14th September 2017.
Kings Square Fremantle will play host to a semi-permanent festival under a radical but carefully curated multimillion-dollar plan for a borderless retail, community and entertainment precinct.
FOMO, as the precinct has been christened, will reverse the effect of decades of neglect to allow Fremantle to reclaim its status as a thriving tourist destination, according to Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly, the developer of the $270 million office, retail, church and civic precinct.
“We threw out the retail rule book,” Mr McNeilly said.
“We saw a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the unique personality of Fremantle to create a retail environment where the journey will be as important as the destination.”
The flavour of FOMO, the 5783sqm retail space at the heart of Kings Square, will be devised in a series of workshops with the community, artists and musicians of Fremantle, highlighting and intensifying the best of Fremantle’s makers and artisans.
Its precincts include Street Alley, Tidal Lane and Newman Court — a food space with slow food, good food, fast and fresh food which then morphs into spaces selling homewares, fashion and homemade goods.
Radical retail architect, HDR Rice Daubney principal Susanne Pini, said the double-storey Emporium (the former Myer building) would echo a “cool container” with an eclectic mix of organic and free flowing retail concepts.
For example, an area called The Daily, will offer local makers workspace, gallery, retail space around the base of the old carpark area and a window for passing pedestrians into how artisans bring their ideas to life.
City of Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said FOMO will be an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.
The project, to include two office campuses with 20,400sqm of A-grade office space, a revamped 800 bay carpark and outdoor retail, entertainment and eating spaces and a new $50 million civic precinct for the City of Fremantle, was “a unique opportunity to take a retail risk”, Mr McNeilly, said.
The office complex will house more than 1500 workers and Mr McNeilly said that in curating and intensifying the appealing elements of Fremantle, FOMO would almost double the number of tourists visiting Fremantle from 1.6 million to 3 million a year.