Abandoned Myer building reopens under MYRE project – from WA Today

Abandoned Myer building reopens as Fremantle retail booster

Date October 3, 2013 – 4:35PM

 – WAtoday.com.au reporter

The Myre Project media launch October 2, 2013 inside the old Myer department store in Fremantle, WA.Click for more photos

The Myre Project media launch October 2, 2013 inside the old Myer department store in Fremantle, WA. Photo: Jean-Paul Horre

After sitting abandoned for six months, Fremantle’s iconic Myer building will soon reopen with an eclectic mix of retail, artists’ work spaces and even a rooftop bar with a helipad.

The MYRE project is part of the $220 million redevelopment of the central Kings Square space by the City of Fremantle and the building’s owner, Sirona Capital.

I don’t want Fremantle to be a place that feels like something trying to compete with Garden City.

The building’s 20,000ft of floor space is split between five levels of private artist work spaces, a retail floor that is fed products by a production floor of designers and producers, which is open to public view, offices and the top level piece de resistance –  a rooftop bar, garden, outdoor gym and yoga classes, food and open-air cinema.

Spacemarket director Beth George said she hoped the unique development, in which visitors will be able to witness purchasable products being designed and created, would begin to turn retail around in Fremantle.

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“Just as we’re obsessed with things like cooking shows now because we get to see the sweat and the argument and the tears and all of that emotional process, we believe there is a public appetite for a different kind of retail,” she said.

The project could remain in the space for up to two years, before it’s refurbished and rented out for offices and ground-floor retail, but for now it’s a far cry from what the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce originally planned for the space.

In 2011 they proposed an upmarket $30 million redevelopment of the building, hoping Myer would remain at the site and it would rival Claremont Quarter.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said at the time he hoped it would spark a “rejuvenation” of Fremantle, but in 2012 the retailer giant announced it would leave Fremantle.

Now he’s glad to see the creation of a centre that’s “different” and “more Fremantle”.

“This is why it’s such an exciting project for Freo, is that Fremantle from a retail perspective, everyone knows it, has struggled for the past few years and hasn’t quite known where it is,” Dr Pettitt said.

“I don’t want Fremantle to be a place that feels like something trying to compete with Garden City.

“I want Fremantle to be a place where… you know where you are because of the people and places around you.”

Dr Pettitt said Fremantle’s distinct offerings were important not only to the culture of the port city, but also to encourage people to visit and shop in stores rather than online.

“I think the future of retail is actually going to be not in the kind of generic stuff that you can buy on the web but it’s actually going to be around really distinctive, different, bespoke offerings that actually is a destination in itself,” he said.

The project is designed to remind visitors of its old occupant, just as the name is a scrambled version of the name ‘Myer’.

“Everybody’s been inside a department store, most of us have been inside this one,” said Ms George.

“We wanted to, I suppose, preserve some of the quality of that, but it won’t be an ordinary department store.

“We’ve tried to retain the sense of vacuousness.. you won’t see any walls in here separating one tenancy from another.

“The effect will be to allow the visitor to drift through and see from one end of the building to the other.”

The ground floor retail space will open to the public on Wednesday, while the production and rooftop levels are scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/abandoned-myer-building-reopens-as-fremantle-retail-booster-20131003-2uwk1.html#ixzz2geeHh3lD

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

5 Responses to Abandoned Myer building reopens under MYRE project – from WA Today

  1. This is very cool, awesome and exciting! I cannot wait to check it out.
    This is going to be the best thing that this building has seen in a looooong time! Will give it a new lease of life.

  2. Emma says:

    I can’t wait to go and see a movie on the roof, yay!

  3. ann richardson says:

    “I think the future of retail is actually going to be not in the kind of generic stuff that you can buy on the web but it’s actually going to be around really distinctive, different, bespoke offerings that actually is a destination in itself,” he said.

    ya know this is interesting….because no how much spondoolies is flung at this idea,the bottom line is the rent… would love to know what the landlords (?whoever that is ) have in place for the first year of operation to protect the space investors ? Brad ?

    Ann Richardson

  4. Pingback: live coverage, February 5, 2015 - Trendingnewsz.com

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