Fremantle is internationally-renowned as being one of the best-preserved Victorian-era port cities in the world but it’s also a city undergoing a once-in-a-generation revitalisation.
Famed for its welcoming atmosphere, vibrant entertainment, boutique breweries, historic streetscapes and spectacular Indian Ocean backdrop, Fremantle is one of the world’s most desirable places to live and to visit.
View the Fremantle story video below for a snapshot of some of Freo's famous sites.
- $1.3b development pipeline transforming Fremantle
- The revitalisation effect - what it all means for Freo
- What's happening in Freo? Be part of the story!
With over $1.3 billion worth of private and public investment in the pipeline, including public, commercial, residential and retail developments, Fremantle is in the midst of the most significant revitalisation period since the America’s Cup in the 1980s.
The high levels of investment are already delivering more people living, working and visiting the port city and are the direct result of innovative planning and investment attraction activities put in place by Fremantle Council over the past few years.
Projects completed, many more currently under construction
Recently completed projects include the new Mediterranean Shipping Company offices on Cliff Street, Heirloom apartments on Queen Victoria Street, Quest Apartment Hotel on Pakenham Street and Atwell Arcade on High Street Mall.
Find out more about the investment boom in Fremantle by visiting the Investing in Fremantle section or play the video below.
The well-known (but hard to define) ‘Freo vibe’ is alive and well - Although Fremantle is in a noticeable growth phase, its unique bohemian charm, laid-back lifestyle and heritage architecture is being carefully conserved so Fremantle retains all the things that make it special.
Tourism and retail
Outside of the Perth CBD, Fremantle is the most visited place in Western Australia and while Freo is still very much a working port, it is also heavily geared towards offering people an authentic visitor and shopping experience unlike any other in Australia.
Fremantle is home to many independent retailers dispersed throughout its historic streetscapes as well as an unrivalled eating and drinking scene. With a record number of cruise ship passengers docking in Fremantle (over 150 000 visitors in 2016/17) the future of the retail and hospitality is very bright.
The revitalisation of Fremantle is another major factor in further developing the crucial retail, hospitality and tourism industry in Fremantle and the City's Fremantle. Be part of the Story consumer marketing initiative is bringing Fremantle experiences to the masses.
Bathers Beach House opened in 2014
Over 150,000 passengers are expected to come through Fremantle port in 2016/17
With little increase in the city centre population over the last 20 years, a key priority of council over the past few years has been to attract more residents to the city centre. More residents in the city is not only good for the local economy, it has a host of other benefits including improving community safety and vibrancy.
Several new residential projects are currently under construction including LIV apartments on Queen Victoria Street, Latitude at Leighton, the Knutsford development on Knutsford Street and the innovative WGV development in White Gum Valley.
The 180 unit Heirloom development in the east end is now complete, transforming the former Fort Knox building into New York style apartments and adding up to 300 new residents into central Freo.
Public space upgrades and heritage restoration a priority
To support theses private developments, the City is focused on upgrading public spaces and enhancing Fremantle’s impressive collection of heritage buildings.
Works to upgrade the High Street Mall have recently finished, including new public furniture and lighting. Extensive building and shop front restorations and the construction of a new office and retail building at Atwell Arcade has completed the overhaul.
There is also a raft of heritage restoration works across the city, including $2.8m to restore Fremantle’s iconic town hall building.
Town hall restoration work
The word is out in the hospitality sector with new hotels springing up around the city, including well-known international brands and boutique hotels.
The Hougoumont Hotel, Quest Apartment Hotel Fremantle and Be.Fremantle serviced apartments are recent additions, joining the Esplanade Hotel by Rydges as the city's major accommodation providers.
Find out more about Fremantle's unprecedented investment boom by visiting the Investing in Fremantle section of this website.
The recently completed Quest Apartment Hotel Fremantle
A buzzing city - often considered the festival capital of Australia
Fremantle has a legendary festivals, events, performance, arts and live music scene that stretches across the whole year including the Fremantle Festival, Fremantle Street Arts Festival, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and the annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Vibrant street culture
Renowned as Western Australia’s cultural epicentre, a stroll through the streets of Fremantle will uncover any number of hidden wonders. Musicians and street performers busk regularly and you might also see artists painting street murals or even the occasional flash mob appearing out of nowhere to dazzle stunned onlookers. With so much going on here every day there’s never a dull moment in Freo.
Walking and cycle friendly city
Fremantle is well known as a bike-friendly city and the City has been upping the ante in recent years and this year will spend almost $1m on improving bike paths and other essential bike infrastructure.
To help people navigate effectively in and around Fremantle, the City has recently installed wayfinding signage across key areas including the city centre, North Fremantle and South Fremantle.
It's not just the centre of the city enjoying a revival. A short walk or five minute CAT bus ride along South Terrace will take you to some of Fremantle’s emerging precincts. Wray Avenue has long been popular with locals and visitors for its unique and special “freo” vibe and its collection of quirky cafes, alternative bars, specialty stores and small businesses. Check out the spectacular 80 metre long trompe l'oeil mural on the East West furniture warehouse. Take a ride (or train) over the river to North Fremantle to visit the local late-night venues and bars or sit back and relax on Fremantle’s famous Leighton Beach.
Wray Avenue precinct
To find out all the things that are happening in Freo visit the City's Fremantle Story website. In it you'll find categories which include:
Australia Day 2015 - image courtesy Bathers Beach House