Fremantle business community received a presentation by Adelaide business owner

IF you have whingers and people who don't want things to happen, you have got to take a stance.

Your stance has to be: do you want to move forward into the next generation or not?

That was the message that Theo Maras, founder of Maras Group and chairman of the Rundle Mall Authority in Adelaide, delivered to the Fremantle business community last week.

Mr Maras’ no holds barred talk drew parallels between his work in South Australia and the experience in Fremantle, and had some words of encouragement.

‘On the King’s Square Project, it is absolutely the right thing at the right time,’ he said. But he also said landlords needed to have flexibility and an all-hands-on-deck approach to building confidence in the city.

He said he had been known to approach managers of properties to put them in touch with tenants, though he had no connection to either.

He said when tenants vacated properties he managed, a pop-up shop would appear in the same venue overnight, paying little to no rent.

‘What’s the point of having an empty shop?’

He had some criticism of the urge to build taller and taller developments, saying anything over six storeys was more costly to build .