Fremantle Council has agreed on the priority works to be carried out over the next two years to upgrade the public spaces around Kings Square.
The City of Fremantle is currently undertaking a $270 million renewal of Kings Square in partnership with Sirona Capital.
The project includes Sirona’s redevelopment of the old Myer and Queensgate sites to create offices for 1500 state government employees and the revolutionary FOMO food and retail concept, the construction of the City of Fremantle’s new civic centre and library building, and the rejuvenation of the public spaces that surround the site.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the council agreed its first priority was the improvements to Newman Court and High Street to coincide with the completion of FOMO and the City’s new civic centre and library.
“The construction on Sirona’s FOMO development is nearing completion and we’re expecting site fencing to be coming down in August,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“It’s important for the City to get in there as soon as possible and do that work on Newman Court and High Street so when FOMO opens to the public and the state government employees move in we have that area looking great.
“The other big priority is the completion of the new play space and the relocation of a mature fig tree into the square.
“The play space is an essential part of the plan to bring more people and activity into Kings Square, and some of the ideas we got from local kids when we asked them what they would like included were just fantastic.
“The design development for the play space is on track for tendering later this year, with aim of having the tree relocation and the play space construction completed in the second half of 2020.”
The new play space was intended to be centred on King Square’s famous ‘Christmas Fig’, but due its declining condition and the subsequent safety risk the tree had to be removed.
A replacement fig tree has been identified and is being prepared to be relocated to Kings Square next year.
Other priorities for Kings Square include more tree planting and interim works like removing the existing planter beds and installing additional public seating.
The Kings Square Renewal project will result in a net increase of 23 trees in the precinct, including the proposal to frame the square with Jacaranda trees.
Investigations are continuing into the ‘Window to the Past’ concept in which the remains of the original St John’s Church would be revealed and interpreted. The foundations of the old church, along with the remains of a blacksmith’s shop, corner newsagent and numerous historical artefacts, were discovered during an archaeological dig at Kings Square last year.
Consideration is also being given to public artwork which would recognise and interpret Whadjuk Nyoongar culture in a culturally appropriate manner.