Kings Square project
What is the Kings Square Project?
The Kings Square Project is an integrated redevelopment of key sites in Fremantle’s Kings Square precinct. The project includes the redevelopment or refurbishment of a number of properties currently owned by the City of Fremantle, and the former Myer building owned by Sirona Capital Management.
What is the current status of the project?
The City is currently in negotiations with Sirona and is close to agreeing to terms for the sale of City-owned properties. Once this occurs, the first stage of development will move ahead. The adopted Kings Square Project Business Plan states that that the City will sell the Queensgate Centre, Queensgate car park and Spicer site to Sirona who will redevelop them along with the former Myer building. The business plan outlines the financial implications and also the various stages of construction upon formalisation of the agreement.
Why does the City want to redevelop Kings Square?
The redevelopment of parts of the Fremantle CBD is a key strategic imperative, as outlined in the City of Fremantle Strategic Plan 2010–15, to ‘strengthen Fremantle’s economic capacity’ and to ‘provide a great place to live, work and play through growth and renewal’.
The Kings Square precinct was identified as a key redevelopment site in the Fremantle Retail Model Plan, the recommendations of which were incorporated into the City of Fremantle Economic Development Strategy 2011–2015 adopted by council in April 2011.
What are the City’s overall objectives for Kings Square?
The objectives of the project are to create:
- a community, civic, retail and commercial centre reflecting Kings Square’s unique place as the ‘centre’ of Fremantle and a vibrant, active and safe place for visitors and citizens alike
- a leading edge development demonstrating confidence in Fremantle as a place to invest.
What are the benefits to Fremantle of this project going ahead?
The Kings Square Project offers a multitude of benefits, both economic and social and is considered a once in a generation opportunity to revitalise the Fremantle city centre.
Economic benefits stem from the attraction of more residents, workers and shoppers into the city centre. The project will lead to improved retail offers for residents and visitors, increasing economic activity and creating a more vibrant city centre. When talking purely in dollars and cents, the City is selling assets valued at $30m and is getting in return a $220 million investment in the city centre.
The social benefits of the project will include improved public spaces, a new library and other community facilities, and a greater activation and vibrancy of the city centre.
Given the scale and impact of the project, it will make a strong statement of confidence in Fremantle and will be a catalyst for further significant redevelopment in the city centre.
What is the purpose of the business plan?
The preparation of a publicly available busines plan a requirement of the Local Government Act 1995 prior to a local government entering into commercial arrangements such as a major commercial land transaction.
The Kings Square Project Business Plan addresses:
- the effect of the Kings Square Project on the provision of facilities and services by council
- the effect on other persons providing facilities and services in the district
- the financial effect on council
- the effect on council delivery against its strategic plan
- the ability of council to manage the project.
Who is Sirona Capital Management Pty Ltd?
Sirona Capital Management Pty Ltd is the owner of the Myer building. Sirona acquired the building from previous owner, Saracen Properties in 2011. Sirona is a Perth–based equity capital provider with links to significant international equity funds.
Why didn’t council put the Kings Square project to tender?
The City chose to work with the owner of the former Myer building (ie Sirona) in order to achieve a truly integrated approach to development of the Kings Square precinct.
The Fremantle Retail Model Plan report released in November 2010 identified the opportunity for a coordinated development of the precinct given the stated goals of the then owner of the Myer building and the City to redevelop their respective properties. As this was explored, it became increasingly clear that there was significant benefit to be obtained through a fully integrated redevelopment of the whole precinct. This is outlined in the draft business plan.
When will the project start and how long until it is complete?
Construction of stage one of the Kings Square Project is expected to start shortly after the City and Sirona have agreed to terms and Sirona has been able to obtain tenant pre-commitments for the buildings. Once the contracts are in place, Sirona has a maximum of three years to find tenant pre-commitments or the contracts lapse.
Sirona has been active in the market place seeking tenants. However, it will not be able to obtain firm pre-commitments until it has a contract in place to acquire the properties.
How tall will the buildings be and what will they look like?
Redevelopment of the Kings Square precinct will be done in full compliance with the requirements of the City of Fremantle Planning Scheme. This will include all proposed building plans being assessed by the council’s design advisory committee for suitability.
Who will be the architect and builder?
There is a strong likelihood that the City and Sirona will establish a joint project control group. This group will comprise representatives of the City and Sirona and will be the mechanism by which architects and builders for the project will be chosen.
The memorandum of understanding between the City and Sirona requires the City to approve the appointment of the architects and builders for the project.
What has been the impact of Myer leaving on the project?
The departure of the Myer department store from the Myer building has created opportunities for alternative major retail tenants to occupy the space. The ground floor of all of the buildings in the development will be populated with retail and hospitality tenants designed to create a retail hub for Fremantle. This is expected to flow through to the existing retail precincts in the city through a significantly increased number of office staff, housed in the Kings Square precinct.