THE soon-to-be redeveloped Fremantle Naval Store will include a unique innovation space and possibly the first rock climbing gym south of the river.
Enkel, an incubator for creative businesses, is planning to start transforming the iconic building into a “dynamic co-working space” this month.
Enkel cofounder Adam Jorlen says most of the funding for the redevelopment has come from Fremantle council, which as landlord is responsible for the building’s upkeep, and private investors.
“We’re very much about bringing the community together — the government, businesses and universities,” he says.
“It will be purpose-built and designed to attract and support local entrepreneurs, digital creatives, developers, artists and innovators in a great community space.”
Freo Rocks Climbing Gym, which will share the space with Enkel, will reinvest a set percentage of its profits into social entrepreneurship projects.
Freo Rocks community engagement officer Jenita Envoldsen says the rock climbing gym will be a great match with Enkel.
“We’re looking at doing leadership programs with university students from all the universities around here, and linking up university students with organisations which are sustainable and help create those pathways,” she says.
The climbing gym is hoping to start construction this month. “With the tender released, that is the opportunity for any builders out there that want to look at revamping this place,” Ms Envoldsen says.
“It’s up for grabs. And Freo have the money so come and help create our vision.”
The naval store is part of the $9.5 million Cantonment Hill project, which includes the upgrade of the outside of the building and a new adventure playground in the surrounding parkland.
Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk attended a meeting with Enkel last week and has since pledged $50,000 for building upgrades if Labor wins this weekend’s election.
“It’s great to see that it’s a combination of community access, as well as some commercial operation,” she says.
by CHARLIE SMITH