News

The 'ugliest building in Ipswich' gets a facelift

THE UGLY duckling of central Ipswich, the old courthouse building, is about to undergo a multi-million dollar refurbishment, transforming it into a modern retail and commercial hub.

Axis Capital snapped up the massive 4500sq m federal government site late last year for $3.3 million and has been working on a concept plan for a major facelift before looking at leasing interest.

Company director Robert Bitomsky said plans to reinvent the outer facade of the building included new glass entry, feature lighting, a new colour scheme and a rendered finish to the exterior.

Mr Bitomsky said it was also planned to open the South St end of the building to the park to create a cafe and restaurant area.

He said the project - dubbed 59 East - would be a multi-million dollar investment in the site, with services upgrades alone set to cost $3 million.

Constructed in 1981 as a purpose built court house, the building is currently filled with small rooms, holding cells, court rooms and narrow corridors.

However, Mr Bitomsky said the building was "surprisingly adaptable" as most of the internal walls were not load-bearing walls which allowed space to be opened up.

Preliminary building works have been carried out over the past two weeks with the ground floor already gutted to allow more natural light and open up 2500sq m floor plates.

The exterior has also been pressure cleaned.

Mr Bitomsky said the building would be suitable for a variety of potential uses such as a day hospital, specialist medical clinic, retail, office, entertainment, education or a sports club.

He said his company had been in talks with a couple of prospective tenants and would be calling for expressions of interest next week, to close on June 30.

Artist's impression of '59 East', a development planned for the old courthouse building on the corner of Limestone and East Street. Photo: Contributed
Artist's impression of '59 East', a development planned for the old courthouse building on the corner of Limestone and East Street. Photo: Contributed Contributed

Under the new plans, car parking for the building will be quadrupled to 80 car bays.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said Axis Capital had shown confidence in the city with their investment and the site was another piece in the city master plan.

"Axis Capital has taken on a huge responsibility," he said.

"This is the gateway into the city and they are going to turn the ugliest-looking building into the nicest-looking building."

In their planning report, prominent architects Arkhefield said the building's transformation would provide "a facelift" to Limestone St.

Axis Capital has previously carried out residential subdivision work at Leichhardt but the courthouse is the group's first fixed asset in Ipswich.

Mr Bitomsky said he believed there were numerous development opportunities in Ipswich as a result of the city's population growth.

The building is located on the corner of Limestone and East St.

"The proximity of this asset to the CBD to the civic area and to the health precinct makes it an attractive site," Mr Bitomsky said.

"We've called it the heart of Ipswich because it is in the centre of the action."

 

BUILDING FACELIFT: Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale with 59 East project director Andreja Brkan and director Robert Bitomsky in front of the old courthouse building where the development will be undertaken.
BUILDING FACELIFT: Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale with 59 East project director Andreja Brkan and director Robert Bitomsky in front of the old courthouse building where the development will be undertaken. Rob Williams

Topics:  old courthouse, refurbishment




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Aldi to open new store in Ipswich

Basket of groceries from IGA.

German giant coming to suburban shopping centre

Mum's $12,000 bill shock: "I just broke down in tears"

NOT HAPPY: Queensland Urban Utilities has slapped Sherelle Taylor with a $12,113 water bill.

Sherelle Taylor was in disbelief when she opened her water bill

Claver clean up with double win

St Peter Claver V Woodridge State High in the Brisbane Broncos De Vere cup.

Schoolboys rise to Broncos challenge

Latest deals and offers

I love Inala

Residents of Inala don't want SBS's Struggle Street to be filmed in their suburb as they feel it will be portrayed negatively and they are proud of their community.

Residents are standing in unity to tell us why they love Inala.

The 2016 Boonah Show

A peek at the fun on offer at this years Boonah Show.

Police search for remains

Homicide detectives and forensic officers will oversee the excavation of a roadway and culvert at the site.

Police are searching for remains of 20-year-old Sharron Phillips who disappeared...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked