UPDATE: Council releases report on CBD redevelopment
HIGH-end retail was lacking in Ipswich City Council's initial CBD redevelopment plans, an internal investigation has found.
The council has today provided the committee report detailing decisions surrounding changes to the CBD redevelopment plans.
A temporary 'urban park' at Bell St was included in concept plans provided to the council in December, however, that has now been abandoned.
The committee report says "a detailed investigation of the structural requirements to achieve this" found it would be "cost prohibitive".
The report also says the retail component of the planned CBD was "found to be lacking".
The council has adjusted plans accordingly, approving the change at last week's council meeting.
PLANS to build a vital link between the mall and Bell St have been abandoned by the council, in favour of a more "cost effective" option.
Ipswich City Council made the decision, detailed in a report the council won't release to the QT, in last week's general meeting.
In a press release the council says it endorsed an updated version of the long-awaited CBD master plan including changes to the 'Bell St link'.
In April, then deputy mayor Paul Tully and Ipswich City Properties Director Paul Tully said creating a link between Bell St and the existing mall was the first priority in the redevelopment project.
"The first thing we will be doing is building a link between Bell St and the existing mall so that may help traders," Cr Tully said, in April.
Now, Cr Tully says a detailed investigation revealed "that would have been cost prohibitive".
"Detailed investigation since the release of initial concept plans revealed it would have been cost prohibitive to demolish the existing Bell Street Link building to create a temporary urban park," Cr Tully said.
"Instead, we now plan to turn this area into a mid to high-end retail space which will not only differentiate it from nearby offerings but also add an important retail component to the redevelopment.
"Further design and strategy work on this part of the redevelopment is under way."
The QT requested all committee reports referred to in last Tuesday's council meeting, the first since new mayor Andrew Antoniolli's swept into office in August.
None of the reports have been provided.
Meanwhile, demolition of the former Ipswich City Square car park and the restoration of the Murphy's Town Pub is on schedule.
Murphy's Pub is expected to be restored as part of the CBD redevelopment, then leased out or sold to a private operator.