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Fremantle’s answer to Elizabeth Quay

'Mini Quay' recommended for state endorsement between train station and port.

CHRIS THOMSON

It’s ‘Mini Quay’, Fremantle’s answer to the hulking Elizabeth Quay project further up the Swan, and state planners have recommended it be endorsed by a government committee ahead of a final state approval process down the track.

In 2010, oneperth.com.au revealed that divisive plans by insurance giant ING for a $350 million mixed use project between Fremantle Train Station and the Port of Fremantle had been sunk by the global financial crisis. ING lost at least $17 million on that aborted project.

But now, government planners have recommended that a state committee endorse blueprints for a much larger project than the ING one that had first ruffled the feathers of Fremantle‘s vociferous heritage lobby almost a decade ago.

With a building up to 10 storeys and one up to six storeys planned behind but either side of the train station, the new project dwarfs the six-storey ING one against which the heritage boffins had run a sustained and successful campaign.

The pictured project at Victoria Quay would have up to 30,000sqm of commercial, office and entertainment floorspace.

Despite the mooted 10-storey structure, the Fremantle Port Authority, which has submitted the plans, claims its existing 10-storey tower near the WA Maritime Museum will remain the landmark building at the port.

If approved before the government’s announced sale of the port occurs, the project is likely to elevate the estimated $1.5 billion asking price for the state asset.

The Fremantle Port Authority would like to see the Federation era train station itself extended to accommodate retail, commercial and entertainment uses.

A redesigned and relocated bus interchange is also on the cards for the area around the train station. The bus interchange would be a maximum four storeys high and include parking for commuters, train station staff and anyone else who wanted to leave their car there.

The port authority also envisages the southern part of verdant Pioneer Park, behind Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, will be obliterated and converted into a building the same height as the theatre. This built form on the east side of Phillimore Street would mirror new buildings the authority plans for the west side. However, the Pioneer Park idea is not the port authority’s call – it’s up to Fremantle council.

In a sign that the Fremantle Doctor of change may be in, Mini Quay received not one objection during a recent 21-day consultation.

Nobody supported the project either.

Victoria Quay render: CODA designers

2 Responses to “Fremantle’s answer to Elizabeth Quay”

  1. James says:

    Noone commented on the proposal during the 21 day period?
    No wonder!
    Thats because it wasnt advertised for ocmment!
    I live there and this is the first I have heard of the proposal.
    Very crafty on the part of Freo Port Authority.
    Also very crafty putting the new building against the Spare Parts Puppet building, obliterating the Park. Classic diversionary technique. While we get wound up over the loss of yet more green space, the real agenda to pump the sale peice of the Port slides on past.
    __________________________
    With you, but it was advertised – on the Fremantle council and Fremantle Ports websites at the very least.

    The real diversionary tactic was the amount of paper that key aspects were buried under.

    Standard old-school bureaucratic technique – swamp the public in extraneous detail and hope nobody will be vigilant enough to sift through the cheeky bits.

    Most news outlets which once derived their rivers of gold from sifting through the detail on the public’s behalf are now too lazy to do so.

    Not this little news website that runs virtually on a volunteer basis.

    Ed

  2. Steve says:

    What a sad little effort this will be compared to the earlier North Port development which was kibosh by the myopic Carpenter.
    What a pointless waste of space – Fremantle would appear to deserve it’s twilight after all, and the NIMBY’s will be free to shuffle in the dimly lit, empty streets for evermore.
    _________________________________________
    Night of the Living NIMBYs, eh Steve?

    On the flipside, Carps’ vision for the Perth Waterfront was much more impressive than the middling effort the current WA emperor is getting ready to reign over: Lizzy Quay = Barnett’s Bell Tower.

    Ed

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