Nov 18, 2012 - Development, News    3 Comments

Kings Square redevelopment plan

Public comment is now being sought on the bold proposal to upgrade Kings Square and the surrounding buildings.

For the past 12 months, the Council and staff have been working to scope this project to make sure that it will deliver the kind of high quality buildings, public open space and new employment opportunities that Fremantle rightfully deserves and demands. I can confidently say that I think this project will deliver outcomes that most people would be very pleased to see.

To me, the image published on the cover of the Herald (16/11/12) was not the best impression of what is being planned. I have posted some others here – so you can a better sense of what is in store.

However it is important to note that these are not architects drawings of plans that have been finalised or approved. They are not even completed designs and they have not been through the design advisory committee. The imagery – of the council buildings in particular – are very much conceptual to provide an idea of what could be developed under the existing height and design guidelines.

I am also impressed by Sirona – the company that owns the Myer building – who are keen to partner with the Council to make this a high quality integrated development. They gave a huge amount of their time to work with council to understand and apply our aims for the project. They have been responsive to our priorities; such as creating a harmonious but contemporary design; achieving a minimum 5 green star rating even incorporating innovative elements such as green walls and co-generation.

This project is huge for Fremantle and as such, makes me very nervous. The last thing I want to be party to is something that damages the character and amenity of my beloved Fremantle. I have participated in many long meetings to try to make sure that doesn’t happen and now, as we embark on getting the Kings Square project underway, I feel confident that we are on track to a great outcome. But now is your opportunity to have your say and help make sure it’s right for Fremantle.

Significant change is always daunting, but its also exciting. When I see images of a hotel on the barren carpark next to cash converters and a beautiful new facade on the Queensgate carpark, or images of people in a refurbished Kings Square that includes a large expanse of grass and trees on one side and has a sheltered town square with facilities that would suit outdoor film screenings, concerts and other community events and activities, I think all this effort and fear is going to be worth it. I hope you do to.

I encourage you to have a look at the proposal in detail. Attend an information session.  Ask questions and raise your concerns. It will be a better outcome if you do.

PS – I am still not convinced that we need to re-open Newman Court (between the library and Queensgate) to cars – and neither does Sirona… what do you think?

3 Comments

  • More people attended last night’s council Meeting than I have ever seen in Fremantle chamber before. Over 150 people crammed into the gallery, with some latecomers leaving due to not being able to get into the chamber. The reason for this sudden interest in civic matters was the agenda item on the Youth Plaza proposal on Esplanade Park. While most did speak in support of the item, many as parents and teachers, some also spoke against, voicing concerns of the potential for antisocial behaviour and loss of grass.

  • Fremantle city council has challenged architects worldwide to design a major chunk of the $220 million Kings Square project.

  • Whilst council has adopted Urban Design Guidelines for Kings Square, the issue of traffic in Newman court will need to be resolved separately to this process as the Guidelines provide flexibility on this matter. Detailed design of the public realm spaces will need to be undertaken once council decides to proceed with the redevelopment proposals.