New life for Freo’s Old Synagogue

A proposal to breathe new life into an iconic Fremantle heritage building has been approved by Fremantle Council’s planning committee.

The plans approved by the committee last night involve converting the old Fremantle Synagogue, on the corner of South Terrace and Parry Street, into a new restaurant and hospitality venue.

It will feature four different offerings on the one site – with a restaurant, multi-level beer garden including a rooftop deck, basement cocktail bar and a casual front bar.

The Synagogue proposal is another example of the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings in Fremantle.

It’s great to see so many developments underway in Fremantle that are not only preserving the wonderful heritage buildings we’re famous for but also putting them to good use and giving people the chance to enjoy them.

In addition to the Synagogue proposal, work has started on the restoration of the Manning Buildings to create new office space in the vacant upper floors and also inject some vitality into Paddy Troy Mall with a new brewhouse and restaurant.

Freo.Social in the Old Drill Hall will be opening soon as a brilliant new music venue, the old Police Station and Courthouse is being transformed into a hotel and so are the Warders Cottages next to the Fremantle Markets.

The old Synagogue is in a very prominent location in Fremantle but has been vacant for a number of decades, so it’s exciting to know something will finally be happening with that site.

It’s another sign of confidence in the city’s future and the private sector’s willingness to invest in Fremantle.

The Old Synagogue was the first synagogue built in Western Australia and is on the State Register of Heritage Places. The redevelopment proposal is supported by the State Heritage Office.

The 117-year-old building operated as a synagogue for only eight years. It has since been used for a variety of purposes including an auction mart, rug shop, clothing outlet, art gallery and a cafe.

Following last night’s approval by the Council’s planning committee the proponent is now required to make an application to the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor for an appropriate liquor licence.

Last “From the council chambers” for 2018

Mayor and Council in Square and Suburbs at Little Hawk Café

This week Mayor and Council in Square and Suburbs will be at Little Hawk Café, (14 Strang St Beaconsfield) from 11am this Wednesday.

Come down and have a chat.

Mayor in the Park this week

Some Freo Councillors and I will be in Davis Park in Beaconsfield this Wednesday at 11.30am.

Come down and say hi!

Fremantle offers up another site for “leading-edge” sustainable development

From the Fifth Estate by Cameron Jewell:

The City of Fremantle is offering up one of its underutilised land holdings to be transformed into a medium to high-density development incorporating cutting edge sustainability.

The announcement comes as the council fronts an inquiry into the federal government’s role in the development of cities, arguing for policy interventions to limit Perth’s urban sprawl.

The 25,316 square metre Knutsford Street depot has been identified as one of the council’s top five corporate actions in meeting its One Planet Council obligations.

As part of a just-released call for tenders, interested parties will have to commit to a development of at least 7 star NatHERS that generates more energy than it uses, diverts 95 per cent of waste from landfill, reduces car parking, includes sustainable materials, has 30 per cent of trees as edible species, reduces potable water by 60-70 per cent, and achieve Silver or Gold level under Liveable Housing Australia guidelines.

The winning bid will also need to offer select sites or an agreed proportion to social or affordable housing, or innovative housing groups. It should also offer a range of housing typologies, involving local artistic and cultural groups.

Fremantle chief executive officer Phillip St John said the proposed sale had strong community support.

“The City of Fremantle prides itself on being a leader in diverse and sustainable housing through initiatives like the WGV development and the recently adopted Freo Alternative infill policy,” he said.

Details on potential land sale price (and potential discounts) were not revealed, however a caveat on the previous 7 Quarry Street site, scheduled to be transformed into a baugruppen development, was that it was to be sold at or above market price.

Calls for more infill support

The announcement comes as Fremantle City Council fronts the House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities inquiry into the federal government’s role in the development of cities.

It is calling for the state to return to a 60 per cent infill target (up from 47 per cent).

“In Perth it costs the government $150 000 to provide infrastructure for every new lot in outer developments, against $55 000 for infill development,” its submission said.

“By extension WA taxpayers are paying $94.5 million for every 1000 homes built on the fringe of Perth.”

Doing so could save $23 billion by 2050, it said, but was contingent on public transport being invested in upfront, designing for people and place, and committing to greater urban density that is sustainable and includes affordable product.

Committee chair John Alexander was the committee was interested to find out why sprawl continued to even as governments recognised the benefits of infill development.

“The committee is very focussed on uncovering the barriers to a more compact urban form and effective solutions,” Mr Alexander said.

“A business as usual approach to urban development will not resolve significant issues such as traffic congestion and spatial inequality. It is simply not good enough.”

The state government recently suspended work on its Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million.


From the Freo Council Chambers March Meeting


Mayor (not) in the Square in Hilton Tomorrow (Where works will soon begin)

Tomorrow’s Mayor (not) in the Square but in the Suburbs will be at Charlie’s Cafe on South St in Hilton.

Please pop by for a chat from 11am.

I am also happy to run through the works to improve safety and amenity in the Hilton town centre that are set to kick-off straight after Easter.

The project is designed to make the section of South Street which runs through the Hilton shopping area feel more like a traditional town centre by slowing traffic and creating a safe and welcoming environment.

It also addresses a serious safety issue by preventing cars from turning right out of Paget Street and Victor Street onto South Street.

In the past five years there have been 20 crashes involving cars turning right into South Street, and numerous near-misses on the nearby pedestrian crossing.

The improvements will include enhanced signage and lighting to make drivers more aware of the pedestrian crossing on South Street, new ramps at Paget Street and Victor Street to make it easier for people with prams and wheelchairs, a different colour asphalt roadway to delineate Hilton town centre and new landscaping and street furniture inspired by a native garden suburb theme.

The project is being funded through $250,000 from the state government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program and $50,000 from the City of Fremantle.

Construction will start on Tuesday, April 3 and is expected to take around five weeks.

The work will require some lane closures on South Street, but the project has been staged to minimise disruption.

The majority of the road works will be carried out at night between 8:00pm and 5:00am to avoid the opening hours of neighbouring shops and peak traffic flows.

There will also be some landscaping and furniture works carried out during the daytime to the footpath areas, but care will be taken to minimise public disruption as much as possible during the construction phase.