Residential reinvention of under-used Ipswich Central spaces

Council is calling for landlords, building owners and businesses in Ipswich Central to register interest in exploring the conversion of their unused space above a store, cafe or office into ‘shop top’ residential living areas.

Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said council is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from building owners who want to hear more about reinventing unused spaces.

“As our city continues to be one of the state’s fastest growing cities, there are opportunities to develop unused and under-used floor space throughout Ipswich Central and Top of Town,” Cr Doyle said.

“An opportunity to continue revitalising Ipswich Central and offer unique, contemporary housing options could be sitting in the unused space above your business or unused areas of your building.”

“The benefits to building owners include new income opportunities and increase in property values, while the community could expect less suburban sprawl as well as a safer and more accessible Ipswich Central area.”

Spaces above Choices Flooring in Top of Town that could be converted into residential accomodation, and Steve Mallet of Choices Flooring.

Councillor Doyle said council is calling for feedback to consider how it can best encourage and support investment in residential accommodation on upper floors of appropriate buildings in Ipswich Central.

“We are also interested in understanding barriers for building owners and landlords that may existing in making investments in these spaces,” Cr Doyle said.

“Vibrant urban economies are key attractors in cities across Australia and the world, and to have a sustainable economy you need to have people living, working and playing in, as well as commuting to city centres.

“Shop top living may enhance commercial activity in Ipswich Central by improving residential housing and tourist accommodation options, adding to Ipswich’s cultural vibrancy and economic prosperity.”

Councillor Doyle said shop top living is increasingly becoming a viable and desirable approach to meet residential and accommodation needs of growing cities, such as in the City of Launceston.

“As chair of the council’s Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee, I am aware of the challenges cities face as they change and grow, and the tension between providing new opportunities for people to live, work and play while still preserving that city’s heritage,” Cr Doyle said.

“Ipswich has some of Queensland’s most grand and special heritage buildings and, and this program could help safeguard the interiors of these buildings while also offering contemporary inner-city living for our growing community.”

If you are an owner of an Ipswich Central business, building or site and are interested in hearing more about shop top living, submit an EOI by 24 March 2023 through Shape Your Ipswich.


  1. Great thoughts and creative thinking Marnie. Unfortunately some of the Owner’s can’t even put a paint brush to their properties. The corner building in your photograph is a prime example. However, I hope it is a successful project and the residents are not of the problem variety who resided above some of the Ellenborough Street premises.

    1. Most need a lot of work done. This would be a great way to bring people into the town centre. Lets hope it works.

  2. What a great idea. It could become a great hub of business, living and entertainment. A lot of these buildings have become derelict which is such a shame, but given incentives this sounds great

  3. My husband and I lived in a city with a barber shop and photography studio below us and it was great. The plus was the area beneath us was open only during the day time. So evenings were lovely and quiet. We also kept fit running up and down the stairs. This could be an answer for the younger couples who travel to work here in Ipswich or go to college nearby. Great Idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button