Freo's View

WHY THE FREO CIVIC CENTRE DELAY?

 

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am a supporter of the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project, so I am reluctant to post an article that can be perceived as being negative, but I was surprised to hear at a traders information meeting at the Federal Hotel last evening that the completion of the new civic centre building is now estimated to be the first half of 2020.

I am very certain that from the start we were told that the Sirona Capital redevelopment of the former Myer and Queensgate buildings and the City of Fremantle civic centre would be coordinated and finish at the same time, because the civic centre is a smaller building that would require less time to be built. So what then is the reason for a six months delay when the whole project was due to be finished by the end of 2019, and why has the City of Fremantle not been transparent about this? I am personally disappointed about the delay and the lack of transparency.

The second council building at Newman Court will be demolished by the end of October and a special council meeting is scheduled for October 31 to approve a tender to build the new civic centre. That special council meeting was scheduled some weeks ago but then cancelled, and we don’t know why that was either. PLEASE communicate CoF. Transparency is the enemy of conspiracy!

It will take about 12 months to prepare a replacement mature Moreton Bay fig tree for the Christmas tree and it might have to be lowered from a helicopter. Now that would be exciting!

There will be a big radio campaign for Christmas Support Freo Now! and the Queensgate carpark will open three levels and 470 car bays by the end of October.

Nightwork-till midnight-will have to be done on the former Myer building to put structural steel in to support the new additional level. This is done to have less impact on local traders during the daytime.

Roel Loopers

QUEENSGATE CARPARK REOPENS THIS MONTH

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, Kings Square Redevelopment Project, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on October 2, 2018

 

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Very good news for Fremantle inner city traders and motorists! The reopening of Queensgate car park is on track for later this month.

Up to 500 bays will be available with some further work required until the entire carpark is reopened.

Roel Loopers

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ALL STOPS GO FOR FREO’S KINGS SQUARE

 

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It won’t be long now until the old City of Fremantle civic centre will be demolished, with workers starting on the exterior at Kings Square this morning, while most of the roof and back wall are already demolished.

On the former Myer building they are in the process of adding another floor, so it is all stops go for the Freo Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

Roel Loopers

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TOP LEVEL CHANGE AT SIRONA CAPITAL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, Kings Square Redevelopment Project, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2018

 

A significant change at the top of Sirona Capital will have no impact whatsoever on the Fremantle Kings Square development, a joined media statement assures.

Sirona Capital partners Matthew McNeilly and Kelvin Flyn are going their separate ways, but the change will have no impact on the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project Sirona Capital is involved in.

McNeilly and Flyn established the private equity firm in 2010, but Kelvin Flyn is moving on and has established Harvis, which will be progressing with the Northern Gateway Industrial Parks at Bullsbrook and Muchea, while Matthew Mc Neilly will continue with the $ 270 million biggest urban renewal project in Fremantle.

Kelvin Flyn and Matthew McNeilly expressed that they see opportunities for Sirona Capital and Harvis to collaborate on future projects.

Roel Loopers

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FREO KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE

 

 

A look down Queen Street and another one down William Street shows how far the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project is progressing.

Great times ahead for good old Freo!

Roel Loopers

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MORE SIGNS OF KINGS SQUARE PROGRESS

 

 

The first visual signs of the demolition of the City of Fremantle civic building are there. Specialist asbestos removalists have been inside the building for weeks, but today I noticed the first demolition signs of the exterior of the building on the roof.

Two more Moreton Bay fig trees are also in the process of being cut down, so it is all happening at our city square.

Disappointing though to read the lament of the retailers and the trend of the ABC article blaming Sirona Capital and the Kings Square development for the retail downturn.

Retail has been going down everywhere for quite some years now and Fremantle traders have long asked for rent reductions. There is little doubt that a big construction site will negatively impact on nearby traders, but the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital have from the very start of the Kings Square Project communicated very well with all involved and try to support them and promote their businesses.

Unfortunately there is always short-term pain for long-term gain, but I absolutely understand that for a small business it is about surviving somehow.

Please do go and support the local traders around Kings Square! There is one-hour free parking along William and Queen streets, so make an effort. And try the yummy Italian food at Parlappa!!

Roel Loopers

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FREO CIVIC CENTRE DEMOLITION UNDER WAY

 

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Scaffolding, which was installed at the Fremantle Townhall to assist in removing asbestos from the civic centre, is now being dismantled, and that means that we will soon see the demolition of the building.

Just south from there the replacement of the Queensgate building is starting to look like a real building, so it’s all happening at Kings Square.

If you happen to come into Freo when it is dark, check out the large cranes lit up like Christmas trees. it’s a very impressive sight!

Roel Loopers

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PROGRESS PHOTO OF FREO’S KINGS SQUARE

 

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I check out the development progress at Fremantle’s Kings Square daily and took this photo on Sunday morning.

PROBUILD is well on the way with the building of the new Queensgate building and the redevelopment of the former MYER building for Sirona Capital.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE ON THE RIGHT DEVELOPMENT TRACK

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, media, Uncategorized by freoview on August 23, 2018

 

Kate Emery’s article in today’s West Australian with the headline Kings Square Boost for Freo is good and positive and something Fremantle Council deserves.

Emery writes that contrary to a fall of development approvals in WA by nine per cent Fremantle had a record of building approvals to the sum of $ 313 million last year, largely due to the $ 270 million Kings Square redevelopment project by Sirona Capital and Fremantle City.

In Emery’s article the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Olwyn Williams rightly points out that Fremantle also  needs more medium density residential development and better coordination with the State Government.

While Kate Emery mentions the WGV development in White Gum Valley and development in South Fremantle, it needs to be stressed that residential development also needs to happen outside of the CBD, to make sure there is affordable, student and social housing.

The Heart of Beacy project at the TAFE site will be a good and substantial start in that direction, and the options on the present Works Depot site at Knutsford Street are limitless if the City approaches the development of the area with creativity and an open mind and does not get side tracked into too much One Planet philosophical details, which would make development more expensive and less affordable.

There is no doubt that Fremantle is on the right track to attract more residents, more office workers and more businesses to the port city, but flexibility is a key requirement to move forward.

Roel Loopers

 

 

FREO’S KINGS SQUARE REACHING FOR THE SKY

 

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Columns on the second floor of the Kings Square building, that replaces the Queensgate building, are going up along William Street, while more support columns are added on the top fourth floor of the former Myer building at Queens Street to add more storeys.

A second large concrete pump will be installed by Probuild the next few days to speed up the work, while the interior demolition of the civic centre is also well under way.

The Kings Square Redevelopment Project will be a game changer for Fremantle and is due for completion toward the end of next year.

Roel Loopers

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