WA Business News summary of the new projects that are shaping Freo’s future.

WA Business News today provided a good summary of the new projects that are shaping Freo’s future as Perth’s second city.
Including the first public released renders of the Coles Woolstores redevelopment by Silverleaf with is another huge project on a similar sclae to the Kings Square project – which is one of the biggest developments in Freo’s history.

World Environment Day, One Planet and Freo

Today is not only  the WA Day national holiday but it is also World Environment Day. Fremantle has long been a front runner in Australia’s sustainability journey.  To celebrate i thought I would  share a  few cool environment things from Freo.

First is a great little video by Barking Wolf made  a little while ago about how the City of Fremantle’s One Planet strategy is reducing our footprint.

The second is a congratulations to Yolk whose Evermore development in WGV just got awarded One Planet certification:




Last week Yolk Property Group’s Evermore development was recognised by Bioregional Australia Foundation as a One Planet Community and national leader for a commitment to sustainable living – making it the first apartment development in Western Australia to receive this honour.

Bioregional Australia Executive Director Suzette Jackson said Evermore showed a strong commitment to sustainability, particularly through its shared solar initiative.

“Evermore is setting the bar high with its sustainability and quality of life features and is showing strong initiative in pioneering new technology and applications,” Ms Jackson said.

Ecological foot-printing shows that if everyone in the world consumed as many natural resources as the average Australian, more than four planets would be needed to support the existing global population. Ms Jackson said One Planet Communities lead by example enabling people to transition to a one planet lifestyle.

“Evermore is unique not only in that it is the first apartment development in Western Australia to be recognised as a One Planet Community, but it sits within a One Planet Community, LandCorp’s WGV precinct, within a One Planet City, the City of Fremantle. While individually assessed and recognised in their own right, they share a common vision of creating communities where it’s easy, attractive and affordable for people to lead happy and healthy lives using a fair share of the earth’s resources,” she said.

In 2014 the City of Fremantle was one of the first councils in Australia to become a One Planet City.

One Planet Living is about working collaboratively to create places which enable people to live, work and do business within the natural limits of the planet.

Having Yolk adopt the One Planet Living philosophy and principles for its Evermore WGV residential development is not only fantastic news but yet another sign of the relevance of living sustainably, particularly within the realms of our port city.

One Planet Living is an international framework and recognition is widely considered by developers to be the highest accolade in terms of sustainability, with the stringent recognition process adding to its credibility.

Director of Yolk Property Group Pete Adams said the recognition has added weight to the claim that Evermore is the greenest apartment development in Western Australia.

We’re immensely proud to become part of a network of the earth’s greenest neighbourhoods. Our goal with this development is to go above and beyond and lead by example, even if it means treading untested waters, taking risks and trialling new ideas or technology,” Mr Adams said.

At Evermore, Yolk Property Group is pioneering the use of shared solar technology in a large-scale strata setting with a governance model developed by the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute.

It has been forecast the technology will produce approximately 80 per cent of the apartments’ power, with residents expected to benefit from a 30 per cent saving on their electricity bills. With so much power off the grid, residents also have the advantage of being less affected by fluctuations in energy prices. Real-time measurement and recording of water and power consumption will further give residents greater control over their energy usage and ensure maximum energy-efficiency.

Mr Adams said Evermore aims to achieve sustainability through addressing the One Planet Living principles related to sustainable water, local and sustainable food, sustainable materials, zero waste, zero carbon as well as culture and community. He said the focus with Evermore was not solely on the end-product, but how residents will live in the development after building is complete.

“One example of how we’re looking beyond construction is our aim to promote social interaction and reduce disconnectedness and isolation of residents. The design of a communal space between buildings with courtyard,

veggie garden and bicycle repair station will offer shared spaces to encourage interaction, a way for neighbours to foster relationships,” he said.

“When you look at the guiding principles behind One Planet Living, it’s all about creating strong, connected communities that consume and expend wisely, with a view to the future and that goal is shaping every element of Evermore,” Mr Adams said.

Evermore is the first apartment development in Western Australia to be recognised as a One Planet Community. It is only the fifth One Planet Community in Australia, joining the ranks of organisations, schools, governing bodies and communities recognised under the One Planet Living framework globally.

Construction of the highly sustainable Evermore development is expected to commence later this year and conclude early 2018. For more information visit: www.evermorewgv.com.au

Propeller Unveils Its New Dining Room

I got to check out the new Spaceagency designed Propeller fit-out last night. Amazing. Here is a nice summary from Braodsheet…
Published on 9th May 2017 by NICOLINA LEONE

North Fremantle’s Propeller reopened its newly renovated restaurant last weekend after a short hiatus, unveiling a larger covered dining room to protect against the elements.

