2017 Fremantle Business Awards Applications Open

The count down begins! Only twenty one days until applications for the 2017 Fremantle Business Awards close.

Make sure you take advantage of these upcoming holidays and submit your application.

For further details on how to enter or to submit an application click through the link below:


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.

Move over MANY 6160. Make way for MANY 2.0

If you peek inside the old Spotlight Building on Adelaide St you will be in for quite a surprise. This once empty, derelict space is now home to the very impressive MANY 2.0 – in fact I think it is even better than MANY 6160.

Great projects like this can only happen because of good partnerships. As with Sirona at MANY 6160, development group Yolk have been essential to enabling MANY 2.0 become a reality in partnership with Spacemarket and the team at the City of Fremantle. So big thanks to all for making this happen.

Below is some photos of MANY 2.0 and an article that is in the latest copy of Fremantle Story Mag on the MANY transition. Check it out and enjoy.

The dynamic retail collective housed in the old Myer building has a new home. From March 2017 (well today in fact!) the eclectic pop-up with a difference is bringing new life to the old Spotlight building on Adelaide Street.

When it first opened in October 2013, nobody quite knew how long MANY 6160 (then known as MYRE) would inhabit the building vacated by the department store. Six months? Nine? More than three years later, the temporary concept store (a mix of retail and makers workspaces) is still busy incubating independent businesses.

It’s part of an emerging trend in retail that shuns the bland, soulless shopping centre vibe in favour of a fresher, more experimental approach. “MANY has been a huge, important and interesting project,” says project manager Kate Hulett of its first incarnation in Kings Square. She names the unusual nature of the building and the cooperation and flexibility of its owner Sirona and the City of Fremantle as contributing factors to its success. “Where else would you find 20,000 square metres of space to do something like this? And where else would this work but in Fremantle?

MANY 6160 has housed an evolving line-up of retailers selling hats, artwork, vintage clothing, retro furniture, artisan lamps, jewellery and footwear. Its rooftop has seen two new bars, a couple of motorbike shows and at least one wedding. Its basement has witnessed everything from mini golf to an acclaimed art gallery to performances by Falls Festival DJs.

Upstairs, furniture makers, costume designers, upholsterers, surfboard makers, metal workers and artists have toiled away on their own projects, in the company of like-minded folk. “It’s one of the hallmarks of MANY”, says Kate. Unlike other small businesses where people work alone, the retailers and makers here can talk, connect and sometimes collaborate as a result of the communal space. As well as nurturing a vibrant community, MANY is a way for people to test their businesses without taking on prohibitive leases.

For customers, the benefits lie in the variety, the original wares and the accessibility. People can wander between shops, read books or enjoy the café without feeling pressured to buy. Kate sees it as a space where mums, grandparents, hipsters and teenagers can feel equally at ease.

Vacating the premises for the Kings Square redevelopment (the space will become mixed use office and retail) has brought a new opportunity: to reenergise another dead space with a new-look pop-up. Overseen once again by Spacemarket, the Adelaide Street space has a similar vibe but a different look. Retail stores laid out on the diagonal, for example. The café fronts both the retail floor and the outside lane near Westgate Mall. It’s hoped that regular events will take shape here.

The makers have embarked on a diaspora of their own. Some have moved to studios at the old Fremantle Police Station (cleverly renamed MANY 000), while others plumped for a warehouse at North Fremantle’s Matilda Bay Brewing. Others still are headed for East Perth.

In Adelaide Street, MANY’s retail philosophy holds. MANY 2.0 prides itself on being an outlet for hard-to-find, often handmade items that are unique to Western Australia, in a space that feels interesting and creative. “It would be hard to manufacture the feel of MANY in a cold, new building,” says Kate, who has relished revitalising the derelict Spotlight store–which will be demolished within the next two years for new apartments–into MANY’s next temporary space. “There’s no sadness in the closure of the old place. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to refresh.”

Australia Ship Simulation Centre Opening – A Future Freo Business, Now.

This week I got to do quite a unique opening which included the unique smashing of a virtual bottle of champagne on a virtual ship’s bow.

It was largely virtual because the opening was of the new specialist Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle’s Atwell Arcade. The Australia Ship Simulation Centre is owned and operated by UK- based HR Wallingford and provides expert navigation consultancy and a dedicated Pilot training centre for Western Australia and the wider region.

The opening was a memorable evening but it was also more than this. It is significantly another good example of what I believe will increasingly key part of the future of the Fremantle economy – high tech/innovation focused businesses, often with a specialist marine focus.

The now fully leased Atwell Arcade office building has become a hub of innovative marine and sustainability businesses. When seen alongside the recent completion of the MSC headquarters in Cliff Street, there is pleasingly a steady growth in high quality, nationally significant employment in the heart of Fremantle.

There is plenty more to do but significant openings like this are steps towards Fremantle as a distinctive and vibrant second city.



c4omdkrueaagq-m c4o5vqew8aahdoz img_5008 img_5010

n19neteendouro: More Density Done Well

Yesterday I got to have a look through the recently completed development at 19 Douro Road South Fremantle. This is an innovative development that is also largely sold out – once again demonstrating the demand for high quality but affordable apartments in and around Fremantle. I especially like the materials and the industrial but refined feel this development has. Here are some photos.

img_4717 img_4722 img_4728 img_4730 img_4733 img_4734 img_4738

Inside the Heirloom Woolstores Redevelopment

They are 85% sold and 99% complete. The first of the residents will move into the 180-odd apartments in January.

A few of us got a sneak peak inside this week.


img_4739 img_4707 img_4708 img_4711 img_4690 img_4692 img_4695 img_4697 img_4702


Liv by DHA is Underway

Great to see DHA’s Liv apartments on Queen Victoria St are starting construction this week. It is a $61 million development with 166 apartments and 1300m2 of commercial space.  Across the road from Heirloom which interestingly reached practical completion in last week too.