THE FUTURE of one of the oldest record shops in Fremantle is in doubt.
Mills Records has been trading in the port city since 1945, but owner Andrew Bailey was gobsmacked last week when a notice was plonked on his Adelaide Street store, stating that a submission had been lodged with council to redevelop the building into five-storey tourist accommodation.
The plans included a shop on the ground floor, but Mr Bailey had heard diddly-squat from his landlord, leaving him unsure about Mills’ future.
“Not long ago we moved onto a monthly lease and the shop beside us closed,” he says.
“Retail in Fremantle is doing it tough and there are plenty of empty shopfronts around the place.
“Vinyl had made a comeback so we’re doing not too bad, but it’s hard out there.”
To add to Mr Bailey’s confusion, the plans are not available on the city’s website and they will only be out for public comment for 14 days, as council does not classify the development as “significant”.
The lack of consultation over the five-storey building, which includes 40 rooms and 12 parking spaces, has irked Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who complained to council.
“I understand the proposal is for five storeys in a highly significant heritage area,” wrote Mr Dowson.
“That is a major development under anyone’s definition and a major worry given the poor quality of development council has been pushing through recently.
“18-22 Adelaide Street is in a highly important historic precinct of interest to a vastly greater number of people than just the neighbours to the proposed development.
“I ask that you intervene to advertise the development to precincts and the wider community and allow a longer public submission time.”
The Herald contacted Realty One, who agreed to pass our questions onto Mills landlord, but we didn’t hear back.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK