on some of the benefits of state’s biggest ever heritage listing.

A good article by Kerry Faulkner on some of the benefits of state listing Freo’s West End.

Fremantle's High Street West End in the present (left) contrasted to its appearance in the boom period (right).
Fremantle’s High Street West End in the present (left) contrasted to its appearance in the boom period (right).

The inclusion of Fremantle’s West End on the state’s heritage register will cement its reputation as an exceptional part of Western Australia.

It will also be the biggest addition to the list in its history, comprising 200,000 square metres and 250 buildings.

The British claimed the Swan River Colony in 1829 by hoisting a flag at Arthur Head which sits at the most westerly point of High Street which is the centrepiece of the West End.

The State Heritage Office wrote to 400 property owners last month asking for their feedback on the proposed listing, which was instigated by the City of Fremantle.

The area is bounded by Market Street to the east, Collie Street and Marine Terrace to the south, Little High Street to the west and Phillimore Street to the north and is described by the State Heritage Office as “a highly intact port city business district with a fine cohesive collection of buildings predominantly dating from WA’s gold-boom expansion era 1890s to 1900s.”

If owners give the go-ahead the listing could be rubber-stamped by the Heritage Council by August.

Caporn Young Real Estate associate director Stefanie Dobro​ says it’ll make property there even more desirable, based on its reputation as a place of significant historical value.

She says once landowners get over their initial heritage-listing fears they will recognise the many opportunities it presents.

“From a real estate perspective, they can’t make 100-plus-year-old buildings and houses any more”, she says.

“We recognise that heritage precincts typically attract a premium because they are often architecturally attractive whether grand or humble and are in short supply.

“Proximity to heritage precincts, such as the West End, typically have a spill-on effect on local real estate.

“On a much smaller residential scale, we see this in heritage precincts like the Plympton Ward in East Fremantle where purchasers often pay a premium for the privilege of living in heritage housing, walking distance to a main street with shops.”

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has been quick to hose down fears it will mean owners won’t be able to make changes to properties.

He explains adaptions that are sympathetic to heritage values are welcome and in the case of businesses like bars and restaurants historical significance can provide a unique point of difference.

“We’ve seen some fantastic heritage adaptions in recent years with businesses such as Bread in Common, The Esplanade Hotel by Rydges, the National Hotel and many others using heritage as a business advantage,” he says.

The added advantage of a heritage listing is owners become eligible for grant funding for conservation work.

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

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