31st January 2020.
Fremantle Council has approved the lease terms for a major new hospitality venue in Kings Square.
The venue will be within the commercial triangular section of the City of Fremantle’s new civic building and library that is currently under construction, and is an important element of the City’s plan to bring more activity and vibrancy to Kings Square.
The proposal from the City’s preferred applicant is to lease all three floors of the triangular portion of the City’s new building, with a café, bar and alfresco area on the ground floor, dining room on the first floor and function space on the top floor.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said the proposal was a key part of the Kings Square development.
“It’s a concept that ticks all the boxes in terms of activating Kings Square by being open seven days a week and from early in the morning until late into the evening,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“Given the current flat state of the WA economy it’s a huge positive that someone is prepared to invest in a venue like this in Fremantle.
“This proposal, along with all the other new venues that have recently opened or are in the works, is just another sign of the confidence in Fremantle’s future.”
The proposed offering is based around providing casual and formal family-friendly food and beverage options.
The ground floor will feature bi-fold doors to create a seamless transition between inside and outside, with the substantial alfresco area overlooking the City’s planned new Kings Square play space.
It’s proposed for the venue to operate under a restricted tavern licence, with no takeaway alcohol sales and food available to patrons during all trading hours.
“It’s just a fact that in order to provide the night time activation we’re looking for in a venue like this it has to have a liquor licence, but any sensible person can see that it won’t be a three-storey beer barn,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“It will be the type of venue that evolves throughout the day, offering an early morning breakfast to office workers, coffee to parents while their kids play at the play space, a casual lunch and then after work drinks and dinner.
“There are also special conditions in the lease that stipulate the primary character of the business is that of a food provider, with the premises to be welcoming to the broad public including tourists and families.”
The lease approved by the council last night includes a term of ten years with a ten year option at an annual rental of $233,100 per year, with the City offering the first two years rent free and also making a $500,000 contribution to the $1.75 million fit-out costs.
“The $500,000 payment is not a simple cash hand-out to the proponents, it’s a contribution to very specific parts of the fit-out that are actually built into the fabric of the building and can’t be removed,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“In reality, it’s the City making a contribution towards improvements to its own building, and it’s very much in line with current market expectations.
“It’s also in the context that the applicant will be investing $1.25 million for the rest of the fit-out, which is a huge commitment.
“Even with the fit-out contribution and the rent-free period, the forecast net income to the City for the ten year term of the lease is more than $1.4 million, and in all likelihood substantially more after that.”
The City of Fremantle is currently undertaking a $270 million renewal of Kings Square in partnership with Sirona Capital.
The project includes Sirona’s redevelopment of the old Myer and Queensgate sites to create offices for more than 1500 state government employees and the revolutionary FOMO food and retail concept, the construction of the City of Fremantle’s new civic centre and library building, and the rejuvenation of the public spaces that surround the site.