Freo’s Transformative Moves as we head toward 2029.

For those of you that missed it, we launched our new long term plan called Transformative Moves 2029 in Freo last night.  This was the result of many months of work and followed on from the 2029 Visioning sessions as well as building on the last strategic plan which laid the foundation for many of these changes.

This is the first long-range document that this Council has done and I think the first for Freo for a couple of decades. It brings together the what the City of Fremantle, Fremantle Ports,  the PTA, State Government and private sector can achieve together.

Bold new vision to transform Fremantle in lead up to 2029 bicentenary – City of Fremantle

Some of the projects flagged in the report include:

  • a new public square outside the Fremantle Rail Station and relocation of the bus interchange
  • major redevelopment of Victoria Quay to better connect the port to the city ~ this would include better pedestrian access to and from the port
  • an expansion of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
  • options for the location of an ocean pool at Bathers Beach
  • a light rail system to act as a link to Fremantle and surrounding areas
  • utilising the heritage-listed Fremantle Traffic Bridge as a pedestrian/bicycle bridge with a new traffic bridge built for vehicles
  • a new high-density residential development  on Queen Victoria Street
  • extensive redevelopment of the Fremantle Oval precinct including the provision of high quality affordable housing as well as new commercial and retail spaces
  • implementation of the $220m Kings Square project to transform the city centre.

The Freo 2029 title pays homage to the significance of 2029, which marks the 200 year anniversary of Captain Fremantle landing at Bathers Beach.

Public presentation

A presentation for the public will be held:
Date: Tuesday 10 March
Time: 7.30-9.00 pm
Venue: City of Fremantle Reception Room

All are welcomed (and encouraged) to attend.

for more info

Finally here is the West’s right up of it

Fremantle residents Emily Gibson, Kate Hulett, Dawn Clarke and Matt Bale. Picture: Bill Hatto/The  West Australian
Fremantlites: Emily Gibson, Kate Hulett, Dawn Clarke and Matt Bale. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street bridge could become a car-free public space in the tradition of New York’s High Line as one plank in the port’s biggest overhaul since the America’s Cup.

The City of Fremantle will tonight outline its vision for Fremantle up to 2029, with mayor Brad Pettitt conceding step change, not a “business as usual” approach, was needed to arrest the city’s economic decline.

State drags feet on Fremantle move

The ambitious plan involves reconnecting the city with the harbour, in part to tap into the lucrative, growing cruise liner market.

That includes an extra 9500sqm of retail and 30,000sqm of offices at Victoria Quay, expanding the Fishing Boat Harbour to create a tourism node and better facilities around Bathers Beach.

It also envisages overhauling the Fremantle Oval precinct, and possibly using the Stan Reilly site for affordable housing.

An artist’s impression of a revamped Kings Square.

The plan relies heavily on projects either yet to be approved or to some extent out of the city’s control, including light rail into the city centre and the $270 million Kings Square development.

Kings Square would have an extra 20,000sqm of retail space, 1500 new homes and 70,000sqm of offices in the city centre.

Dr Pettitt said the 2029 plan was intended to be realistic but “transformational”.

“I’ll be the first to admit I think Fremantle in the last 15 years . . . it really has struggled, so this is about putting forward a way that we can really bring the vibrancy back to our commercial centre,” he said. “A lot of that is bringing thousands more people to live and work in Fremantle but also drawing on our strengths.”

He said the current northern entrance to Fremantle “couldn’t be much worse” and the Queen Victoria Street bridge could be transformed rather than torn down and replaced.

That proposal is modelled on New York’s High Line, a former freight rail line turned into a popular public park suspended over Manhattan’s streets.

The bridge could form part of a bigger picture for the northern gateway, which is earmarked for high-density housing for 3000 residents. Building work on Sirona Capital’s $120 million Heirloom Apartments is expected to start next month or April.

“That bridge is probably already at the end of its life and there are major concerns around its safety,” Dr Pettitt said.

“There’s a debate with Government. We’re pushing very hard for, rather than just a minor upgrade of the bridge, they should seek replacement.”

He believed it would be fantastic to modify the bridge to turn it into something that built on its heritage and created a unique public space with parkland over the water and cafes and things to attract people.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce chief executive Olwyn Williams said investment in the city’s infrastructure should be “much higher” on the State Government’s agenda.

She asks: “Is there a State Government plan or commitment to replacing the aged Fremantle traffic bridge?

“Light rail policy deliberations have focused on northern and central suburbs to date, what about the southern suburbs?”

Fremantle retailers are mostly optimistic about what they see as efforts to restore the city to its former glory.

Kate Hulett and partner Matt Bale run the Kate & Abel homewares shop and cafe and manage the MANY 6160 retail project inside the former Myer building.

Fremantle’s old traffic bridge, could become a car-free open space under the redevelopment plans

She said Fremantle was “right on the edge of booming and becoming this amazing place again”.

“There’s certainly a movement,” she said. “I love it that at the end of the night you can hear music and people chattering.

“Freo’s got something: the port city, the grit, the history and the beautiful buildings.”

But Ms Hulett said the city needed more workers, which should happen under plans for the city centre.

Dawn Clarke runs vintage clothing stores BiBi and The Gossamer Project. She said it was “early days” but efforts to get Fremantle back on track were starting to have an effect.

“It may take maybe two or three years, but I think it will get better, I really do, and that’s why I want to be in Fremantle,” she said. “It’s got a nice vibe.”

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

5 Responses to Freo’s Transformative Moves as we head toward 2029.

  1. Emma says:

    Great info, saw that article too online, it is all very exciting – Some wonderfully visionary ideas, I especially love the dream for the traffic bridge, how amazing would that be….!!

  2. Lionel says:

    Why doesn’t this document consider North Fremantle?

    • This document is focused on transforming the centre of Freo. While t does consider the Northern Gateway and linkages South and East it was purposely a clear vision for the Freo centre. This is part beacause of what came out in the visioning and also because it is the part of Freo that is working less well and needs to the most work. North Freo and SOuth Freo etc are doing great but we will be releasing plans that cover them as well
      cheers, Brad

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