The vast and highly significant Police Precinct of over 7000 square metres at 45 Henderson Street, Fremantle, has been sold.
The asking price of $5.95 million plus GST gives freehold possession of seven buildings of varying age and importance, but includes the former heritage courthouse and heritage barracks, in a prime location near the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison, King’s Square, and Fremantle Markets.
The sale at such a reasonable price was a missed opportunity, one that Fremantle Council should have grabbed with both arms.
Instead Fremantle Council are stuck in a disastrous business plan with the developer Sirona.
The Fremantle Society wrote to all members last week outlining serious concerns with the King’s Square Business Plan which basically sells $50 million of ratepayer assets to developer Sirona for $29 million. Then, council intends building a $50 million administration centre for the mayor, councillors, and officers in King’s Square, thus destroying King’s Square and turning it into a triangle. After all that, the ratepayers will be left with massive debt for decades.
The Fremantle Society is demanding accountability for such a flawed business plan. The plan was supposed to be the catalyst for revitalisation, but in effect, it has wasted millions of dollars and years of time. The mayor and councillors are directly responsible for the seriously flawed plan.
Under no circumstances should the business plan be extended after the May 10 end of agreement with Sirona.
A new vision is needed for the town centre.
The Fremantle Society is working with prominent architects and planners to present a better vision for King’s Square and the surrounding area, and that will be published in the next couple of weeks.
The vision sees King’s Square becoming a true civic square, better design and use outcomes for council owned Queensgate, and for example, better options for the Spicer site (the car park opposite the Henderson Street warders’ cottages that the council intends selling to Sirona) to give enhanced linkages between the Cappuccino Strip, Markets, Prison, Police Precinct, and King’s Square.
Fremantle deserves a town centre designed for the public good, not for developers’ greed.