14/11/2017 - 14:33

Notre Dame sets sights on Customs House

14/11/2017 - 14:33

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The University of Notre Dame Australia has entered into an agreement to purchase the heritage-listed Customs House building in Fremantle’s West End for an undisclosed sum.

Notre Dame sets sights on Customs House
Notre Dame has not yet decided on uses for the building, but student accommodation is one concept under consideration.

The University of Notre Dame Australia has entered into an agreement to purchase the heritage-listed Customs House building in Fremantle’s West End for an undisclosed sum.

Built in 1908 to house the main branch of the Customs Department of Western Australia, from the 1980s onwards it has been home to several art organisations including  Deckchair Theatre, as well as art studios.

The property includes three separate buildings spread across 8,000 square metres, with street frontage on Packenham, Phillimore and Henry streets.

Notre Dame expects the purchase agreement to be finalised by the end of this month.

Notre Dame vice-chancellor Celia Hammond said although the university had not yet finalised the building’s use, with student accommodation one concept under consideration, the vast floor area and three-street frontage would provide flexibility of use and much-needed space as the university continued to develop.

This included providing additional flexibility in the university’s campus planning and enhancing the opportunity to increase ground floor activation of some of its existing buildings in Fremantle’s West End.  

“As with all of our projects we will proceed with the redevelopment of Customs House fully mindful of our role as a key member of the Fremantle community and the need to preserve the architectural integrity of such a historically significant building,” Professor Hammond said.

“And with our commitment to the Notre Dame West End Activation program, it will be an important contributor to the continued revitalisation of the city’s West End.”

Notre Dame is also confident on continuing to progress its planning for the development of its site at 3-5 High Street, which is currently being used as an open-air car park.

The $15 million proposal to create a five-storey building to house its schools of nursing and midwifery, as well as arts and sciences, was knocked back in March largely due to concerns over its 18.9-metre height.  

According to the City of Fremantle’s website, the council supported a recommendation to refuse development approval on the grounds that it was inconsistent with the Fremantle West End Conservation Area policy and that it would be detrimental to the heritage and amenity of the area.

Notre Dame decided to withdraw that application for planning approval. 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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