Freo's View



chamber function


Future Freo chairman Adrian Fini launched the Greater Fremantle Action Plan by the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce in the Australia II gallery of the Maritime Museum on Thursday evening, in front of Minister Simone McGurk, Mayor Brad Pettitt and several councillors and CoF staff, as well as representatives from Notre Dame University, Fremantle Port, Silverleaf Investments and business leaders.

The 28-page Action Plan is well worth reading and I assume the Chamber will put it on line, as it is too substantial to address every item in it here on the blog.

FCOC chair Ivan Dzeba said that Fremantle is already a great place but it can be better, while Adrian Fini said that we do need change and will fall apart if we don’t move forward.

We need to ask ourselves what is Fremantle’s strength and cultural identity, and we have great opportunities which need great leadership, but growth in technology will take shoppers away, but Fremantle has unique offerings that other shopping precincts do not have.

There is a deep journey ahead that demand teamwork with council, businesses and the community working together, Fini said.

The Greater Fremantle Action Plan records Freo’s strengths as having:

  • Dynamic economy particularly in transport and related industries, the arts and receational services, accommodation, food and health care
  • A unique profile consisting of heritage strength and character
  • Fremantle Port remains Fremantle’s most important industry
  • Fremantle has a unique combination of the knowledge economy and creative industries
  • Health services and related sectors continue to play an important role despite the downsizing of Fremantle Hospital
  • Fremantle has a global reputation as a tourist destination


So what are the plans for action?


Create the Conditions

  • Business attraction plan
  • Destination marketing campaign
  • Develop financial incentives
  • Policy and regulation review
  • Complete structure plan
  • Develop infrastructure to support a cultural plan

Connecting People, Places & Markets

  • Planning for affordable housing
  • Improvements to urban realm in commercial areas
  • Improvements to public transport
  • Sophisticated city centre parking plan
  • Connected cycle path network
  • Improvements to regional connections
  • Improvements to visitor booths and wayfinding
  • Improvements to pedestrian access

Promoting our Place

  • Broader and more unified approach to marketing
  • Develop relevant Fremantle ‘apps’
  • Unique brand development
  • Expand toursim accommodation
  • Explore new tourism opportunities
  • Grow conference/events industry


Roel Loopers




Posted in art, city of fremantle, creative, retail, shopping by freoview on August 16, 2018




Fremantle creatives who want to improve their exposure and show their work to a large number of people now have the opportunity to rent at peppercorn rent! one of seven shops in the CBD that FREO NOW is making available in collaboration with the property owners. Three of the shop fronts are in the High Street Mall.

Contact: if you are keen to step into the retail adventure.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on August 13, 2018


The JIM KIDD sportswear store in Fremantle’s Essex Street is leaving Fremantle and relocating to a huge warehouse near Perth airport.

It is a shame to lose another shop and I question the new location, as there is no way I will drive all the way to the airport to buy my next comfy walking shoes, so they are losing this customer.

Vacant shops are never a good look anywhere, but unfortunately a sign of the time everywhere, so I hope FREO NOW in collaboration with property owners will find a lot of creatives to move into empty retail premises and make them at least look attractive.

It would be nice if the City of Fremantle could allocate money for artists to at least paint windows of vacant shops and make the best out of a bad situation by creating a new art walk attraction in the CBD.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2018




Fremantle retail incubator MANY PROJECTS’ manager Kate Hullet started making art collages last years and says she has created hundreds of them, which inspired her friends to do the same.

“Collaging is such an accessible and democratic art form – and I’m overjoyed that a bunch of friends have agreed to make and exhibit collages in a show with me this weekend.”

 CUT IT OUT opens Saturday 4 August, 5pm at smartcasual in Many Projects, Adelaide Street next to Target in the former Spotlight building.


Roel Loopers






The latest development proposal by Silverleaf Investments for the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre site was released last week and has already received criticism that it is boring and ugly, so where from here? I have been thinking long and hard about this conundrum, so here my thoughts.

I agree that this proposal is yet again not for an outstanding iconic building of exceptional design, but I also believe we need to be pragmatic about this if we want the current eyesore to disappear.

From past proposals we can deduct that it is highly unlikely that Silverleaf will ever build and iconic building in Fremantle. Great architecture and aesthetics don’t appear to be a priority for the company, so should Fremantle Council reject this latest proposal as well, or should they approve it so we just can get on with it, because Fremantle desperately needs development in that run down inner east of the CBD?

