The Kings Square Renewal project sets to transform Fremantle’s port city into a vibrant commercial and community hub!
This is a precinct-wide renewal of the Fremantle City Centre where buildings and public spaces will be redeveloped in Kings Square.
The new square will open new opportunities to eat and shop, work, relax, play and much, much more.
The new Kings Square will also boost the local economy, with more than 2,100 new local jobs and an estimated $358m injected into the local economy. It will also cater for everyone – with accessibility, the new buildings and public spaces will enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the area.
We spoke with Lauren Cross, the Community and Public Relations Manager from Sirona Capital about the project.
Why is the Kings Square being renewed?
“Fremantle is a special part of Perth. Ask anyone and they will likely have fond memories connected to Fremantle and love that distinct “Freo vibe”.
Since the boom days of the Americas Cup, Freo has suffered from a general lack of investment. While it remains a favourite with tourists, Freo has seen its retail and commercial sectors struggle, particularly from Monday to Thursday.
Sirona identified an opportunity to invest in a part of Freo which could, more than any other area, kick-start Freo’s revival. From there the public- private partnership between Sirona Capital and the City of Fremantle evolved, and will see life injected back into what has historically and geographically been the true civic and community heart of Fremantle.
The old Queensgate cinemas and Myer box were well past their prime and this redevelopment will see 1,500 state government workers coming into Fremantle, as well as the dynamic and exciting new retail precinct – FOMO.
The old Fremantle council building contained asbestos and was a poorly performing and dysfunctional building. The new building, with its innovative design will provide the community with vibrant, sustainable and engaging new indoor and outdoor spaces.”
What’s happening to Queensgate car park?
“The Queensgate carpark, which Sirona purchased off the City of Fremantle in 2017 is more than 40 years old and was in dire need of a birthday. We closed the carpark in April of this year and following extensive upgrades, are happy to say it’s going to partially reopen again on 31 October.
When patrons return, they will enjoy a brighter, safer and more functional carpark. The work completed includes structural remedial works, protective epoxy coatings to decks, new paint to all surfaces, line markings, new lighting and services throughout. We are still working on the new stair and lift core which we look forward to opening in a few months’ time.
Until the new lift and stair core opens, patrons will be able to use the old stairs (at both ends) and lift at the southern end.
We’re opening the carpark prior to all works being completed to support local businesses and visitors to Fremantle, who have asked for the carpark to reopen as soon as possible.”
What is the estimated finish date?
“Completion of the broader project will happen at a number of different stages, which is normal for a project of this size and complexity.
Practical completion of the Sirona buildings will be 30 September 2019, when the state government offices will be fitted out for state government to move in by April 2020.
FOMO is on track to be open by Easter 2020.
Construction of the new City of Fremantle civic, administration and library building will commence early next year and be completed in 2020. City staff will then relocate to Kings Square from their temporary headquarters at Fremantle Oval.
All parties are motivated to meet these dates, bit given the scale of the project delays can occur, so we continually monitor and update these timelines as project milestones are reached.
We are fortunate that while we have had a lot of inclement weather during July and August, ProBuild have done an exceptional job staying on target.”
What are the wider benefits of this project for Fremantle?
“We have done a lot of research on this topic and many benefits can be found at our project website https://www.kingssquarefremantle.com/economic-benefits
A few quick and significant benefits include:
- More than 2,000 people will be working within the new Kings Square precinct. Up from around 300 pre the project commencing. This will result in a busy, bustling and exciting place!
- Fremantle city centre retail turnover is forecast to increase by more than 15%, or $50M.
- Kings Square will be the catalyst for additional infrastructure and investment. We can see this is already the case when looking at all the other fantastic projects in the pipeline. The City of Fremantle has some information about this here, which includes a record development pipeline of new investment. https://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/news-and-media/23818-new-record-building-approvals-freo“
Do you have any more information on any new bars or eateries that will be in the area?
“At this stage, we are tight lipped on what we have in store, but we are extremely excited about the FOMO precinct and anticipate it will deliver a game changer for not only Fremantle, but for the retail landscape across Perth.
More info about FOMO is on our retail website at http://fomofreo.com.au/
Importantly, we believe the project will have a ‘ripple effect’ across all of Fremantle, with more people working in and visiting Kings Square providing a boost to the entire Freo economy.
Stay tuned as we have something exciting in the pipeline which will be announced very soon!”
What new employment opportunities will there be?
We can’t speak to numbers of jobs available post construction. But we do know there will be a 1,500-person state government office, more than 30 new retail stores, and a bigger and better civic precinct.
Savvy job hunters would do well to stay abreast of the development as it evolves and be ready when opportunities present themselves.