Owners, and husband and wife team, Siobhan Blumann and Hamish Fleming, felt the refit was required.

“We wanted to give our customers and staff the building they deserved,” says Blumann.

The old dining room, a converted bus garage, provided ample outdoor space that was sought after in the summer, but come winter, the rain, hail and Fremantle Doctor provided more of a challenge.

Blumann and Fleming worked with Michael Patroni and Tobias Busch from Spaceagency – the architecture practice behind the award-winning work at Alex Hotel and Petition in the State Buildings.

“We’ve built a whole new structure over what used to be the lower terrace,” says Blumann. “This structure forms a second dining room, which flows into the original room, doubling the interior space. The brief for the new room was to preserve the feeling of being outdoors, which the architects have done brilliantly with a soaring ceiling that lets in light, and wrap around louvred windows. We’re thrilled with their design.”

The couple also used Texo Australia, a Freo-based building company, which pre-fabricated much of the structure before construction began. This enabled the project’s two-month turnaround and a new look suited to Fremantle.

“We think the new structure looks fantastic against the backdrop of the old North Fremantle Town Hall,” says Blumann. “It’s very interesting architecturally and it has definitely increased our street presence. We love how you can still view the original mural on the wall of the town hall from the dining room and watch the kids play in the park whilst having dinner.”

Despite the main restaurant being closed during the transition period, the on-site shipping container continued to serve guests as the “Propeller Garage” pop-up. The trial was an opportunity to experiment with smaller street-food-style Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Lebanese share plates.

“That got a great response so we’re incorporating that into the menu,” says Blumann. “It was great to still be able to be there for our customers, albeit in a reduced space. The chefs really enjoyed going back to the foundations of their culinary influences and you’ll see a lot of that reflected in the new menu.”

Wed-Sun 8am-late


WA’s Retail Challenges. A Quick Perth/Freo Comparison

Interesting to see the article on Perth CBD retail vacancies in the Sunday times this week (see below).

It says that 16% or 150 of the city centres 950 shops are currently empty.

Similarly there is a 15%  vacancy rate for Rokeby Road Subiaco according to Lease Equity (November 2015).

I asked our economic development staff how this compared to Fremantle and they said Fremantle is pleasingly tracking better at around 10% of our 541 retail premises vacant as at October 2016.

There is still plenty of work to do to improve the retailing environment in Freo but I thought this was useful to show that it is not uniquely bad in our port city and that we are tracking OK in bringing Freo back to life.

Customs House Development Proposal

I (like just about everyone else in Fremantle) got my first glimpse at a new proposal for the former Customs House this week (see below). I am not surprised that this is scheme that has already divided community opinion.

Some have even said that it shouldn’t even be considered but that is not how the way the planning system works, however. Instead the City of Fremantle is required to process any lawful planning application and send it to the Fremantle Council and the Joint Development Assessment Panel (DAP) for consideration. So just because we are putting it out for advertising doesn’t mean the City of Fremantle planning staff or the Fremantle Council or DAP will support it going ahead. This is just the legally required process.

Another part of the legally required process is that like all of the Fremantle Council members must keep an open mind and not determine a view until it is debated in the Fremantle Council chambers. So I will do that.

All that said, it is important to note a few facts:

First, the buildings in question only remaining heritage are their façades. The rest was gutted in the 1980s when facadism was sadly considered acceptable. The internal additions from this period can certainly be improved on.

Second, five stories in the West End is not something that complies with Fremantle Council policy for this important area and the Council recently rejected it on the Notre Dame site on High Street on this basis.

Third, the whole of the West End is also now on the State Heritage List adding another level of scrutiny and protection.

Finally, it is really important that you have your say too so please do that by going to:


A community information session will be held on 27 April from 5.30 pm – 6.00 pm in the City of Fremantle Reception Room.

Liv Apartments on journey to achieve One Planet Living certification


Good to see the Liv Apartments now under construction in the East End precinct (opposite Heirloom)  will be the first apartment development in WA to sign up to the world’s leading green communities framework

Liv Apartments is the first apartment development in Western Australia to be registered in the One Planet Living (OPL) program, helping keep Fremantle on track as global trailblazers in sustainable living.  The City of Fremantle was only the second city in the world to achieve recognition as a One Planet City in September 2014. If successful, Liv Apartments would be only the fifth endorsed One Planet Community in Australia and one of fewer than 20 worldwide.

