Your weekly journey into deep space

1 May, 2019

For the majority of this year, we at Spacemarket have been relentlessly searching for a new location in Fremantle for our retail project MANY THREE—with very little luck.

MANY is an example of a temporary space activation aka a ‘meanwhile space’— an activation of a long-term vacant space, a pre-development or pre-demolition site.

It’s not for a shortage of spaces, because in Fremantle there’s a number of large empty spaces that would be perfect for the next iteration of MANY. In fact, a huge portion of Fremantle is currently sitting vacant—and we are ready to go with both ideas and tenants to activate them. So what’s stopping us? Here’s where we think the problem lies…

What is often overlooked by building owners is the huge economic and social benefit of activating their empty spaces - even on a ‘meanwhile’ basis. When spaces are filled with an interesting and diverse small business offering, it encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, community pride increases, residents, tenants and tourists invest more time and therefore money into the local economy, the space becomes more attractive to new investors, antisocial behaviour is reduced, land prices go up… and so on.

We saw these positive outcomes with our own MANY 6160 project at the former-MYER building in King’s Square, and have spent some time looking to other successful temporary activation projects around the world. Check out the ‘Meanwhile Spaces’ project in the UK, which works closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), or ‘Les Grands Voisins’ at the former Saint-Vincent-de-Paul hospital in Paris’s 14th district which has become one of the most exciting temporary spaces in Europe, and have a read of this fantastic article on the magic of the small-scale specialist retail stores of Berlin.

The common link between all of these community-saving, economy-stimulating projects is that landlords and building owners are engaged, and keen to contribute to the community in a innovative way—usually with an open mind, by negotiating on rent or lending the space for a period of time. The other step is to pair with partners such as Spacemarket, who can effectively curate, design and manage these activations.

Spacemarket are looking for those big spaces—those character-filled, awkward, hulking, huge spaces. Once we have access, we can turn them into places for creative communities to thrive. And in turn, help the wider community thrive.

Most small businesses can not currently afford the rent being set in Fremantle and as a result we are seeing a city centre dominated by shopping mall type tenants. Telecoms, and franchises like 7-11s, Cotton On’s and Subways are the only businesses that can afford to operate, and while they might be able to pay the big bucks, they certainly do not invite dynamic community interaction, nor the curiosity of tourists, visitors or residents. As our cities evolve, our models need to as well, and Fremantle is one place that would greatly benefit from some innovation around its current rental structures.

How do we shift this? We’ll continue to work with local landlords and councils to promote the benefits of temporary space activation, and we’d also love your feedback on this - or, can you help?

Get in touch.



“Renamed Les Grands Voisins, or The Great Neighbours, the site is a magnet for Parisians and tourists alike, its former treatment rooms, A&E building and wards now a hub of social and commercial enterprise. Alongside a hostel providing 600 beds for the homeless are artisan studios, pop-up shops and startups.” from The Rise of the Meanwhile Space


Hatched 2019 Opening Night Party, Fri 3 May, 6:30pm-9pm

PICA launch their Hatched: National Graduate Show 2019 this Friday showcasing the work of 18 exceptional national graduate artists, DJ’s, food trucks, a gazillion people and a boot load of booze. Fun! “From painting, sculpture and drawing, to installation, video, and sound work, Hatched National Graduate Show 2019 offers an intriguing snapshot of current contemporary art practices in Australia.”

Perth Cultural Centre, 51 James St, Northbridge. Exhibition continues 4 May – 7 July


Small Business Development Corporation workshops, Now—each month until August

The Small Business Development Corporation have just released 16 different small business workshops which will run from now through until August. Choose from subjects such as ‘Understanding Business Financials’ and ‘How to Write a Business Plan’ — all at a pretty reasonable $50 per class. Check out the link above for the full list of events, dates and times.

Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), Level 2, 140 William Street, Perth

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“Ghouneim, a 40-year-old Palestinian German who has called Berlin his home since he was two, ran the city’s leading sticky-tape specialist from a store on Kreuzberg’s Ritterstrasse until rent increases forced him out of the premises. Instead of shutting up shop, Ghouneim relocated to humdrum Wittenau, a suburb of Berlin, and got some tape artists to decorate the facade of the new building.” from Are the Hyper-Specialist Shops of Berlin the Future of Retail?


We’ll use this section to share some tidbits we’ve come across the last week from you, our tenants, and the www.

+ Via WestCycle: “Comparisons are often made between Perth and Vancouver in terms of their similar patterns of urban sprawl and population. However, in 1997 Vancouver made a bold decision not to increase further road capacity for cars, prioritising walking, cycling and public transport.” Read about here.

+ This is really exciting—“A 100 per cent renewable residential development has been unveiled in Western Australia” located in East Fremantle, East Village has been created by LandCorp in collab with local initiative Power Ledger, City of Fremantle and the federal government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs initiative.

+ ‘Edible, Medicinal or cultural’: Australia’s first indigenous rooftop farm opens in Sydney

+ This concept is really interesting—to send vulnerable and at risk youth to boarding school instead of into foster care. It’s a initiative they’ve been trialling in the UK and one to think more about…

+ Sinking City: How Venice is Managing Europe’s worst tourism crisis

+ Applications are open now for 2020 exhibitions at Heathcote Cultural Precinct and for both residencies and applications at Cool Change gallery.

+ A great 99% Invisible podcast ‘Play Mountain’ on Japanese sculptor, Isamu Noguchi

+ Nominate someone for the upcoming 2019 Fremantle Business Awards?

+ Last thing, this fabulous meat-flippin’ Instagram—Saint Peacher: An Australian fruit butchery

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Saint Peacher: An Australian Fruit Butchery “Frenched rack of Cavendish bananas. When they're gone they're gone folks!”


Heathcote, Applecross
We have just one space left at Heathcote precinct. It’s a 60m2 space and perfect for a small-medium size creative business. Would suit a production company, architecture bizz, fashion studio etc.

MANY North Freo
We have two spaces available in our MANY North Freo warehouse (one 55sqm & one 70sqm). Rent includes three-phase power, rubbish collection, and water, AND you get to work amongst a super bunch of other local makers. Other benefits include high ceilings, great access and, a short walk over Leighton footbridge; you’re at the beach!

**Some new Freo spaces coming up soon! Please register your interest so we can keep you in the loop.

Email for more info.

Head over to our website for more info at

We’d always love to hear from you about any and all of the interesting things you’ve got going on.

Please send us an email at to let us know what’s up.