VIDEO / PHOTOS: How our new city centre will look
FRESH details on the new master plan for Ipswich's CBD have been released today, revealing plans for a riverside bar and host of retail outlets.
The $150m project is the most extensive redevelopment in Ipswich's city centre and has been in the making for most of the last decade.
The eight-hectare precinct will feature a promenade of water fountains, an outdoor events space with a stage, a river front bar and a dining area.
The precinct will be anchored by the new Ipswich City Council administration building.
Footpath and al fresco bars, cafés and restaurants are being planned for Union Place while the iconic Murphy's Pub is being restored to its former 1910 glory including a move back to its original name - The Commonwealth Hotel.
The pub will be a main feature in the new Ipswich Central, a tip to city's heritage identity.
A modern, glass-fronted 3,400m2 new library will front the main civic promenade. More than 10,000m2 has been devoted to open, public space in Ipswich Central with shaded seating areas and cooling features including a water curtain and sculptural water steps.
A raft of new fashion stores and retail outlets will be housed throughout the new city centre and a riverside bar and covered timber deck area will be located on the northern end of the site.
Ipswich City Properties Chair Paul Tully said more than 19,000m2 of leasable commercial, retail, entertainment and food and beverage space had been created in Ipswich Central to service the population expected to exceed 400,000 by 2031.
"Our new city centre could not come at a better time with our population expected to double in the next decade and the $5 billion Rheinmetall Defence contract recently awarded by the Federal Government set to trigger an influx of workers to the region," Cr Tully said.
He said including the new Ipswich City Council administration building in Ipswich Central meant 800 workers would visit the city centre every day, creating a ready-made customer base for surrounding businesses.
"Once again, we will have a view towards the Bremer River from Brisbane Street, creating a more connected city centre," Cr Tully said."
Cr Tully said the car park would remain in Ipswich Central, with more than 1,100 spaces.
Work began last year on the Ipswich Central site, bounded by Bell, Brisbane, Bremer and Ellenborough streets.
The demolition phase of work, which officially began in June last year, is expected to be finished by June this year. Construction will start soon after.