Old Ipswich courthouse to face the wrecking ball
THE dark and dingy rooms which once housed crims, barristers and judges at the old Ipswich Court House could be demolished to a pile of rubble.
It's an option developers are considering after the state government sold the East St building for $3.3 million in 2014 but more than two years later, the site is yet to see its new life.
Developer Access Capital has bold plans to turn "the ugliest building in Ipswich' into a mixed commercial and retail space but dusty retro prison cells and court rooms are presenting a challenge.
Constructed in 1981 as a purpose built court house, the building is filled with small rooms, holding cells, court rooms and narrow corridors.
Director Robert Bitomsky said the first option was to backfill the existing building but the second was to knock it down.
"We are looking at creative ideas to use part of the refurbishment but more than likely it will be removed back to the conventional floor plate," he said.
"The alternative is we look at something else on site with the intention of some retail space and some offices as a new building.
"The second option is to start again, to demolish it is the second option, to put in a new building."
Mr Bitomsky said the company hoped to see some movement on the site this year but there was not a development application before Ipswich City Council.
"It's not a fast process unfortunately, we are confident this year something will be happening," he said.
"It's a tough leasing market and things aren't moving quickly, there are a lot of vacant buildings in the Ipswich CBD at the moment.
"What the council is doing with the mall is a big positive for the CBD and we hope to leverage off that at the site."
Initial plans for the site said architects Arkhefield developed a scheme to "reposition and revitalise the existing structure".
"The adaptability of the existing building has enabled the architects to explore a variety of uses and tenancy layout configurations," the proposal read.
"The current concept plans reflect a mix of retail, commercial and integrated public domain which will create an iconic structure in the Ipswich CBD."