Freo tourist numbers set to double with Kings Square FOMO festival precinct

This is a BIG retail announcement for Freo. Fear Of Missing Out indeed!

Freo tourist numbers set to double with Kings Square FOMO festival precinct

The FOMO space will incorporate the redevelopment of the former Myer and Queensgate buildings and carpark.
The FOMO space will incorporate the redevelopment of the former Myer and Queensgate buildings and carpark.Picture: Supplied

Kings Square Fremantle will play host to a semi-permanent festival under a radical but carefully curated multimillion-dollar plan for a borderless retail, community and entertainment precinct.

FOMO, as the precinct has been christened, will reverse the effect of decades of neglect to allow Fremantle to reclaim its status as a thriving tourist destination, according to Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly, the developer of the $270 million office, retail, church and civic precinct.

“We threw out the retail rule book,” Mr McNeilly said.

“We saw a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the unique personality of Fremantle to create a retail environment where the journey will be as important as the destination.”

The flavour of FOMO, the 5783sqm retail space at the heart of Kings Square, will be devised in a series of workshops with the community, artists and musicians of Fremantle, highlighting and intensifying the best of Fremantle’s makers and artisans.

The Daily will be part of an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.
The Daily will be part of an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.Picture: Supplied

Its precincts include Street Alley, Tidal Land and Newman Court — a food space with slow food, good food, fast and fresh food which then morphs into spaces selling homewares, fashion and homemade goods.

Radical retail architect, HDR Rice Daubney principal Susanne Pini, said the double-storey Emporium (the former Myer building) would echo a “cool container” with an eclectic mix of organic and free flowing retail concepts.

For example, an area called The Daily, will offer local makers workspace, gallery, retail space around the base of the old carpark area and a window for passing pedestrians into how artisans bring their ideas to life.

City of Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said FOMO will be an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.

The project, to include two office campuses with 20,400sqm of A-grade office space, a revamped 800 bay carpark and outdoor retail, entertainment and eating spaces and a new $50 million civic precinct for the City of Fremantle, was “a unique opportunity to take a retail risk”, Mr McNeilly, said.

The office complex will house more than 1500 workers and Mr McNeilly said that in curating and intensifying the appealing elements of Fremantle, FOMO would almost double the number of tourists visiting Fremantle from 1.6 million to 3 million a year.

Free city centre parking to support local businesses

Visitors to Fremantle will soon be able to park for free for up to an hour in selected locations around Kings Square.

The City of Fremantle will trial free one hour on-street (kerbside) parking at locations in Paddy Troy Mall, William Street, Queen Street and High Street (east) to support local traders during the $270m renewal of Fremantle’s Kings Square.

The decision to offer free parking follows a number of meetings with traders and representatives of the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID) to discuss ways local businesses can be supported throughout the construction phase of Kings Square.

Other priorities identified include additional directional signage, the removal of alfresco fees; and events and activities to continue to attract people to Kings Square during construction.

Offering free visitor parking is one of the ways the City will support local businesses over the next couple of years.

The City and our Kings Square project partner Sirona Capital have been meeting regularly with local traders over the past few months and offering some free parking came up as something we could help with, so we have.

I applaud the Freo business community on the enthusiasm they’ve shown for the redevelopment of Kings Square, but I also acknowledge their concerns for the short-term, particularly during the demolition and construction phases over the next couple of years.

We will continue to be in regular contact with our business neighbours and look forward to working together closely with them to minimise the impacts of construction.”

The City will trial the free parking for 12 months and if successful, will extend it throughout the Kings Square renewal which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.

Free parking at these locations is expected to take effect later this month once new signage is installed to reflect the new rules.  Time restrictions will remain in place from 9am–5pm.

Urban Development Institute of Australia on Fremantle’s Revival

There was a good article in the Weekend West by Rhys Kelly who is the President of the  Urban Development Institute of Australia  WA on Fremantle’s Revival:

It was encouraging to see the announcement recently that the long-awaited Kings Square redevelopment in the City of Fremantle had commenced.

After six years, the $270 million project, which is a partnership between private developer Sirona Capital and the City of Fremantle, will deliver a much needed rejuvenation to the area which has deteriorated over a number of years.

The City of Fremantle has embraced the project as a focal point for a broader Fremantle revival which includes the redevelopment of a range of public and private areas throughout the city.

In fact, according to the city’s Economic Development Strategy, there is an investment pipeline of more than $1.3 billion which will transform Fremantle.

More development activity in recent years is certainly beginning to reshape the identity of Fremantle into a more vibrant place with a mix of housing typologies that suit the growing and diverse population.

