CBD hotel nod

• Mayor Brad Pettitt in front of the to-be-flattened Queensgate complex. He says a number of “exciting” applications are on the books, which could transform some of Fremantle’s ugly East End streetscapes. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Mayor Brad Pettitt in front of the to-be-flattened Queensgate complex. He says a number of “exciting” applications are on the books, which could transform some of Fremantle’s ugly East End streetscapes. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

Tick for $80m Freo projects

TWO projects totalling $80 million were given a preliminary green light by Fremantle council’s planning committee Wednesday night.

Approval was recommended for a $60 million, seven-storey hotel at the corner of Point and Adelaide Streets and a $21.5m seven-storey complex to replace Queensgate in William Street.

The 173-room Point Street hotel by Champion Design Group includes 77 units, a supermarket and nine smaller shops. The existing carpark, shops and offices will be bulldozed.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says in the past 50 years “there isn’t much to love in the East End architecturally”.

“This is why it is so exciting that we are getting so many new development applications in this often ugly part of town. There is no doubt there is strong demand for new hotels in Fremantle and it is pleasing to see this demand being met.  I can’t wait to see these developments underway.”

The Queensgate building split Fremantle when it was built just 24 years ago and now its mooted replacement is also being criticised by the city’s heritage lobby.

Former deputy mayor John Dowson says he was the only person in the public gallery at the committee interested in talking about the projects. He says it’s “outrageous” the council is approving projects higher than the Johnston Court flats.

He says the council’s “1000-an-hour” development advisory council did not recommend approval for the William Street project—as required by council rules—because it had failed to achieve a quorum in December.

Mr Dowson says the Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland project appeared to have been given a light going over by the committee, in contrast to the Point Street project which had been back eight times.

“Council allowed extra height for Queensgate, only possible for developments of ‘exceptional quality meeting the highest possible standard’,” he says.

“But the DAC only looked at Queensgate on one occasion and the lukewarm comment that the design ‘promises a successful outcome’ came from the last meeting, where there was no quorum.”

Councillors seemed at a loss about what to do and debated for an hour, before being convinced by a staffer they could recommend the nod and, if the DAC has any issues (it is due to meet this week) an alternative recommendation could be written for the full council meeting.

The Queensgate replacement project includes a massive gym, 2340sqm of retail space and 8485sqm of office space.


5 responses to “CBD hotel nod

  1. Great work Council ..Freo needs new life and more people living in the East End ..this is exactly where we need to be !

  2. It all looks and sounds good on paper and from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and the majority of people want this to go through, but the simple fact is that it possibly wont and cant. Fremantle just doesn’t have the demand for it. A shopping centre in an area where two existing shopping centres already struggle? Department of housing possibly not locating to Fremantle. Sorry, but the market conditions aren’t there.

    Linley Lutton has rightly stated that a lot of these so called $1 bil investments that the Mayor was elected on the back of will not eventuate. Most of it is speculation from the developers. Fremantle is the only place where an extension from 2 years to 4 years has occurred for these development time-frames. That means that the council is either desperate for these developments to go through, developers need to drag these out because they are speculating a lot, or both.

    Although I appreciate that the council has set an ambitious agenda. Its too ambitious and the council is bereft of talent. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor aren’t experienced in business and are more concerned with juvenile development and projects, which reflects their own ability.

    The term “renaissance” that has been utilised by those on the council is unfortunately a poor choice of terms and it wont occur.

    • Spot on Peter Parker, may be you should run for Mayor, couldn’t be any worse than Brad is at business.

      • I think a shoe salesman has more idea about how a business is run that Brad. He’s a shocker.

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