The Coles store in the Ipswich CBD awaits a decision from the company about the long-term future of the site.
The Coles store in the Ipswich CBD awaits a decision from the company about the long-term future of the site. David Nielsen

Coles shops for rebuild options

A FLOOD-SAFE new building with ground-level parking is one of the options Coles is considering for its flood-hit Ipswich store.

The store on the corner of Brisbane and Gordon streets in the CBD went under water when the Bremer River peaked on January 12.

Coles spokesman Jim Cooper yesterday said the company was working with Ipswich City Council and developers to determine the best option to get the store rebuilt and operating again.

“It could be anywhere from four months to 12 months, depending on what option we choose,” Mr Cooper said.

“It all depends on what sort of work it takes to get up and running.

“The council has been fantastic and very supportive in helping us work through this.”

He confirmed Coles was considering a shopping centre similar to Riverlink, with parking underneath that could be sacrificed to flooding, leaving the shopping area above high and dry.

“There’s a range of options and that’s one of them,” he said.

Mr Cooper said the only thing that didn’t need to be determined was whether the store would reopen.

“We will definitely be reopening,” he said.

“We’re absolutely committed to reopening bigger and better than it was before.”

At their worst, the floods inundated four Coles stores, closed a further 11 and cut food supply to more than 50 stores across Queensland. Apart from Ipswich, Coles stores in Bellbowrie and Fairfield also flooded.

Mayor Paul Pisasale congratu- lated Coles, not only for its determination to rebuild, but for its generosity to Ipswich’s flood victims.

“We’re hoping they will be able to make their store available as a distribution centre for the Ipswich Flood Appeal,” Cr Pisasale said.

“They’ve also been making sizable donations to the flood appeal and their commitment to the CBD is absolutely fantastic.

“One thing I learned from the floods is we’ve got to learn to be smarter with how we do things and take time. We’re negotiating so what is going to be rebuilt is not going to be affected by floods in the future.”

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