A clearer picture of what the future may hold for the former Masters store at Springfield Central is emerging with the approval of a development application.
The 3.1 hectare site on Southern Cross Circuit has been vacant since 2016 after the closure of Masters Home Improvement stores across Australia.
It was snapped up by Home Consortium which has been working to turn it into a bulky goods retail precinct with a leisure, lifestyle, homeware and electrical focus.
Now, Ipswich City Council has granted approval for a childcare centre and additional retail uses, which are intended to support the bulky good retail focus of the site.
Home Consortium Pty Ltd plans to develop a 122-place child care centre on the southern end of the site, closest to David Morrison Way.
It will include six activity rooms, indoor and outdoor play areas and staff facilities.
“Demand for long day care is growing strongly, and occupancy rates of nearby centres are highest in the immediate locality of Springfield Central and Springfield,” the application notes.
The warehouse-style building will eventually be repurposed with multiple tenancies and a cafe inside.
Although the final mix of tenants is not yet known, a 24-hour gym, medical centre, ‘bulk’ chemist and children’s play centre are being considered alongside other supporting retail uses.
“The proposed 24-hour gymnasium layout is yet to be finalised, however it is likely to be located in… the northern part of the building,” the application notes.
“It is expected that a large proportion of gym members will attend outside normal business hours.
“The medical centre seeks to deliver a convenient multi-disciplinary health hub that provides health, medical and wellbeing services within one tenancy.
“It is expected up to 10 doctors and six technical/nursing staff will be based at the centre.”
The children’s play centre would include a soft-play playground, party room and will include an ancillary cafe.
A discount chemist chain has also expressed interest in opening in the centre.
“The proposed store would offer a range of discounted healthcare and beauty products, for a range of well-known brands, together with an ancillary pharmacy.”
It is not yet known when the centre is likely to open.