would the Freo community like to see there?

It would be great if it could be converted into student accommodation for Notre Dame University, or made into a lovely boutique hotel.

The building is state heritage listed but in a prime location so I am sure it will be sold fast.

Roel Loopers

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PETITION AGAINST FREMANTLE PUBLIC LAND SALE

 

I came across this petition on Change.org that was started by Arts Centre Precinct resident Paula Amaral. It has 126 signatures currently.

A petition calling for a moratorium on the sale of Fremantle publicly owned land to private developers.

Available land near our City centre is at a premium because it is accessible to public transport and walking distance to shops and other amenities.

At present our City has a few vacant sites of publicly owned land, destined to be sold to private developers. Some of this land is owned by the State government, and some by the City of Fremantle. It used to have mostly social value, but now seems to have only financial value.

Once the land is sold to private developers, it will be lost to the community forever.

These are our assets and we should have a say in whether selling them to private developers purely to retire civic debt is really in the best interests of the community.

We are all aware of the rise of homelessness in our streets and the increase in poverty, which leads to terrible costs to our society. Research is showing a great need for affordable housing and facilities, not only for the visible homeless but all those at risk of homelessness.

For the last 30 years the policy of selling publicly owned land to private developers has significantly contributed to the lack of affordable housing in our City.

We are petitioning for a moratorium on the sale of our publicly owned land before it is too late. Let’s stop this practice which has contributed so much to social disadvantage and inequality.

 

Roel Loopers

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