Fremantle institution The Chart & Map Shop has been given 30 days’ notice to vacate the Collie Street property it has called home for 25 years, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month calling for a moratorium on evictions.
Chart & Map Shop owner Chris Boichel published a Facebook post yesterday evening indicating the much-loved shop would have to find new premises, after it was served with an eviction notice from its landlord.
Mr Boichel said retail slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had made a major impact on the business.
“This crisis has been tough on the map shop and we just haven’t been able to make the rent,” Mr Boichel said in the post.
“After 25 years, this stupid virus and the unwillingness of some to negotiate have brought about the end of an era.”
RP Data’s CoreLogic shows the building that houses the store, at 14 Collie Street, is owned by Camisa Nominees, an entity which owns a suite of other commercial properties in the port city.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission documents indicate Camisa Nominees is a family business, majority-owned by Paul and Zelinda Bafile.
The eviction notice comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a six-month moratorium on evictions late last month, but that policy has yet to be legislated by the state government.
Mr Morrison has repeatedly urged landlords and commercial tenants to work together on the issues caused by the economic carnage from COVID-19, with the national cabinet formulating a mandatory code of conduct to guide rent relief.
Premier Mark McGowan echoed that sentiment yesterday, saying the stark reality was that commercial rents would have to come down in most cases.
Mr Boichel promised it was not necessarily the end for the shop, but confirmed its future would not be in the familiar blue building on Collie Street.
“Honestly, it’s breaking my heart,” Mr Boichel said.
“Near on two thirds of my life have been in this building.
“I promise it’s not the end for us yet, but it is the end of us in this building.”