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Breathing new life into an East Fremantle icon

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The Royal George
Hotel Restoration

After lying dormant for many years, the Royal George Hotel will be returned to its former glory, allowing the community to once again enjoy this much-loved icon.

We are pleased to share that a faithful restoration of the original building is now underway and plans are being developed for exciting future uses for the Hotel.

Careful consideration of the site’s rich history and a focus on delivering an authentic restoration will see the Royal George reinstated as the social heart of the historic George Street precinct.

History of the
Royal George Hotel

The Royal George Hotel has been a much-loved icon of East Fremantle since it was built in 1903. Arguably the most important heritage building in the area, the Hotel’s grand appearance is typical of the gold rush era. Since closing in 1979, the building has had many uses including a gallery, restaurant, artists’ studios and community spaces.

Holding great social significance to the community, the building was saved from demolition and included in the State Register of Heritage Places. After many years of neglect, the iconic building will be restored and rejuvenated for the community to once again enjoy.

PHOTO CREDIT
Royal George Hotel, 1903. (Royal Western Australian Historical Society, P1999.5388)
Architectural drawings by E. Mauermann. (Royal Western Australian Historical Society)
Fremantle Local History Library

Development team

In June 2017 Saracen Properties purchased the Royal George and engaged prominent Fremantle architect Michael Patroni of spaceagency. The aim of this partnership is to undertake a full heritage restoration of the Hotel to rejuvenate this iconic building.

Saracen Properties is a West Australian family owned property development business that was formed in 1993. Since its inception the company has owned and developed a large number of retail, hospitality, residential, industrial and commercial office projects, including a number of key heritage restoration projects. The Saracen team takes a considered approach, only developing select projects that result in high-quality outcomes for their clients and the broader community.

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Spaceagency, headed by renowned Western Australian architect Michael Patroni, is a leading Fremantle-based architecture practice that has extensive experience in the rejuvenation of heritage properties as well as designing new developments. Projects undertaken by Spaceagency include The Premier Mill Hotel (Katanning), Coogee Common (Coogee), Rechabite Hall (Northbridge), Long Chim and Petition at the State Buildings (Perth), Alex Hotel (Northbridge), Bread in Common (Fremantle), Strange Company (Fremantle), many of which demanded significant heritage expertise.

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TRICON is a privately owned Western Australian building contractor founded in 2016. With a reputation of delivering quality building projects to select clients, TRICON’s key management personnel has comprehensive experience in the heritage refurbishment and restoration of prominent buildings in WA including 125-137 St Georges Terrace (Brookfield Place), St George’s Hall Façade, Julio’s Restaurant and Sage Hotel in West Perth and Perth Girls School. TRICON is proud to be part of the Royal George redevelopment team.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is working on the project?

In June 2017, Saracen Properties purchased the heritage-listed Royal George Hotel from the State Government and engaged prominent Fremantle architect Michael Patroni of Spaceagency to come up with a design for the restoration and adaptive re-use of the heritage building as well as a concept for a high-quality apartment building on the vacant land behind the existing building. Currently, phase one restoration works are being undertaken by local bespoke builder, Tricon.

Who is Saracen Properties?

Saracen Properties is a family-owned property development business that was formed in 1993. Since its inception, the company has owned and developed a large number of retail, hospitality, residential, industrial and commercial office projects, predominately in Western Australia. Over the past 23 years, Saracen Properties has successfully initiated and completed projects valued in excess of $1.5 billion, including a number of key heritage restoration projects.

Who is spaceagency?

Spaceagency, headed by renowned Western Australian architect Michael Patroni, is a leading Fremantle-based architecture practice that has extensive experience in the rejuvenation of heritage properties as well as designing new developments.

Projects undertaken by Spaceagency include The Premier Mill Hotel (Katanning), Coogee Common (Coogee), Rechabite Hall (Northbridge), Long Chim and Petition at the State Buildings (Perth), Alex Hotel (Northbridge), Bread in Common (Fremantle), Strange Company (Fremantle), many of which demanded significant heritage expertise.

Who is Tricon?

TRICON is a privately owned Western Australian building contractor founded in 2016. With a reputation of delivering quality building projects to select clients, TRICON’s key management personnel has comprehensive experience in the heritage refurbishment and restoration of prominent buildings in WA including 125-137 St Georges Terrace (Brookfield Place), St George’s Hall Façade, Julio’s Restaurant and Sage Hotel in West Perth and Perth Girls School.

Why the Royal George Hotel?

The Royal George Hotel is an iconic property that has been left to decay for too long.

What started as a topic of conversation over breakfast on George Street, regarding how sad it is to see a grand old property such as the Royal George Hotel been left to deteriorate, ultimately resulted in the property being purchased from the State Government and a plan being made for the full restoration of the heritage building.

What work are you currently undertaking?

What work are you currently undertaking?

A building permit has been granted for Phase 1 works only, which focuses on the majority of the external restoration works including the distinctive cupola, external George and Duke Street façades, roof, all chimneys, exterior windows, doors and verandah.

All restoration works are carried out in accordance with a Conservation Management Strategy that has been prepared by the project’s heritage architects, Element, and approved by the Heritage Council of WA. This will ensure an outcome that is authentic and consistent with the original design of the Hotel.

Key heritage restoration works throughout the project will include:

  • Removal of non-original features
  • Expose and refurbish original features previously covered up
  • Reinstate original windows
  • Replace galvanised roof and guttering
  • Rebuild rear timber verandah
  • Remove paint on brickwork and tuck and point brickwork
  • Repaint stone masonry
  • Refurbish zinc shingles on cupola
  • Repoint chimney brickwork
  • Refurbish cast iron balcony balustrading
  • Refurbish timber detailing to verandah
  • Rebuild column bases

What about the internal restoration and vacant land?

Internal restoration and further development of the vacant land at the rear are considered part of phase 2 works. This will require a new development application to be approved by the relevant approval authority and will also include the proposed uses for the restored hotel and plans for the new development adjacent to the existing property.

The development application for Phase 2 has not yet been finalised and is expected to be lodged with the Town of East Fremantle later this year.

Will key features such as the cupola and balconies be retained?

Yes, all key heritage features will be retained and restored. The Royal George Hotel has a unique design with many exemplary features of the gold rush era. These are important elements that give this pre-WW1 building character and contribute to the sense of place that community members feel towards the George Street precinct.

Where can I find more detailed plans?

Once a new development application is lodged, the plans will be available via the Town of East Fremantle to view. If you wish to stay up to date with the project, please sign up to receive email updates.

Living in the community

Living in the historic George Street precinct is unique. The old-fashioned high street, at the heart of East Fremantle, is bulging with dapper shopfronts, flourishing local boutiques, gourmet providores and vibrant eateries.

The picture-perfect postcard suburban-artery is rich in manicured gardens, charming workers’ cottages and neighbours chatting. It’s the people who live on and around the street that make it truly special.

Ideally located, the beach is a stone’s throw away and you can almost kick a pebble into the river from the verge.

You’ll love it.

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