Proposed demolition prompts tenants to move

9 and 11 King William Street, Bayswater. Picture: Kristie Lim
9 and 11 King William Street, Bayswater. Picture: Kristie Lim

THE proposed demolition of 11 King William Street has forced a coffee shop to close.

Howdy Coffee opened in 2015 as a pop-up coffee shop on a site where Yolk Property Group planned to build 27 apartments.

The business was originally meant to stay for six months but went on to trade until now.

In 2015, the developer received approval to demolish the sites at 9 and 11 King William Street and keep the facade of 11.

Yolk has now submitted an application to the City of Bayswater to start demolition on both sites.

The council will consider the application after seeking comments from the public.

Charles Stewart. Picture: Howdy Coffee’s Facebook page.

Howdy Coffee owner Charles Stewart said his shop would close on September 30.

Mr Stewart said closing was not their decision as Yolk terminated their lease.

“It is obviously disappointing but at the same time inevitable,” he said.

“While it’s inconvenient for us, we know it’s also not first prize for Yolk either but sometimes politics get in the way of common sense.

“When we started Howdy, we wanted to focus on the community and build a space where everyone felt like friends, not customers, a place where everybody knows your name and people unknowingly collaborate to make each other’s days and lives better.

“I think we got that right and that’s what I’ll miss the most.”

He said several councillors offered support to find a new location, while City of Bayswater place manager Emma Snow was discussing with them about operating a tin container at Bert Wright Park.

“We are very open to the idea of coming back to Bayswater but don’t want to rush into the wrong location,” he said.

He said they would be taking a break before starting a stall at the Bayswater Growers’ Market on Saturdays in October.

Future Bayswater chair Paul Shanahan (centre) with fellow members at the 2018 Planning Institute of Australia national awards.

Community group Future Bayswater, which is based at 9 King William Street, will also have to move.

Future Bayswater chairman Paul Shanahan said they had their lease terminated and were moving around the corner of the town centre in the business strip on Beechboro Road South.

“FuBa will shortly announce when they ready to continue its usual activities at its new ‘shack’, with a facility where the group can host its speaker series, community events and Curtin (University) student activities and exhibitions,” he said.

“The free food pantry will be coming across with the community group in a bigger and better format to include chilled foods in a commercial fridge acquired specially for this purpose.”

Yolk sought Griffiths Architects to develop a heritage impact statement as part of its demolition application.

The statement includes a review of the heritage value of 11 King William Street, which found the single-storey brick shop had “low authenticity” and should be demolished.

“While it is true that the place was a representative example of an early shop, it has been so altered that its capacity to demonstrate the type is much depleted,” the statement said.

“Its contribution to the streetscape is more a matter of building alignment and scale than the substance itself.”

Pete Adams of Yolk Property Group. Picture: Martin Kennealey

Yolk director Pete Adams said retaining the façade would limit community use of the site.

“There is little left of the original fabric of the building at number 11 and the façade is of low aesthetic value,” he said.

“We have given both the coffee shop and Future Bayswater free rent on the site for the last three years.

“We are currently working with various groups to assess ways in which the site could be used for community events in the future.”

Public submissions can be made on the demolition proposal until September 25 on the Engage Bayswater website or emailing mail@bayswater.wa.gov.au.

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