Woolstores can make stunning apartment-style living. A number of historic woolstores have been converted to premium apartment homes around Australia, but not without numerous challenges.
Dalgety Wool Stores in Fremantle is one such woolstore undergoing redevelopment which will end with 183 one and two-bedroom units at a development cost of $130 million.
Known as Heirloom the transformation is being undertaken by Match, part of M/Group, a West Australian boutique developer specialising in designed-focused apartment-style living with a background in heritage renewal projects. Part of the funding is being provided by Sirona Capital an independent private equity investor with a keen interest in Fremantle.
Designed by architects Cameron Chisholm Nicol who were appointed by the M/Group to develop a concept for the adaptive re-use of the iconic wool stores, capitalising on its unique character and spatial qualities.
The 4-storey structure at 36 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle, with its saw-tooth roof, jarrah beams, exposed brick walls, expansive windows and 3.6m high ceilings, give the development a unique identity and one in keeping with the history and industry around the port city.
Most of the building’s original structure is being retained, with the massive floor beams and timber supports becoming a primary feature. Two central courtyards provide fresh air and daylight to the interior apartments.
Internal rooms use high level windows to allow light to penetrate into all spaces. Sleek kitchens and bathrooms incorporate high-quality finishes, with the juxtaposition of old and new giving Heirloom a rich aesthetic that acknowledges both past and present.
Also Read: The Teneriffe Woolstore, A German Cheese Factory And Kayaks
The development required higher presales of 70% to be able to commence due to lending requirements.
M/Group managing director, Lloyd Clark, believes while heritage renewals are complex, they are important, and the inherent value is immeasurable.
“Heirloom is unquestionably a significant project to Fremantle, both from a social and economic perspective. It is the City’s gateway and located on its important Port. Historically, it represents the grass roots of the City and where it all started. It would have been a tragedy to leave such a magnificent building dormant to deteriorate into a state of disrepair,” he said.
“Heritage renewals are often considered by banks to carry more financial risk and, as such, the banks are more cautious in lending and require higher pre-sales. We have worked tirelessly to meet the requirements of this project with full support from the City of Fremantle who recognise how much this project will bring to the local economy.”