Ipswich residents have been given their latest look at how a $150m rejuvenation of Ipswich Central will breath new life into the city’s centre with the release of an updated master plan.
The eight-hectare project will feature a promenade of water fountains, an outdoor events space with a stage, a riverfront bar and a dining area.
It will also include a collection of fresh and vibrant urban precincts for retail, dining, entertainment and open spaces, creating an active and dynamic 24/7 destination.
Footpath and alfresco bars, cafes and restaurants are planned for Union Place, offering a variety of food and wine options, from take away burgers to upmarket fine diners.
Ipswich’s proud history will be reflected in the iconic Murphy’s Pub which is being restored to its former 1910 glory, even adopting its original name – The Commonwealth Hotel.
A modern, glass-fronted 3,400 square metre new city library will front the main civic promenade offering a range of free and family-friendly services and activities.
More than 10,000 square metres has been devoted to open, public space in Ipswich Central with shaded seating areas and cooling features including a water curtain and sculptural water steps, providing residents, workers and visitors with an outdoor area for relaxation, events and activities.
A raft of new fashion stores and retail outlets will be housed throughout the new city centre, offering an extension to what is already on offer at Riverlink Shopping Centre, and a riverside bar and covered timber deck area will be located on the northern end of the site.
Ipswich City Properties chairman Cr Paul Tully said more than 19,000 square metres of leasable commercial, retail, entertainment and food and beverage space had been created in Ipswich Central to service the population surge, with Ipswich expected to excel 400,000 by 2031.
“Our new city centre could not come at a better time with our population expected to double in the next decade and the major Rheinmetall Defence contract recently awarded by the Federal Government set to trigger an influx of workers to the region,” Cr Tully said.
“Ipswich Central also includes plans for a new Ipswich City Council administration building that will bring 800 workers into the city centre every day by 2020, creating a ready-made customer base for surrounding businesses.
“Ipswich Central will revitalise our city centre by bringing people back into the CBD at night time and offering them a place to bring their families for relaxation and recreation on the weekends.
“Once again, we will have a view towards the Bremer River from Brisbane Street, creating a more connected city centre where people can move seamlessly between the train station, Ipswich Central and River Heart Parklands.”
Cr Tully said the car park would remain in Ipswich Central, offering more than 1,100 spaces.
Work began last year on the Ipswich Central site, bounded by Bell, Brisbane, Bremer and Ellenborough Streets.
The demolition phase of work, which began in March, is expected to be completed by June with construction planned to commence soon afterwards.
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