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