Final approvals that will pave the way for a Coles supermarket to emerge from the rubble at Woolstores and return to Fremantle could be just days away.
Fremantle council has already unanimously backed plans for a new three-storey iteration of the Woolstores development that will also feature a childcare centre, liquor store and offices at the southeast corner of the site, facing both Queen and Cantonment streets.
The $14 million proposal was given the green light from councillors at their January ordinary council meeting and now has only to pass through the Metro Inner-South Joint Development Assessment Panel on January 30 for a final tick.
It has been recommended for approval.
Coles closed its doors at the site in October 2021 ahead of the shopping centre building’s demolition early last year.
The site — which is just across from Fremantle train station — first had development approval for a hotel and retail tenancies, after going through the process in 2020.
It had also been touted as a home for a new Fremantle Police Complex, but the State Government instead settled on the Stan Reilly site on South Terrace for a purpose-built policing hub.
The current supermarket proposal is only stage one of the greater redevelopment of the site with plans for stage two — a $65m apartment and commercial application in the middle portion of the site — lodged with the State Development Assessment Unit.
Fremantle Cr Adin Lang commended developers Silverleaf Investments for sticking with the project after years of delay.
“I just want to say thanks to you guys for persevering with this over so many years and so many different designs and I can’t wait to see you break ground,” Cr Lang said.
The port city’s CBD went months without any supermarket for locals and tourists until IGA opened in the FOMO precinct last May.
Neither Woolworths nor Aldi have a presence in the CBD.
According to the application, Coles and other retail tenancies will occupy the ground floor, with a childcare centre above.
The first and second floors will have 147 car parking bays and 17 motorbike bays, and office tenancies on both levels.
Should the development application be approved on Monday, it would likely contain a condition that substantial construction must begin within four years.
Given Silverleaf’s website for the Woolstores development still lists completion of the site to be in “early 2023”, it’s unlikely the developer would wait that long.
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