Demolition works have begun on Ipswich Central to make way for a redeveloped central district which is forecast to create thousands of jobs, boost the local economy and provide the region with a vibrant, new urban hub.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli, Ipswich City Properties (ICP) Chair Councillor Paul Tully and Ipswich City Council Division 7 Councillor David Martin rolled up their sleeves to lend workers a hand, shovelling the first of what will be thousands of tonnes of rubble to be removed from the eight-hectare site.
“Ipswich Central is officially underway,” Cr Antoniolli announced.
“We are building a brand new city centre with dining and retail precincts, vibrant public spaces, an entertainment stage and a fresh range of retail outlets.
“While many cities have to make do with what they have, we are able to create an integrated, innovative and world class central district with real long term job-creating opportunities.”
Cr Tully said Ipswich Central would deliver a significant investment injection into the region and marked the start of a new era for the city.
“ICP listened to the people of Ipswich when they were asked what they wanted in their new city centre,” he said.
“Ipswich Central reflects that feedback and will be a city centre where businesses can
prosper and where locals and visitors alike can enjoy fun, free activities and open, public spaces.
“Our new logo symbolises the end of the Ipswich Mall and the start of the new Ipswich Central. This new brand reflects our vision and fresh direction for the future.”
Cr Tully said the new city centre would improve nearby property values, attract new businesses, retailers and visitors and give locals a city centre they could be proud of.
Cr Martin said Ipswich would have a city heart where people wanted to work, live and play.
“This will be a commerce and retail centre by day, and a dining and entertainment precinct at night,” he said.
“Ipswich Central is not only being designed for the people of Ipswich. It is owned by the people of Ipswich.”
Cr Antoniolli said Ipswich’s population was projected to more than double over the next 12 years.
“We need a central district to meet growing and changing demands,” he said.
“The city’s average age is only 32 so a successful central district needs to provide employment but it also needs to offer young people and families a place to go for entertainment, education, shopping and dining.
“This is one of the most city-altering redevelopments in Australia, and Ipswich is the envy of many Councils because we’ve been presented with a unique opportunity to create a city heart from scratch.”
Hutchinson Builders managing director Greg Quinn said much of the demolition works focused on removing parts of the mall, the Woolworths building and an arcade of surrounding vacant high-end
“The demolition work should cause very little disruption for nearby businesses,” Mr Quinn said.
“Hutchinson’s are certainly excited to be part of such a momentous project. It’s not often there’s an opportunity to re-think and redesign much of a city’s centre.
“As an Ipswich local, I can see enormous appeal and value in Ipswich Central. It is an exciting project that will breathe new life into the city.”
The former Woolworths’ stairwell and the Point Parking carpark level P1 will now close for safety measures but alternative exits will open and 580 carparks will remain.
Elements of the existing steel framework will also be recycled and used in the new Ipswich Council Library, saving both time and cost.
The demolition will take an estimated 17 weeks and construction will commence shortly after.
- A $150 million redevelopment that will re-create the heart of Ipswich.
- The redevelopment is set to put Ipswich ‘on the map’ as a regional city in Southeast Queensland with unique shopping, culture, dining and entertainment experiences and attract new investment, business and industry.
- The new Ipswich Central Entertainment District will provide new jobs and provide a boost to
the local economy.
- Ipswich City Central will be open day and night attracting thousands of locals and visitors.
- This is the biggest transformation of inner-city Ipswich in 30 years.
- Ipswich is Queensland’s fastest growing city with the population set to double in the next 20 years.
- The public spaces will accommodate everything from a quiet nook to read a book to hosting thousands at a major event.