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




We find city's tastiest burger

ISN'T SHE LOVELY: Michael and Tara Melcic with the Tower Central Cafe Noa burger, which has been voted as Ipswich's best.

City Pride gets the juicy gossip on Ipswich's best feed

Police charge woman after fatal traffic crash at Washpool

Police at the scene of a fatal traffic crash at Washpool on April 8 of this year.

22-year-old to appear on September 20

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


This week's community billboard

Want to get involved in gardening? The Glebe Rd Uniting Church Garden Club meets first Saturday of each month.

Toastmaster, Tai Chi, Scouts, the Men's Shed and more

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale