Multi-million-dollar Ipswich CBD redevelopment unveiled
Finals plans for a multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the Ipswich CBD, west of Brisbane, have been unveiled to include a new library, council administration building and large water play area.
Council-owned Ipswich City Properties released the revised designs for the $150 million project, which involves opening up the mall to the Bremer River to one-way traffic for the first time in almost 30 years.
A new open space which will double as an outdoor venue is being built to host major events for up to 4,000 people.
The design also includes space for entertainment, food and beverage areas.
Existing buildings within the Ipswich City Square will be demolished to make way for the new buildings.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the precinct will be world class and regenerate the city’s heart.
“I wanted the wrecking ball to hit last year but I can tell you, you will see some movement here early next year,” he said.
“By mid next year people are going to start seeing their city heart develop.”
Councillor Paul Tully, who is also the chairman of Ipswich City Properties, encouraged the public to support local businesses in the mall during construction.
“We want perspex viewing areas, we want to encourage people to come here even though it will be a difficult time,” he said.
“We want people to be here and to see the new mall emerge.”
Kim Schubel co-owns a retail store at the top of the mall, and said the plans were exciting.
Local business owners Kim Schubel (left) and Cassie Doherty (right) have welcomed the redevelopment. (ABC News: Ellie Sibson)
She did not expect her business would suffer during construction.
“You can’t help but get on board with how dynamic the space is going to be,” she said.
“Ipswich needs this desperately.
“Ipswich I think is seen to a lot of people as a really sleepy country town, and it is in some ways, but there is a lot of exciting businesses and creative people.”
Patrick Smith, managing director of the council’s development partner EPC Pacific, said there was thorough community consultation.
“We called for community engagement and we let the plans evolve in response to the community engagement,” he said.
“The spine of the idea still remains, that is, opening up the mall, getting activity back and making it safe and more energetic and reconnecting the city with the river.”
The first stage of development, which includes the new library, council building and public space, is due to be complete towards the end of 2019.
The multi-million-dollar Ipswich CBD redevelopment will include a large water play area. (Supplied)