Freo's View

FREMANTLE VACANCIES NOT TOO BAD

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, real estate, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

Fremantle is doing pretty well in the commercial vacancy rate comparison with other councils.

The West Australian this week released the vacancy figures for Bayview Terrace in Claremont at 10.16%, Napoleon Street in Cottesloe at 6.81% and Rokeby Road in Subiaco at 5.94%, but failed to mention Fremantle shopping streets.

The best performing street was Oxford Street in Leederville that has no vacancies.

When we compare Freo’s main shopping streets we are doing alright here and it is not as bleak as some people think.

Commercial vacancies in Fremantle high streets are:

  • High Street mall and west end 5%
  • South Terrace 3%
  • Cappuccino Strip and Market Street 5%

However the more run-down part of Fremantle that is waiting to be developed has higher vacancy rates:

  • Cantonment Street 16%
  • Adelaide Street 21%

Adelaide Street is of course waiting for the Hilton Hotel and Little Laneway (Spotlight site) developments, while Cantonment Street will be transformed with the Woolstores shopping centre development.

 

Roel Loopers

 

VACANT SHOPS A MAJOR PROBLEM

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, hospitality, retail by freoview on April 2, 2017

A report in the Sunday Times today shows that the accusations against Fremantle Council not looking after its retailers well enough and that parking problems keep shoppers away are hot air.

The new Perth Labor MP wants a City Summit because of the dire retail economy in the big smoke, which shows Fremantle’s retail problems are neither unique nor to blame on Council.

Of the 950 shops in the Perth CBD 150 are vacant at a 16 per cent vacancy rate. Along Barrack Street and St George’s Terrace a staggering one in five shops are empty, so it does not look well at all.

We know that retailers in Subiaco and elsewhere have also been struggling for years, so this problems is all over the Perth metropolitan area.

Yesterday the West Australian reported that many restaurants are closing in Perth as well and that shows that we need to do more for tourism, conventions, festivals, etc. and can no longer rely on the patchy mining industry that booms and busts often and lacks the stability our retailers and hospitality industry need.

It is unfair to lay blame for the economy on individual local councils as there is clearly a bigger picture at play well outside the power of local government.

Roel Loopers

FREO STILL WAITING FOR A GOVERNMENT CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on December 4, 2015

Christmas is nearly upon us and once again the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital are hoping for a big Christmas present from the State Government and the announcement the Department of Housing will move to Kings Square, as the whole planned project is clearly dependent on it. We have been hearing for years that there is a plan B and even C and D, but I believe that can be dismissed as spin and hopeful wishing rather than realistic alternative planning.

The questions we need to ask also is would the new Civic Centre still be built if Housing moved to Fremantle but not to Kings Square? I have no doubt that Gerard O’Brien’s Silverleaf will also have tendered for the government department to move into the new Woolstores shopping centre development. It would be embarrassing for the City of Fremantle to scrap the Civic Centre plans after it was a national architecture competition and one has to wonder also what it has cost so far. Talking about costs; what revenue has COF lost over the last years by not leasing the Queensgate building at commercial rates?

The Kings Square development was heralded by the Mayor as the big economic and retail revitalisation for our city, so what will happen if it all falls flat? The Many 6100 retail incubator has done little to attract shoppers to the city and Kings Square with just a few hundred customers going through the building on the few days it is open to the public. We now have the unacceptable and unsightly picture of cars parked in front of the big display windows on the days the building is closed and that gives Kings Square a derelict appearance, the opposite of what it needs.

Christmas will see shoppers go to the shopping centres and not come to Freo because our city no longer has the variety of major retailers and small independent ones. Fremantle has a very good eclectic variety of small shops but shoppers will go for the convenience of having all major retailers in the one location, plus free parking. Lazy shoppers are basically killing small creative retailers who are not in shopping centres and Fremantle suffers from that.

Last year around Christmas Fremantle was hoping Colin Barnett would announce a move by Housing to Freo and one year later that dream continues. But as many children will tell us one does not always find in the Christmas stocking what one has wished for, so the City needs to be prepared for disappointment. Even if Housing moved into the new Woolstores building it would be a disaster for the Kings Square project and the hope of a new modern Civic Centre. Plan B appears to be procrastination and living in hope because if it existed it would by now have been revealed.

I want the very best for Freo and sincerely hope that the Department of Housing will very soon announce a move to Kings Square because no matter how much new development is going on east and north of it, our city square needs urgent reactivation.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S PURPLE MADNESS

Posted in afl, fremantle, fremantle dockers by freoview on September 24, 2015

dockers 4 dockers 3 dockers 2 dockers 1

Only one more sleep and the Fremantle Dockers will be fighting Hawthorn at Subiaco Oval to try to make it to the Grand Final.

