I have received some great news about the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle from a well-informed source.
According to my source Saracen Properties is 99% on the way of purchasing the building from the State Government. The purchase and possession will be finalised within the next 90 days.
Saracen has appointed well-known Fremantle architect Michael Patroni from Space Agency to do the interior and exterior development of the old building as well as the development of the vacant land behind the building.
Saracen has developed a Conservation Management Strategy that has been endorsed by the Heritage Council of W.A. The CMS ties them to refurbishing the building within a certain time period.
The company will immediately stabilise and clean up the building once the contract has been signed, so the decay will be stopped, until planning approval has been received and conservation and building can commence.
The neglect by the National Trust of the historic former Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle is a bloody disgrace and shows the organisation’s dismal failure of protecting the heritage buildings in it’s care.
The Royal George saga has been going on for many years, when artists were forced to move out and the building has been vacant since, making it a target for vandalism and homeless people.
Every now and then we are assured that yet again new developers are looking into the viability of renovating the building and making it habitable again, but it always turns out to be hot air and empty promises.
The Town of East Fremantle appears powerless to force the issue and demand that the site be renovated and activated.
It is an utter disgrace and something needs to be done at state and federal level to force the issue because the status quo is no longer acceptable and is endangering the beautiful heritage-listed building.
After far too many years of being neglected and standing vacant the 1903 built Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle will finally be renovated and the parking site behind it developed.
Saracen Properties will initially lease the property from the National Trust but will be able to purchase it after rigorous heritage assessment of the proposed residential apartment building behind the heritage-listed building.
Th former hotel will be turned back to a pub and restaurant at ground level and short-stay accommodation at the upper level.
The question will be how many apartments and how many storeys Saracen want to build behind the old hotel, as this was very controversial at the burnt-out Guildford Hotel where State agencies overruled the local council there and allowed inappropriately high building behind the hotel. Hopefully Saracen want a more modest residential building that respects the heritage and streetscape.
We will have to keep a close eye on the proposed development, but at least something is happening with the hotel at the far end of charming George Street.
East Fremantle residents and heritage advocates have been worried about the demise of the old Royal George Hotel for many years, as there appears to be little action to remedy the decline and neglect of the building.
We now however have been informed that there is a Working Group that includes State Heritage Office, the Town of East Fremantle and the National Trust to work with Westbridge Property Group towards a conditional purchase lease over the Royal George Hotel.
Westbridge is putting together a package of information that will be used to brief the Minister for Lands. The Working Group recently visited the site, local residents were told by the department.
The Westbridge Property Group combines Saracen Properties and Sirona Capital and the group is involved in the Quest Hotel development in Pakenham Street, Fremantle, Habitat Nth in North Perth, the Glass House in South Perth, Tenth&Beaufort in Inglewood, and properties in West Perth and Perth.
ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.
Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162
Fremantle MP Simone McGurk has started a petition to make sure the heritage-listed Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle is not handed over by State Government to private developers without the guarantee that the heritage of the building will be respected.
The old hotel in Duke street has been under the ‘care’ of the National Trust for many years, who have badly neglected the building whilst promising renovations and occupancy which never eventuated.
Heritage conservation in Western Australia is unacceptable and needs to be addressed by our political parties, because allowing the unique buildings to rot away and to eventually be demolished is unacceptable. History is the roots of our society and needs to be respected and cared for.
Contact Simone McGurk’s office on: Fremantle@mp.wa.gov.au or call by her office in Market Street to get copies of the petition.
The Fremantle Herald reports today that the W.A. government wants to sell the historic Royal George Hotel in Duke Street, East Fremantle, after the National Trust allowed it to fall into disrepair as it failed to find funding to repair it and get tenants for the heritage-listed building.
National Trust CEO Tom Perigo was alway a bit too over-confident that he would just have to ask and Lotterywest would give him the millions he needed to repair all the buildings the government agency took on, but reality was far different. I hear Perigo has now vacated the CEO job and has been appointed a consultant to the National Trust.
The George Street area is very gorgeous and the old hotel is a real feature there that deserves much better than the neglect and vandalism it has received. Time will tell if a private operator will look after the building well enough and make parts of it open to the public.
It’s finally happening! Contractors have started work on the renovations of the Fremantle Married Quarters cottages at Cantonment Hill. Four new residencies will also be built on the site that had been neglected for far too many years by the Department of Defence.
The cottages will be reinstated as living quarters for Defence personnel so that will help reactivate the area and minimise vandalism there. The gateway to Freo has been an eyesore for as long as I can remember, so it is not before time that something is finally done to look after the important heritage buildings.
Now hoping State Government will follow suit with the Warders Cottages and the National Trust with the Royal George Hotel.
Would you let someone house sit if they left your home in a mess? Surely not, but that is what the National Trust have been doing with the Royal George Hotel in George Street, East Fremantle. The National Trust is a government-funded organisation that has been established to look after historic buildings, but it is an utter disgrace that they are neglecting the beautiful old heritage building they have now had in their care for years.
Vandals have yet again forced open doors at ground level to gain access, with the real possibility that one day someone will light a fire in there and the building will go up in smoke.
The National Trust is good at taking on new buildings and the CEO is keen boasting about it, but in reality they haven’t got the capacity or money to look after all the buildings which are supposed to be in their care, hence a building like the Royal George has been vacant for years, and apart from boarding up the windows nothing much else has been done to restore the building to its former glory and make use of it.
The George once housed artist’s studios and art gallery and a Thai restaurant, but it is now an eyesore in very attractive George Street. It is a disgrace the National Trust should be ashamed about!
I am sad to hear that renowned Fremantle glass artist Matthew Goodlet died from a stroke on Wednesday. Matthew had a studio behind the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle for a long time and also had a studio in Balingup. Matthew was a delightful non-pretentious man and a great artist, and he died far too early.
The news that the developers and architects who proposed to change the Old Royal George Hotel in George Street, East Fremantle into a restaurant, wine bar and short term accommodation venue, have withdrawn from the project will delight many who opposed the idea, but it also raises the question of how and when the Royal George will be developed and saved from demolition by neglect. The building has been deteriorating for years and is in urgent need of good maintenance and should be developed with urgency.
This is a truly iconic building in that part of town and deserves to be looked after better and become a feature for the community. What will the National Trust come up with now?