Hutchinson Builders was today announced the preferred tenderer to construct a new council building, a new library building and a civic plaza at the end of Nicholas St.
The $140 million contract, when formally awarded, will be the biggest awarded in the history of Ipswich City Council.
Council interim administrator Greg Chemello said some work was already being done to Nicholas St, but this was the biggest component of the project.
“Council officers will spend the next six to eight weeks finalising design with Hutchinson, and going through every aspect of the project to ensure ratepayers get best value possible,” Mr Chemello said.
“I acknowledge that this has been a long time coming, but it was important to ensure that all issues were addressed so that the Ipswich Central redevelopment can finally become a reality.”
Hutchinson will also upgrade the existing car park, finalise works on Nicholas St and Union Place, and ensure Bremer Street traffic ramps are ready to go.
In conjunction with the announcement, advanced drawings of the future development were released by project engineers.
They offer a clearer look at the council building, library and civic plaza than previously released artists’ impressions.
“We’re pleased with the way things are progressing, and are confident that we’ll be right on schedule with the latest timeline,” Mr Chemello said.
“The leasing team tells me that negotiations are progressing well with a number of retailers interested in moving in, restoration work of Murphy’s Pub is continuing, and Nicholas St is looking better by the day.
“In the background, there’s plenty of work being done on design detail, including a program of public art.”
Hutchinson construction team leader John Berlese said it was great news for the company, to be able to continue its working relationship with Ipswich City Council.
“We see this as an extension of the site works we did three or four years ago, to clear away the old Woollies building and to ensure the car park is safe and secure,” Mr Berlese said.
“It’s wonderful that the city of Ipswich has confidence in us to complete a job which is so important to the future of the region.
“It sure is a big job, but we can’t wait to get moving on it.”