According to the latest census data, the population of Fremantle has increased by 7 per cent since 2011. There is a high proportion (36.5 per cent) living in semi-detached housing such as town or row houses and 20 per cent living in apartments.

There is also a high portion of rental properties, with 42.3 per cent of private dwellings rented.

Higher density living options in Fremantle are a growing trend, with old warehouses along the port side of the city being transformed into residential living, including M Group’s Heirloom apartments and Defence Housing Australia’s $61 million Liv Apartments on Queen Victoria Street.

Yolk Property Group will also be releasing another large apartment building, Little Lane, in the centre of town on the old Spotlight store site.

These residential developments are bringing a higher number of residents into the heart of the city and, in turn, growing the demand for a range of amenities, services, retail and employment opportunities within the local area.

Kings Square will deliver extensive once and retail space along with a new civic centre, library and public open spaces including a playground and indoor and outdoor community spaces.

Also in the pipeline is a redevelopment of the Woolstores Shopping Centre precinct by Silverleaf. An application is with the council for an 11-storey redevelopment including an Adina hotel.

Fremantle Oval has also been the subject of a $20 million investment to redevelop it into a premier sporting and community hub.

Overall, the City of Fremantle looks to be embracing the opportunities that come with partnering with private industry to deliver positive outcomes for the area and attract more residents and visitors.

Kings Square Project Officially Underway

It was a special day in Fremantle today with the official start of works on Kings Square project. Here is how The West reported it.

Freo stakes future on $270m Kings Square revamp

An artist’s impression of Sirona Capital's Kings Square redevelopment in Fremantle.
An artist’s impression of Sirona Capital’s Kings Square redevelopment in Fremantle.Picture: Sirona Capital

The developer behind the $270 million Kings Square Fremantle overhaul says he will deliver an exciting shopping concept that will “challenge conventional thinking” about retail in Perth.

Persistence and blind faith have paid off for Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly who, along with WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt and Housing Minister Peter Tinley, today marked the start of a construction project that has moved at a glacial pace — it took at least six years to get to the start line — but is expected to transform a bleak corner of Fremantle into a thriving civic activity centre.

The project, a partnership with the City of Fremantle, will inject 28,500sqm of new office and retail space into the port city and produce a new administration and civic centre for the council.

The city square will be revamped with landscaped grass areas, public art, a children’s playground, specialty retail and dining, public toilet and change areas for adults and children, a new library and indoor and outdoor community spaces and meeting rooms.

More than 1500 public servants will move offices to Fremantle.
More than 1500 public servants will move offices to Fremantle.Picture: State Government

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the renewal was the most important infrastructure development in Fremantle in a generation and pledged the council would fund its $50 million share without raising rates above CPI.

The office component of the project has been underpinned by the State Government’s commitment to relocate 1500 housing authority employees from the CBD to the port city in 2020.

Mr Wyatt said it was a great example of the positive impact public-private partnerships could have on infrastructure and communities.

The economic fillip for Fremantle would start immediately, with 1100 full-time construction jobs, Mr Wyatt said. It is expected to inject $358 million into the local economy.

Mr Tinley, a Fremantle boy, said sharing new state-of-the-art facilities with other agencies would encourage greater collaboration and more co-ordinated services.

“I am sure the relocation of important government services to the area will also boost the local economy,” Mr Tinley said.

Kings Square Fremantle, to be built by Probuild, includes 25,800sqm of office, shopping and entertainment and a new administration and civic centre designed by Kerry Hill Architects for the City of Fremantle.

Probuild managing director Sam Delmenico said the project would take 21/2 years.

Dr Pettitt said public and private spending in the area has topped $1.3 billion.


WA Today/SMH

State Govt press release

Community News

West Australian


The Herald and Freo View have published favourable coverage today as well. You can also stay up-to-date via the dedicated Kings Square website and social media platforms here

Kings Square in 1963

The community information display on the Kings Square renewal project had some good new graphics and info.

I especially liked this photo of some shops that were in the square until the 1960s. Hard to imagine it but it at the Queens St end of the civic triangle.

The next session is Wednesday the 30th at the Freo town hall.

Kings Square Renewal community information display

Come along to catch a glimpse into the future of Fremantle’s Kings Square.

Work is about to commence on one of the most important redevelopment projects in Freo’s history- The Kings Square Fremantle Renewal.

Come along to view displays showcasing this once–in-a-generation project which will breathe new life into the Fremantle city centre over the coming years.

Along with artists’ impressions of the redevelopment, there will also be some great historic photos, brochures and a giveaway. You will also have the opportunity to share your memories of Kings Square and your hopes for what this redevelopment will bring to the precinct.

Drop into the town hall from 11.00am – 2.00 pm on Wednesday 23 or 30 August.

Kings Square Palm Trees on the Move