Help from above: CBD construction takes next steps
THE LATEST addition to Ipswich's skyline is a 60m-tall crane towering over the CBD.
It was built on Saturday as the works to redevelop the old Ipswich mall continue.
"It really just is a building and a plaza in one sense; it's actually the heart and soul of the city,” Interim Administrator Greg Chemello said.
"We've been missing this heart and soul for a decade, since council then purchased it and closed down the shopping centre.”
The crane will help construct the new Ipswich City Council administration building, library and civic space.
"It's very significant. We've talked about it, I've talked about it, we've committed a budget, committed a contract, but until the crane is visible, often people don't actually quite believe it,” Mr Chemello said.
"It's a plaza the size of King George square in Brisbane, where people will gather for events,
"It will have more grass and trees than King George square, but it's a community open space, and a city library.”
Mr Chemello recognised things have been tough for businesses trading in the CBD.
"It's been a tough time and it's been this progressive slow decline over a decade that's really hurt,” he said.
"We're starting at a really tough, low base.
"We're working with those businesses very closely, so there's tradie packs to encourage the Hutchinson workers to eat within the CBD and spend money.
"We're talking to the local community about the CBD, it is still here, there's still businesses operating, so come and shop here.”
The library and the plaza is scheduled to open within the next 12 months.
"I think we'll break the bulk of the work and open up the plaza September next year and that's when it will really thrive,” Mr Chemello said.
A workforce of 60 people is currently working on site, which will grow to 200 by the start of next year.