THERE was a time when you could have stood outside the D&J Fowler warehouse on Pakenham Street and called up your order for a chest of their famous Amgoorie Tea or a sack of Lion Self-Raising Flour.
These days you can still call out your order, but it’d be from inside your luxurious apartment conversion across to the cheery baristas at Cos Baby or the enlightened bakers of Bread in Common; they’re so close you barely need more than a basket on the end of a rope to pick up your brunch.
D&J Fowler was one of the great business success stories of Australia, founded in Adelaide by Scottish-born brothers James and David Fowler in the 1850s and rapidly expanding from groceries to manufacturing a range of iconic brands such as Amgoorie and Lion (which is still around today).
By the time the company opened its Fremantle branch in 1900 the port city was in full goldrush boom, and like the other emerging merchandising giants of the time, the Fowlers ensured their new warehouse and offices carried an aura of quality and permanency.
It shows in this apartment; its massive timber beams which once supported huge wool bales while they were hung and weighed, now create the base for an industrial-chic mezzanine for the two bedrooms and a small sitting area overlooking the rooftops of the historic West End.
Downstairs is a big open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen area with polished concrete floors – but not polished enough to erase the heritage cred of this property. With its huge banks of windows it’s a fantastic light-filled space with plenty of room to move.
The apartment is quiet and secure with undercover parking and its own private lift space for anyone who’s not a great fan of stairs and is interested in an upgrade.
The Fowler boys or their wives would no doubt have appreciated the modern take on kitchens, with lots of cupboard space banked up against one wall, a built-in dishwasher, electric oven/cooktop and island bench/breakfast bar.
The Chook hears another apartment in the same warehouse is also coming onto the market, so that’s a double opportunity to get your foot into a unique part of Fremantle – and Australia’s – history.
17/33 Pakenham St, Fremantle$1.1m
Mark Brophy 0403 382 555
Mark Brophy Estate Agent 9335 9800
Home open: Tomorrow
(Sunday April 18) from 11 – 11.45am