The recent surge in property investment in Freo may come as a surprise to many but not Fremantle's inner circle.
At this time, many of my client’s simply put Fremantle in the ‘too hard basket’. As a planner this was disappointing but as a proud Fremantle person, it actually hurt to see the place I loved on its knees. Action was needed.
The recent surge in property investment in Freo may come as a surprise to many but not Fremantle’s inner circle. It comes on the back of a carefully curated review of the City of Fremantle’s town planning framework that seeks to promote development but in a ‘uniquely Fremantle way’.
It’s also as a result of a brave few developers, that saw potential and the bones of a good city that just needed a bit of love. The sustainably minded Yolk Property Group was one of the first, tapping into the ‘green psyche’ of the folks of Fremantle and delivering a much needed residential and working population through new apartments and modern office developments.
The Sirona/City of Fremantle Kings Square redevelopment likewise has the potential to be catalytic game changer, by providing a big working population and much needed weekday trade.
The projects and their high-profile backers listed in the West Australian last week, are a sign that others see the potential Fremantle has to offer. Other projects that Urbis are working on with our clients such as Notre Dame University’s sensitive revitalisation of the historic West End and the Fremantle Oval regeneration project should proudly bookend both ends of the central area and drive both a day and night-time economy.
Despite all of this good news, Fremantle still has a way to go. The proposals in the pipeline will help, but for mine, the City needs to work harder at strengthening connections between both the Fishing Boat Harbour and Victoria Quay to South Terrace and getting people into the central area. Finally, we need to get families back to Freo. Walking down South Terrace last weekend I noticed a distinct lack of kids. Much of what exists and is planned in Freo is adult-centric with very little focus on kids. Great places across the world cater for all age-groups and I truly hope that sometime in the near future, my two girls will also proudly identify as Freo kids.
This article was originally published in The West Australian.
Header image by Harry Cunningham from Unsplash