Exciting times set for Ipswich
A WEEK on from arguably the biggest announcement since Ipswich was proclaimed a city, the buzz just keeps getting bigger.
The highly-anticipated, billion-dollar transformation of the Ipswich city heart was announced last week to popular acclaim.
The project tipped to attract international and interstate investment was awarded to Leighton Properties, one of Australia’s largest property developers.
It centres around the revitalisation of the commercial heart of Ipswich, with a 55,000sq m shopping centre, office precinct and inner-city living for 1000 people. This core will be surrounded by riverfront public space including a library and car parking.
The project is designed to support the State Government’s decentralisation strategy to enhance commercial centres around the metropolitan area.
For Ipswich, the master plan is based on sustainable-design principles and has integrated transport links with public transport and the Bradfield Bridge.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was buoyed by reaction to the redevelopment announcement after a week of testing the waters.
“From a business point of view, the number of people wanting to get involved in the city has skyrocketed. Leighton’s is excited about it as well,” Cr Pisasale said.
“The last two days I’ve spent in Brisbane and everyone is talking Ipswich – the cab drivers, business people, the man on the street – and the image of the city has improved so much. Everyone is talking about the city, and the pressure is on me to sell Ipswich on the city’s behalf.
“But I tell you what, we’ve got a great product and it’s only going to get better.”
Cr Pisasale said the project would cement Ipswich as a key supporter to its big brother, but it would always keep its own identity.
“We are the Parramatta of Sydney; that’s for sure,” he said.
“The distance between Ipswich and Brisbane is decreasing, but one thing’s for certain, we are never going to be Brisbane; we’re the western corridor.”
The CBD revitalisation master plan was unveiled by Ipswich City Properties (ICP).
ICP chairman Paul Tully said there had been very good reaction to it across the city.
“We need to do everything to revive the heart of Ipswich and this is a great step forward,” he said.
The project model is on display at council’s Customer Service Centre at the top of the mall.