Woolworths yet to confirm future at new Ipswich Mall
WOOLWORTHS is still in discussions with Ipswich City Council on its proposed relocation to Union Place under the council's $150 million redevelopment plan for the Ipswich Mall.
When asked the timeframe for relocation and whether Woolworths had made a commitment that the store will be relocated with the Ipswich Mall, a spokesman for Woolworths indicated no plans were in place.
"Woolworths understands there are plans for redevelopment of the centre and we are currently in discussions with both the council and the developer regarding those plans," he said.
A spokesman for council-owned Ipswich City Properties also confirmed the company and its development partner were in discussions with Woolworths to secure a suitable site within the redevelopment.
Woolworths has previously made a commitment to retain the city store during the development of Riverlink at North Ipswich.
Division 7 candidate Jim McKee said those retailers remaining in the mall would struggle to survive without the anchor tenant.
Mr McKee said even during the three years of construction, the absence of Woolworths would push some traders to the wall.
"If the library is relocated and everything goes ahead according to plan, that would be nice but it is just one corner of a big problem," he said.
"If council's plan is to do just that for the next three years, the next three years are going to be terrible for all the retailers in the mall.
"Woolworths is the key tenant to the mall. You take out Woolworths, I'm not sure who is going to come here at all."
When asked whether there was any commitment from Woolworths to remain in the CBD, Division 7 councillor Andrew Antoniolli spent half the interview complaining that the QT and Mr McKee were being "negative" and "cynical".
Cr Antoniolli said Woolworths had a contract to trade in the Ipswich Mall and that contract would be honoured.
"I am confident that ICP will manage the trade of existing traders, including Woolworths, through the construction process."