Focus is on vacant premises

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tim Milsom said next Tuesday’s meeting would bring together the major land and business owners in Fremantle to discuss both what had already been done and what else could help.

He said there would be a presentation on what the city has already done to try and improve the situation, citing Amendment 49, the Kings Square project and Point Street project as examples.

‘We will also discuss the things we have done in regards to improving safety and security, present some statistical retail data and open it up for them to be a part of the problem solving so we can figure out what we need to do, such as targeting and attracting new businesses,’ he added.

‘We need to figure out what we can do to get the spaces being utilised by quality offerings so that we can actually make Fremantle a unique place to come and do your shopping.’

Fremantle Business Improvement District executive manager Kim Low said it was never a good thing to see vacant shop spaces in a city centre but it was encouraging to see the issue being addressed in Fremantle.

‘The City of Fremantle and the chamber are rolling out strategies identified in the Business Attraction Strategy, including temporary pop-up shops, promotional attraction packs for new businesses, actively pursuing business which would value add to Fremantle and negotiating with commercial property owners to attract the right businesses,’ she said.

‘Changes in local legislation enabling some heritage buildings to be renovated to provide more office space and a range of major developments in Fremantle will have a significant impact on attracting and retaining businesses so there is a lot being done to address vacant spaces.

‘The local businesses are an excellent resource and should definitely be part of this discussion and it will also be critical to continue discussions with commercial property owners.’