`Amazing space’: New pop-up hub in Freo fills in two weeks

Georgia Brennan (left) and Kate Esslemont of Sir Botanical, a florist based at Liv Apartments' pop-up hub specialising in arrangements for custom weddings, events and next-day deliveries. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Georgia Brennan (left) and Kate Esslemont of Sir Botanical, a florist based at Liv Apartments' pop-up hub specialising in arrangements for custom weddings, events and next-day deliveries. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

A POP-UP hub with an edgy industrial vibe came to life in Fremantle this week, when creators, makers and small businesses moved in to Liv Apartments’ retail space.

The 672sq m of studios and offices on the ground floor at the Defence Housing Australia (DHA) development, which was vacant for over one year, took just two weeks to fill after being repurposed.

It is home to florist Sir Botanical, artists Benjamin Barretto and Gera Woltjer, interior designer Perth Interior Fitouts and fashion designer Hickey Hardware until the end of the year.

The pop-up hub at Liv Apartments is on Queen Victoria Street. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

DHA development manager Cade Taylor said the team was really happy to have found a purpose for the space that benefitted small business as well as Liv residents and the local community.

“It offers them a retail space that they can afford, it creates jobs for Fremantle and hopefully the retailer might choose to make a permanent home for their business at Liv.”

Sir Botanical’s Kate Esslemont, who has a studio with business partners Georgia Brennan and Genevieve Stirling, said the Liv Apartments hub was an amazing space.

“We are all Freo locals and love to be a part of the tapestry here,” she said.

“It’s got a modern feel and we can get a lot of inspiration from the studio and our neighbours.”

Miss Esslemont said it was beyond important for people to shop local.

“It’s supporting the place where you live, it brings culture to any area, not to mention supporting real people who have put their love and extremely hard work into a business that means so much to them it’s reflected in their work,” she said.

“We also practise what we preach and shop local as much as we can. It’s a feel-good thing.”

Spacemarket project managers Sarah Booth (left) and Kate Hulett. Spacemarket has also worked on retail projects in the former Myer and Spotlight buildings, disused childcare centre on Quarry Street and vacant police barracks on Henderson Street in Fremantle as well as the brewery warehouse in North Fremantle. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

Spacemarket’s Kate Hulett, who facilitated the office leasing on behalf of DHA, said there was a wealth of small businesses ready to fill the port city’s vacant commercial spaces.

“When we have the support of landlords and the price is right, we can have a bustling precinct in a snap,” she said.

“The benefits of occupied spaces include increased security, a reduction in anti-social behaviour, a vision of aspiration, strengthening the local economy and an increase in the value of the property rather than have it sit endlessly vacant.”

The Liv Apartments pop-up hub is on Queen Victoria Street.