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