FREMANTLE CORPORATE LEADERS FORUM

sponsored by CommBank


BACKGROUND

  • In 2019, the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce held a successful Corporate Leaders Forum that investigated how property and investment could transform Fremantle into the future.
  • The Forum was attended by CEOs or Corporate Division Leads from the following Chamber member organisations – Hanny Properties, Fremantle Property Service, Prendiville Group, Sirona Capital, Silverleaf Investments, Tattarang (Minderoo) – John Hartman, University of Notre Dame & Yolk Property
  • Since that time the following organisations have joined the Chamber as Corporate Partners –Hesperia, Hall & Prior, Lendlease and Megara who are leading the way in innovative developments in the region.
  • Commonwealth Bank also joined the Chamber as Corporate Partners in 2019 and have grown their involvement, and profile, with the Chamber via a Corporate Hospitality Partnership with the Fremantle Business Awards.
  • Bringing together the desire of Commonwealth Bank to make a difference in the region and to co-host a property and investment leaders forum and the Chamber’s drive for collective strength and growth an annual exclusive Fremantle Corporate Leaders Forum Dinner was be established to drive this change.
  • This report summarises the key themes arising for this gathering of Fremantle’s Property and Corporate Leaders.


OBJECTIVES

  • To discuss the changes in the property and corporate sector of Fremantle and what is on the horizon for the future of Fremantle.
  • To consider the context of the emerging industries for the region of the importance of physical spaces and investment e.g. creative, technology and marine.
  • To identify the opportunities and challenges for the industry.
  • To discuss growth & investment attraction and opportunities.
  • To build local connections and contacts with the leaders of the local property and corporate sector.

2019 KEY THEMES

  • BUSINESS OF CHANGE
  • There is a need to look at scale to drive the change model for Fremantle
  • Share the vision of 10 fold residential increase and get buy in from all stakeholders, particularly state government on a shift towards diversity of assets in terms of density, scale, heritage and heights
  • Discuss options for investment, partnership, equity and debt
  • CONSISTENT IDENTITY
  • Link to “Visit Fremantle” brand – Spirit, Soul & Sea – for investment attraction
  • Create clarity of historical identity and vision for future
  • Creative centre and innovation hub – attraction for the young at heart, hip and affluent
  • Street level activation – navigation, walkability, greenspaces, diversity of retail offering
  • STATE GOVERNMENT
  • Achieve eyes on Fremantle and see it as a state asset
  • New future allowing big strategic and cross government agency things to happen
  • PTA engagement and Southern Transport Corridor
  • Solutions for anti-social behaviour and other detractors
  • TELL THE STORY
  • Data and independent research to back up these findings
  • Investment clips and videos to share with stakeholders, podcasts and documentaries
  • Role of University of Notre Dame and brand as a university city.

2021 – A LOOK TO THE FUTURE

“We are standing in a moment in time, facing a barometer shift on so many fronts that if they come together it will be a seismic shift in Fremantle’s future”.

  • TELL THE STORY – A Unique Proposition – History, Sense of Place & Marine Environment
  • “The purpose of our City is that it is a Port – like all great Port cities around the world is they bring movement, adventure, trouble and vibrancy”.
  • Property tells the character, stories, history & heritage
  • Link to Fremantle’s maritime history and 24/7 nature of a Port City
  • A place that gets into your soul
  • Water is a magnetic attraction
  • Movement of vessels, waves and light
  • A character that doesn’t need to be artificially built, nor fabricated, it is here and has evolved over history to create a uniqueness that cannot be replicated anywhere
  • Capitalising on unique proposition and sense of place
  • TAPPING INTO THE POTENTIAL OF PHYSICAL ASSETS
  • “Managing heritage and breathing life into these great spaces – not just a few days but on a continual basis”
  • Importance of preserving facades
  • Focus on infrastructure and connections – digital, transport and facilities
  • Moving C grade commercial and office space to higher grade
  • Complex projects with significant constraints, requires innovation and drive.
  • Owned by old families who are now in second or third generation which can create conflict / opportunity for developers
  • A community of world leading Architects – Kerry Hill, Space Agency, Simon Pendal and so many more
  • Breath energy and creativity into these incredible spaces and find ways to uniquely activate and create interest within these spaces
  • CAPITALISING ON EMERGING INDUSTRIES
  • “A place for bookstores, a place for photos, a place for family, for food, for produce, for 24/7 entertainment – all the markings of a great urban city”
  • University City – don’t have to attract or create a university town it is already here.
  • Wandering City – independent retail and growth of hospitality venues
  • Fremantle is a sleeping giant that has access to everything – from activities to schools to beaches to industry
  • Vibrancy and purpose that comes from being a Port City and how to maintain that connection to marine based activities when container port moves out of Fremantle.
  • SET FOR GROWTH
  • Future population growth is set to significantly grow
  • Projected growth from interstate and overseas.
  • Appeal of Fremantle for those who have lived abroad.
  • Aging population downsizing, convenience, and aged care
  • Hospitality growth and performance – Gage Roads, Little Creatures, The Old Synagogue and the raft of new venues
  • International students and student residences linked to Notre Dame’s new 5 Year Plan
  • ALIGNMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS
  • “We need to work together to understand the links and connections – between the university and students, the start-ups and technology, the Port and the marine industry, the retail and ground floor activations”.
  • Leaders are attached to Fremantle and this can drive alignment.
  • All the leaders work and do business in Fremantle because they live nearby or have a strong attachment to the place. This commitment and passion isn’t easily replicated and should be nurtured.
  • Deliberate steps with stakeholder alignment can drive monumental change

WHAT IS HOLDING US BACK?

  • Cost and obstacles in delivering the complexity of developments required to achieve the vision.
  • The competing interests and complex stakeholder relationships.
  • Old traditionally minded families owning so much stock
  • Heritage and compliance
  • Transport and connectors
  • Lack of density for by-products like retail
  • Residential population


HOW DO WE GET THERE?

“It isn’t just simply rolling out the property task, it is the connection to industry, connection to community, connection to this place, physical connections in and out and pulling it all together into a coherent whole”.

  • Collective Strength
  • Engagement
  • Innovative thoughts for complex projects with constraints
  • Diversity of products -offices, hotels, apartments, student accommodation, aged care, education and knowledge centres, marine, creative spaces, theatres and activities

The full report on the findings from the evening can be found here.

If you are interested in reading the Chamber’s other Advocacy Position Papers including our position on the Southern Transport Corridor, please refer to our website link here.