NEW commercial outlets, a Mouat Street piazza and more interactive spaces are all part of a new plan to activate Fremantle’s West End.
Building on a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the City of Fremantle and the University of Notre Dame in 2012, in which the University contributes $75,000 a year towards projects that benefit the area, the Notre Dame Urban Activation Plan aims to activate the West End by enticing more workers, |locals and visitors to the area.
It was approved at the City’s last council meeting and $50,000 of this year’s MOU contribution was set aside for the project.
Improvements include the creation of Mouat Piazza, which will connect the University’s Prindiville Hall with Bateman’s Courtyard and the main library, the creation of a public parklet at the Vice Chancellery entry on Mouat Street, new ground-floor commercial opportunities and a “Gateway Park” at the Mouat and Phillimore Street intersection that will include charging stations for electronic devices.
Notre Dame Fremantle campus head Selma Alliex said it would also include new paving, seating, lighting and shade structures to create a relaxing and functional space.
“The aim of the Notre Dame Urban Activation Plan is to enhance our social, pedestrian-friendly environment at street level, to promote activity and |diversity and to enhance the West End as a great place to study, live, work and visit,” she said. “The university is an integral part of the West End and it makes a significant contribution to the ‘vibe’ of the area.
“Our Urban Activation Plan hopes to build on that vibe, open up the spaces and make it more attractive to not only our staff and students but will also become more of a drawcard to visitors and tourists.”
City of Fremantle economic development and marketing manager Tom Griffiths said despite the downturn in the economy, “Fremantle is still an attractive destination for businesses” and he |didn’t foresee an issue enticing businesses to take up the commercial spaces.
“The (commercial) leasing opportunities are expected to generate a good level of demand despite the difficult national and state climate,” he said.
“Ground floor space activation is very important but also very difficult and many of the buildings don’t lend themselves well to active frontages but the plan will explore ways to address this challenge.”