The “heavy lifting” begins today with Hutchinson Builders moving on site to construct the new Ipswich City Council administration building, new library and civic plaza as part of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment.
In June, Hutchinson Builders were selected as the preferred tenderer of the $140 million contract, the biggest in council history.
Hutchinson will also upgrade the existing car park, finalise works on Nicholas Street and Union Place, and ensure Bremer Street traffic ramps are ready to go.
About 200 workers will move on site from today as construction ramps up for the next 12-24 months.
Interim Administrator Greg Chemello said works to reinstate Nicholas Street are ahead of schedule with contractor JMAC Constructions starting the second phase of the road and landscaping installation process.
He welcomed the next step of the Ipswich Central upgrade as artist impressions reveal an inviting, well-connected, modern space that takes advantage of natural light and embraces greenery.
“It is exciting for everyone involved in this project and hopefully for a community that has been waiting years, probably a decade or more, for this redevelopment,” he said.
“Council officers have through every aspect of the project to ensure ratepayers get the best value possible.
“While I acknowledge that this has been a long time coming, it was important to ensure that all issues were addressed so that the Ipswich Central redevelopment can finally become a reality.”
Nicholas St road works are set for completion by Easter next year, the new library is expected to be open by mid-2020 and the council administration centre by mid-2021.
Mr Chemello said council aims to attract even more businesses, prepare for the growth of the healthcare sector, and better support businesses located in our city’s heart.
“Our leasing team is in discussions with more than 20 possible tenants for the retail, entertainment and food and beverage buildings owned by council. The plan is to refurbish these buildings before leasing them to new tenants and selling them to the private sector,” he said.
“I encourage everyone to visit the city heart, do a spot of shopping, take a look at the progress and grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes.
“We all need to do our bit to support our traders during this challenging time, but there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel, starting today.”
Ipswich City Council has launched a new promotion to help traders and tradies in and around the Ipswich CBD redevelopment.
Council announced today that workers on the project will be offered a special “tradies pack”.
Council CEO David Farmer said each new tradie will be issued with a VIP Card which they must show to prove their eligibility to receive discounts or reduced prices from various food and drink outlets.
“Deals could include a percentage off or a special price for a specific item for eligible customers,” he said.
“The Tradies VIP Card is your key to find the best places to grab some breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks or snacks. Your VIP Tradies special discount card helps support our local businesses during construction.”
About 20 CBD businesses joined forces with council on the tradies pack.
The concept was a huge success in Springfield Central during various stages of building the magnificent Orion shopping centre.
With construction of the new Ipswich Central civic space expected to bring in around 200 on-site workers, many businesses were only too keen to provide discounts, their offer of the day, or meal deals to bring in business.
“We invite you to visit one of the participating retailers today,” Mr Farmer told tradies who started work at the site today.