Façade Improvement Program leads to new look for Brisbane Street

The Ipswich City Council Façade Improvement Program continues to make an impact on the revitalisation of Ipswich Central.

JKR Group Holdings has recently completed the renovation of four store fronts under the program between 94 and 100 Brisbane Street and secured two new tenants – barber shop The Bearded Hippo and real estate company Image Realty Ipswich.

JKR Group Holdings Director Jace Roach applauded the program which saw Ipswich City Council offer a dollar-for-dollar incentive for private business and property owners up to a total $15,000.

“I do believe that the city pushing and incentivising change in the city centre is vital to the modernisation of the area,” Mr Roach said.

“The feedback on the renovations to my building has been fantastic. Literally every person who walks past loves it. Local businesses in the area always let me know what the general vibe is when I am dropping in for a coffee or a sandwich and it is refreshing to hear the enthusiasm.

“I hope more property owners do the same as I genuinely believe there is a big future for Ipswich Central.”

Ipswich City Council Chief Executive Officer Sonia Cooper said the incentive program was part of an over-arching strategy to stimulate wider investment by private businesses and property owners in Ipswich Central.

“The appearance of the city’s businesses and buildings makes an impact on perception, sentiment and visitation, which in turn impacts on economic investment,” Ms Cooper said.

“Council’s Façade Improvement Program was designed to contribute to the street’s atmosphere, overall appeal and create a pedestrian-friendly experience for residents, workers, traders and visitors.

“With the Nicholas Street Precinct redevelopment well underway, there is an opportunity to stimulate wider investment to strengthen the commercial vitality in Ipswich Central.”

Bearded Hippo owner Patrick Evola at work in his newly renovated premises in Brisbane Street.

Bearded Hippo owner Patrick Evola said the inner-city location was prime real estate for his business, but the building needed a lot of work to take his vision to reality.

“I saw something in the bare bones of the shop and luckily for myself and my family the building’s owner Jace and I had a similar vision for the space, and we hit it off creatively,” Mr Evola said.

“He wanted to bring something modern and interesting to the building and I thought my shop would be a good fit.

“The city is moving in the right direction now. It just needs more of the younger generation and creative people to make change and take risks.

“Business has been fantastic. Our customer base is growing every day.”

Mr Roach urged other property owners to update, rethink and redevelop some of the vacant spaces in Ipswich Central.

“A lot can be done with a little imagination and a little bit of money to re-create older vacant spaces into appealing properties for new tenants,” he said.

“The time is right to do these works. Residential property prices are hitting an unachievable level in the Brisbane and Gold Coast markets, pushing more and more families to the west to settle.

“This will result in more business opportunities, less vacancies and more people walking the streets of Ipswich Central again.”

JKR Group Holdings listed their remaining two tenancies online last week.

The Ipswich City Council Façade Improvement Program launched in 2021, however, businesses were given more time to complete the improvements following the 2022 floods.


Ipswich City Council is operating under caretaker provisions in accordance with Chapter 3, Part 5 of the Local Government Act 2009. Media communications by the Mayor and Councillors as ICC spokespeople during this time are limited to ensure compliance with legislation and, equity and transparency between existing Mayor, Councillors and candidates regarding access to Council resources.

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