Genesis of recovery?

Sarah Booth at the old Genesis Travel building, now part of Spacemarket’s portfolio. Photo by Steve Grant

SPACEMARKET has taken over the old Genesis Travel building in Fremantle’s West End, with co-ordinator Sarah Booth saying their ability to fill it in weeks shows the health of Freo’s start-up economy.

Ms Booth said they’ve got a variety of creative businesses signed up and moving in, from an ice-cream company to not-for-profit Plastic Free July, with everything from architects, artists, a yoga studio, a podcasting studio and even a spacial data scientist in between.

She grimaces at the thought of the dozens of empty buildings throughout Fremantle, saying it sends a much more positive message about the city to see them filled with young companies.

Although the tenancies aren’t long-term, with the Genesis building likely to become office space for its new owner when the Victoria Quay film studio is built, Ms Booth said that can be a bonus for entrepreneurs testing the water with a new business, particularly as it comes with flexibility to move out quickly if the business takes off and they need more space.

She says it’s not a case of just poaching businesses from other landlords.

“Quite a few of them come from our own [premises] and needed more space to expand – Fremantle Biennale we moved into Victoria Hall which their growing team has now outgrown, Denada also needed an upgrade on their LIV apartment unit, [architect] Ariane Palassis and Janet Keating came from our Essex Street studios and had been waiting for their own lock-up spaces.

“People like [map artist] Sara Drake and Lagan Media have come from home set-ups, so this provides a much more conducive work environment – and we make it affordable and central enough for that to be possible.

“If anyone ever needs creative or small business tenants I’m always standing by.”

by STEVE GRANT

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