I believe that the development of the Woolstores, Spotlight site and Hilton Doubletree hotel, together with the Kings Square redevelopment are part of the critical mass to turn Fremantle’s economic, retail, tourism and hospitality fortunes around and attract many more people to our city. If that is the case the community unfortunately will have to compromise on the aesthetics, or we’ll end up with the Woolstores ugliness for another 2-3 decades.

Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien told me at the FREO NOW launch on Friday that Coles will leave if the shopping centre is not developed, and that Target will also close its doors. Fremantle cannot afford to let that happen, I believe.

The proposed six storey addition is in my opinion not great but not an eyesore, and it would definitely be an improvement to what is there at present. So maybe the reality that Fremantle does not have the luxury of being too picky, because we desperately need development, should be part of more pragmatic decision making.

Silverleaf is a major player in Fremantle, with the exciting development of the former justice complex in Henderson Street and a new hotel there imminent, as well as the development of the Manning building in the mall and William Street, so do we want them to walk away from developing the Woolstores site because the proposal is not iconic and visually attractive enough, or do we prioritise economic necessity over aesthetic beauty in that unattractive part of the inner city?

Let’s be clear and honest that up to know all new commercial buildings approved in Fremantle over that last years are not of outstanding design quality, but for the MSC building in Cliff Street. The Myer and Queensgate buildings at Kings Square are not great architecture and neither are the LIV apartment building, or the approved Hilton hotel and Little Lane developments.

Some people who hate high buildings can be happy that the new Woolstores proposal is for only six storeys, so a lot lower than the previous proposal, that was rejected by JDAP because it lacked the architectural excellence required to receive the two storey additional discretionary height allowance.

I was worried the last few years that the Hilton Doubletree development might not go ahead, and although I have been critical about the design of the building, I am happy that the SKS group will now start on the development this year, because I strongly believe that these developments in the east CBD are critical, and once open will make a big positive difference for our struggling Freo traders.

I love outstanding modern architecture and I am disappointed that we don’t seem to attract any of that in Fremantle, but in this case I am for compromise and pragmatism, even when I know I will be heavily criticised for it by some people in our community.

I am looking forward to receiving your opinions, pro or contra, as this is a discussion we need to have.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2018


It was full house at the Fremantle National Hotel last night for the official launch of retail supporter FREO NOW, that attempts to replace the BID, which was abandoned by Fremantle Council, to make way for Destination Marketing.

FREO NOW CEO Karl Bullers, who owns the National Hotel,  said Fremantle traders need grassroots assistance to help their businesses grow and that FREO NOW would provide that.

There will be free business coaching for members and FREO NOW is looking for creatives to fill vacant shops at peppercorn rent to attract people to the Fremantle CBD.

There are plans for a small business expo and FREO NOW will be seeking federal funding.

“We have not given up on you! We will be right by your side” Karl Bullers assured the crowd, which included Councillors Waltham, Pemberton, Lang and Sullivan as well as last year’s Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart, Silverleaf Investments director Gerard O’Brien and Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams.

I was flabbergasted that a shop owner who has been trading at Cantonment Street for over twenty years asked questions about why BID was gone and what Destination Marketing was, when all that has been published in the local media and on line extensively. It helps to inform oneself about what goes on in the the town where one trades!

On a very positive by note, it was really good to hear that Karl Bullers puts his money where his mouth is when he mentioned that Clint Clark from Port Jarrah was making the wardrobes for the new hotels rooms at the National Hotel, estimated to be opened by the end of August.

Roel Loopers






The white columns above will become the picture below at Fremantle’s Kings Square.



Posted in charity, city of fremantle, clothes, community, fashion, Uncategorized by freoview on July 25, 2018




If you like to support the fantastic work St Patrick’s does in Fremantle and elsewhere, and if you don’t mind wearing second hand clothes, St Pat’s have opened a new shop in historic High Street close to the corner of Market Street.

ST PAT’S RACK is at 101 High Street and open Mondays to Fridays from 9am till 4 pm and Sundays 9am till 1pm.

Roel Loopers





Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, retail,, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 24, 2018




The Freo Now-formerly Fremantle BID-Board is planning on how they can help small businesses over the next 12 months!

If you want to hear more come to the official launch this Friday from 5.30pm at the National Hotel – first drink is free!

Roel Loopers







The erection of a second large building crane started this morning at Fremantle’s Kings Square.

Builders PROBUILD have taken a section out of the former Myer building to create a courtyard to accommodate the crane.

Walking along William Street one can now also see real progress on the new building that replaces the Queensgate building, with large concrete pillars sticking up into the sky.

Sirona Capital has also started promoting the FOMO retail concept and offering spaces for lease.

There are a lot of positive things happening in Fremantle, so let’s feel like Team Freo and be supportive of our beautiful city.

Roel Loopers




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