The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce supports the creation of a project, owned by the City of Fremantle, and with input from the Chamber’s Development and Infrastructure Committee members, to creatively solve the issue of long standing under utilised heritage spaces in the West end and other areas of the City and surrounds.

Dept of Heritage have stopped all heritage grants which is impacting on the ability to restore and maintain iconic buildings such as the Chamber of Commerce building at 16 Phillimore St in the historic west end. West End is on the State Heritage Register to allow for greater preservation and restoration of this important precinct with no state funding available to enable it.

University of Queensland research into Creative industries cultural hotspots (of which Fremantle is 1 of 8 across Australia) demonstrates spaces as one of the fourth pillars to build and maintain this industry of the future.

This project aims to raise the profile, share expertise on how to plan and activate these spaces and seek local and federal government funding and incentives for such initiatives.

Development and Infrastructure Project Team

Stuart Neal (Slavin Architects), Pete Adams (Yolk Property), Danicia Quinlan (FCC CEO)


Initiate a project with the City of Fremantle to activate Upper Floor and Underutilised Spaces within Heritage Listed Buildings to attract creative industries and residential accommodation for economic growth.

Work Done to Date

Quantifying and Scoping the Issue

The Chamber have conducted an initial assessment of some 6,800 m2 of vacant commercial space in upper stories across the City.

Determining the stakeholders

Document and identify the City’s role in terms of statutory planners, strategic planners and economic development/property and the scope of the project

Next Steps

  • Articulate a local case study (such as MSC or High St Project), projects from other national and international cities facing the same issues
  • Find a way to visually articulate what can be done in these spaces from a retail, commercial office or residential perspective
  • Investigate what were the key challenges (e.g. fire and access, neighbours, height or compliance issues, historic rights of way or construction issues, maintenance, rateable value and duties) and document how these were addressed
  • Look at diversity of building forms and tenancy diversity across Fremantle
  • Review findings of City of Perth Forgotten Spaces work and determine relevancy for Fremantle
  • Funds to develop awareness building collateral to overcoming barriers to develop and promote these spaces to a state wide audience.
  • Create incentives and activations
  • Funds for financial incentives – waiving of DA and building application fees, rate concessions, state heritage grants
  • Change of use – potential relaxation of statutory requirements as a result of change of use
  • Explore potential for upper story mandated access from the street or ground level tenancies, or removal of rigid height restrictions
  • Street presence ideas – such as the example of old Chambers/Offices above signage integrated into the footpath, lighting onto upper stories/ facades/verandas, activate empty shops with “shop jackets” or creative installations
  • Education – BCA engineered solutions, compliance and fire regulations information to be made available on this site
  • Funds to involve and engage Notre Dame’s Post Grad Architecture Department
  • Funds to generate a list of the players and stakeholders who can make a difference in this area and what they would be willing to contribute

Opportunities Coming Up

  • City of Fremantle Scheme Review – opportunity for comment
  • Notre Dame’s new MOU negotiation – inclusion of role of activating ground floors or greater activation of under-utilised spaces
  • Establishment of Heritage Grant funding program locally as part of coronavirus economic stimulus project.
  • Post Kings Square activation project
  • Funds for Spacial 3D map CoF for planning and strategic development of this project

For more information, or to input into this project, please contact the Chamber’s Membership & Committee Officer.