Jeweller: Arcade needs developer

HIGH STREET jeweller Greg Macintyre says business is so dire in the mall, opponents of the Atwell Arcade redevelopment should suck it up and let it pass.

Mr Macintyre, who says he watched the rot set in after electrical retailer Harvey Norman left the city, says retaining heritage is worthy, but not at the cost of the city. Just this week 12-year mall veteran Eat Drink Cook confirmed it was closing, while Vidler’s surfwear retreated to Cottesloe a fortnight ago and Fremantle Travel Services moved to the other side of Kings Square after reportedly facing a doubling of rent.

But at the other end of the mall the old Sussan’s building is due to get a new tennant by the end of the year, with convenience chain 7-Eleven moving in.

• Greg Macintyre and staff member Annette Ivatts. Photo by Steve Grant

• Greg Macintyre and staff member Annette Ivatts. Photo by Steve Grant

Fremantle council’s Development Advisory Committee will meet with arcade developer Gerard O’Brien for the fourth time on Monday after his application was deferred at last week’s planning meeting. The now-four storey version will then go straight to council.

Mr O’Brien, whose company Silverleaf Investments also owns the Target building and the row of banks on the other side, says he has a tenant ready to move in but needs quick approval from the council.

Former Fremantle Society president John Dowson says that’s tantamount to holding the council to ransom and wants the plans rejected, saying the building will blight the Goldrush-era West End.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says the council is looking for more setbacks so the building doesn’t dominate either the mall or Cantonment Street, but says he takes Mr O’Brien at his word that the prospective tennants are in a hurry.


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