While council deliver a mantra of sustainability the signs of a collapse in the Fremantle economy is glaringly evident in the CBD.
I took a walk around the area and counted in excess of 40 properties which are empty, offered for lease, or moving. The total is probably closer to 60 as the Woolworth’s building houses a number of vacant outlets as does the Coles Woolstore. These pictures were taken within about 250m of the Town Hall
Very recently one new retail outlet, selling high quality home furnishings and decorations, has closed after six months. It was located in the Mall, opposite the Town Hall. The rent was $240,000, higher than similar sized properties in downtown New York.
Shepherd’s News agency have to move from their prime spot. It holds the longest serving tenancy of Fremantle. The original Shepherd’s News Agency was established in this building in 1908 and the current business owners have been there for 26 years. They now have to move aside for developers.
The Woolworths shopping centre, next to St Patrick’s, has been closed for a couple of years. It was gleefully broadcast that this would bring new life to the east end of the city. Opposite them the Hilton site, which used to contain a number of shops, is derelict and scheduled to become a temporary car park.
The centre hosted about 20 retail and office business’s. They were not included in my count of about 40 empty premises.
CODA, a mainstay of council’s PR sustainability spin, have closed shop and amalgamated with a Perth based company. CODA was a foundation stone of the Future Fremantle organisation, established to build a better Fremantle.
And finally, in one vacant shop window the mayor delivers his mantra of a vibrant city.