ICONIC Fremantle barbershop Norm Wrightson Hairway has been plagued with dust, water leaks and noise during the $10 million renovation of the Manning buildings.
The barbershop has been at the Manning Buildings on High Street since 1933, and eight years ago Mr Wrightson sold the shop to Morteza Shojaee.
Mr Shojaee claims that under the conditions of his lease he should be given notice about any works, but says without warning his access to a storage area was removed, and the rear car park was demolished, filling his shop with dust everyday.
As winter started, water began dripping from the roof onto his customers and the walls have begun to peel, crack and show signs of mould damage.
Rubbing his finger through thick layers of white dust on shelves and benches, he claims his staff are spending up to half an hour each day cleaning up.
Mr Shojaee says he pleaded with developer Silverleaf to help, but they didn’t do anything, and Fremantle council staff have been to the premises and seen the rain coming in.
He says the final straw was when workmen cut a hole in his awning and damaged his sign.
“Why should I have to accept dust, noise, water, broken signs, broken air con? There’s no end to it!” an exasperated Mr Shojaee says.
“Why should I, as a tenant, pay the price in health and safety for my staff and clients?”
Mr Shojaee says that because of a redevelopment clause in his lease that prevents scaffolding being erected on his shopfront, and the decent amount of time left on his lease, he is being “bullied out”.
Describing Silverleaf’s tactics and lack of communication as “dictatorial”, he says “they took my kindness for weakness. I do not wish to mislead the public – everything is documented. All my complaints to the council, the police, Silverleaf – everything.”
Mr Shojaee says all he wants is a personal apology from Silverleaf, and for the damaged roof to be fixed.
When contacted by The Herald, Silverleaf’s Robert O’Brien said he had “no comment” on the matter, saying that he “just wants to make Fremantle better.”
by JUSTIN STAHL