There is purple everywhere in Freo and the shops have done excellent window decorations. There is even a Dockers banner on the large crane above Atwell Arcade.

Here a few photos I took of the footy madness.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.

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TRAFFIC CALMING FOR WRAY AVENUE

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on December 20, 2014

The City of Fremantle has put out a proposal for traffic calming on Wray Avenue and is inviting residents and shop owners to participate in an on-line survey.

The proposal would see the installation of two plateau humps that reduce vehicle speed and also provide clear pedestrian crossing points. There would also be a dedicated loading bay near Galatti’s. The re-design between South Terrace and Manning Road will not decrease on-street parking.

Roel Loopers

FREO WELCOMES NEW BUSINESSES BUT NOT CAMPERS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 19, 2014

coffee club

It is good to see that new businesses have confidence in Fremantle’s future with the Coffee Club cafe opening today on the corner of Market and Bannister streets and news that a new pharmacy will be opening in High Street west early next year.

Puzzling to hear from a friend that a shop assistant in Market Street told him her boss did not like her to accept silver coins. This in a shop with a minimum Eftpos transfer of $ 15.00. Some Freo businesses need to become more welcoming and realise that the customer is king.

Also disappointing to see the unwelcoming electronic sign on the South Mole that wheel clamping will be introduced in the new year by Fremantle Ports to deter campers and people over staying the three-hour limit. As a tourist town we should be doing better than that.

Roel Loopers

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TRY THE NEW FREO EXQUISE CAFE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 1, 2014

exquise 1
If we in Fremantle are serious about supporting local businesses the Exquise Cafe in the Piazza really deserves and needs our support. The very new cute little cafe which makes beautiful pastries and cakes appears to be struggling, so go have coffee there with your friends sometimes.
The Piazza is the connection between the Cappuccino Strip and Kings Square and Exquise is opposite the lovely fairy shop there.

Roel Loopers

MAKE ART OUT OF BLAND VACANT SHOP WINDOWS

Posted in fremantle, retail by freoview on November 14, 2014

It is interesting to hear that Theo Maras, the Chair of the Adelaide Rumble Street Mall, has criticised Fremantle landlords for being greedy in his Leaders Luncheon address at the Esplanade Hotel.

Maras said that they tried everything to not have vacant shops, but instead fill empty premises with pop-up shops and pro actively approach retailers to become part of the Rumble Mall experience.

Greedy landlords have been a complaint in Freo for many years, as they appear to have little community spirit and don’t care about the appearance of their properties or that they are vacant for years.

I have suggested on a few occasions to at least assign artists to make artworks out of vacant shop windows and make them an attractive feature instead of a boring eyesore. This is also where BID could take leadership and offer to pay part of the costs to engage good local graffiti artists, like for example Lady Bananas.

Imagine if we had 35 public artworks instead of blank shop windows. We’d have another tourist attraction in town. Any takers?!

Roel Loopers

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NEW SHOPS OPEN IN FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 15, 2014

It’s good to see a few new shops opening in Fremantle. In the Piazza Escape Hunt has set up and are ready for your visit, while just downstairs from them the Exquise pastry shop will open soon.

Down the road on the corner of the High Street mall a 7-ELEVEN will open soon and another one will be opening at the former Gloria Jean cafe opposite Target.

Good luck to them all!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S CBD NEEDS CPR

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

These photos show the extremely worrying signs for retail in Fremantle and it can’t be ignored any longer that our city is at crisis point.

Because of that, and no matter how good the intentions might be, this is not the right time for the City of Fremantle to change residents’ parking permits and put more restrictions on them. Mark Woodcock-acting chair of the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association- is right about that in today’s Fremantle Herald.

This is the opportune time where the City should introduce free parking days in the CBD and stop dreaming the green dream of making the inner city car free. That needs to wait till the revival of the inner city is complete.

Our retailers need support, they need help, even CPR, to survive because this city cannot afford to see more shops closing and giving people even less incentives to come and shop in Freo.

We need action NOW, not next month or next year!

Next week Many 6160 will be celebrating their one year anniversary of the retail incubation project in the former MYER store, and while that has been a nice interim solution, we are still eagerly waiting for Sirona Capital to finally make a start at the renovations of that building and the development of the Queensgate site. This is so crucial for Fremantle’s revival that it can’t be kept on hold indefinitely and we deserve to know when it will start.

Sirona has claimed in the media that they have other irons in the fire and don’t depend on Housing moving to Fremantle, so let them show that was not empty PR spin, because basically they are holding back Fremantle’s renewal.

Roel Loopers

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