MASS EXODUS: Businesses in mall given marching orders
BUSINESS owners in the CBD spent the weekend frantically packing up after being given their marching orders.
About 20 businesses have either left their premises in the mall or are preparing to leave.
Many were involved in the Activate Ipswich program, offering businesses cheap rent to encourage the establishment of start-up businesses.
They were given a month's notice and told to hand the keys back into the Ipswich City Square Centre Management by 5pm Monday.
Yesterday, the Australian Motorsport Museum was also given notice to vacate by September 30.
The council says the Activate Ipswich Program has wrapped up, prompting the notices to vacate.
It wants to free the space up for full paying tenants, as the mall redevelopment enters full swing.
The Activate Ipswich Program - in which businesses were given free rent but had to pay costs such as electricity - relied on property owners offering the space and only Ipswich City Properties, owned by Ipswich City Council, chose to participate.
But not all who are leaving the mall were part of the Activate Ipswich Program.
The QT spoke to about eight different business owners, most of whom did not want to be quoted for fear of backlash, and some were on commercial contracts.
Prettyz A Picture framing owners Michael and Andrea Crosswell have operated their business in the mall since 2014.
They were not part of the Activate Ipswich program.
Yesterday they were busy packing up the last items from the shop.
Their business will now move to Rifle Range, near Lowood, and will offer a mobile service within 30km of Ipswich.
Ms Crosswell said they knew the notice to vacate would come sooner or later.
"We were notified a month ago, that we would have to leave because of the mall redevelopment," Ms Crosswell said.
"We're excited for the mall redevelopment because the town really needs it.
"It's a new beginning for us and there is less competition where we are going."
Dominique's Bakery and A Lot of Books bookshop, opposite the construction walls at the bottom of the mall, confirmed they would stay for now.
They will move when the next stage of the redevelopment goes ahead. While the Australian Motorsport Museum has to go, Ipswich City Council says it is working to find the museum a new space.
"Under the original terms of the program tenants agreed to a month to month rent free arrangement on a short term basis to establish business viability," a council spokesman said.
"Not all existing paying tenants are required to vacate at this time. Some will have several months before there is a need to move."
Ipswich City Square Centre Management, Knight Frank, was approached for comment.
Knight Frank's contract has also been terminated as of next Monday, following a 90 day notification period from Ipswich City Properties.
Open for business
WHILE some businesses are leaving the mall, it's trading as normal for many others.
If you walk into the Ipswich mall you'll see the shops on the right hand side are generally still operating and it's not hard to spot which ones want to be noticed.
Big cardboard signs have been placed in shop windows to ensure Ipswich residents know, the city heart is still beating despite the demolition works taking place behind the fencing.
Cassie Doherty from Schudio Studio, in Nolan's Corner, said "all the sticky beaks" should come and have a look at the demolition and visit the remaining the businesses.
"There has been a drop in sales but we are still positive," Ms Doherty said.
"We (at Nolan's Corner) are not the only ones still trading.
"Come have a look."
Businesses no longer in the mall
- Casket shop (small newsagent)
- Andrew Jarvie Photography: Still operating elsewhere
- Anime Exchange
- Autographed Memorabilia: Moved to Yeerongpilly
- Dingshen Health Massage
- FSG Australia (left earlier in the year)
- Inspirations Ipswich
- Joli Bluebird: Home business, Bellbowrie
- Les Hill Training: Still operating
- Studio 7: Still operating elsewhere
- Totoya Hair: Moving to 1/7 Bell St, reopening on August 15
- HS Ipswich: Moved to Fire Station 101