For those of you that haven’t heard of it before, OPL is a sustainability measure with a vision of a world in which people enjoy happy, healthy lives utilising their fair share of the earth’s resources, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. The OPL Framework is based on ten principles covering areas such as carbon, waste, transport, food and water. Bioregional Australia Foundation manages the OPL certification in Australia.

All 166 units comprising Liv Apartments will feature environmental, energy and water saving initiatives intended to reduce household bills and energy consumption. These include solar panels, edible gardens, landscape irrigation, a waste reduction strategy, energy saving ceiling fans and public plaza space with lawn.

See the Liv Apartments website at http://www.livapartments.com.au  to find out more.


Top 8 WA areas to buy property in 2017

This article was in WA Today last week. Interesting to read Fremantle listed as #1 in the top 8 WA areas to buy property in 2017. This is in addition to Freo having one of the highest percentage price increases of any Perth suburb in recent months, Good news but makes our housing diversity and affordability focus all the more pertinent.

Top 8 WA areas to buy property in 2017  by Cheryl Oprandi 

Looking ahead to 2017, WA has to be considered as a separate market to the other states. Here, property is on the move. No longer is there a need for buyers to be hesitant and wait a while because ‘prices will reduce more’. It is time to buy, but where?

There are many factors involved when assessing an area that could have potential financial growth for buyers. The major factors to consider are new government infrastructure plans, employment opportunities, zoning changes to enable subdivision and school population increasing.

The following 8 areas all have positive changes within the suburb aligning with these major factors, and the growth of the suburbs are not solely dependent on first home buyers or overseas investors.

1. Fremantle

Mayor Dr Brad Pettit strongly supports the upgrades in the area and redevelopment of the Victoria Quay, city centre, waterfront and northern gateway areas will increase tourism and community facilities, and will certainly increase demand for housing in the area.

Other upgrades include the Fremantle train station and the creating of a sporting hub at Fremantle Oval. All improvements are centred on increasing public-private investors and employment in the suburb – all positive moves in this area.

2. Subiaco

Community spirit runs high in Subiaco though and the win by the Tran family to relocate their fruit and veggie outlet to Homebase is certainly a very positive change. Once final plans are in motion for the old market site this suburb will certainly move ahead.

3 & 4. Mt Pleasant and Kingsley

Although they are greatly different in property median prices, can both be considered the poor cousins surrounded by rich relatives. Both are great family suburbs with a large percentage of long term home owners.

The median price for Kingsley is $459,000 and areas within the suburb closer to the railway link have been rezoned to enable higher density living. Many of the home owners in the area are becoming empty nesters and seeking smaller accommodation.

Mt Pleasant has easy access to the city, beautiful quality homes, close proximity the river, universities and schools, but values for properties have stayed stagnant over the last 12 months.

The difficulty for buyers in this area is the lack of stock, although 63 homes have been sold over the last 12 months, demand for homes has increased. This suburb definitely has potential growth for the million-dollar-plus buyer and overseas buyers looking for a home close to a university.

5 & 6. Gosnells and Forrestfield

These suburbs are attractively priced for the first and second home buyers. Gosnells has a median price of $349,000 and Forrestfield median price is at $415,000.

Both areas have subdivision opportunities and enable new homes to be built at a reasonable cost and have expansions in the commercial property. The building of the new train line to the airport makes Forrestfield an area to be considered.

7. Bullsbrook

This area is exploding, not only with new subdivisions for commercial and housing but the influx of cottage industries in the area.

The building of the new Perth-Darwin Highway has increased interest in the area. At only 50minutes from Perth CBD, Bullsbrook is attractive because it accommodates a variety of lifestyles.

8. Katanning 

The NBN has come to this town less than 300km from Perth. This has made a significant change for the area which already had a flourishing stockyard. The ease of communication has given more confidence to businesses to expand in the area, according to the local shire. Employment and school intake has increased in Katanning, and it has been identified as the hub for Early Childhood Education in the region.

With an increased push of funds for the future development of the schools, hospitals and land subdivisions there will be an increase in home prices in this area.

The big picture for WA

Local buyers are coming back to the market and sellers are bridging the gap between prices they want and market value. As Melbourne and Sydney have proved to be expensive for investors, many are looking to WA as a state to invest in, and according to CoreLogic’s latest monthly data for November, median dwelling price is at $490,000 in the state.

2017 could be the transition year in purchasing that piece of real estate.