Ripley ... believe it or not
THE sleeping giant of Ipswich is finally about to come to life with work on the massive Ripley Valley redevelopment about to start.
The impending start of upgrading Ripley Rd at the start of developer Sekisui House's Ecco Ripley is heralding the beginning of big things after years of waiting.
Sekisui House project director Craig D'Costa said since the sod turn last October, workers had been preparing the site for the start of civil works.
The Ripley Rd upgrade is a 20-week process and then Sekisui House will begin construction on its first residential stage consisting of about 100 new properties, 3ha of recreational parkland and a sales and information centre.
"Ecco Ripley is planned to officially launch to the public in the second quarter of 2014 and the first residents are expected to move in late in 2014. Ecco Ripley Central will deliver 12,000 jobs with 24,000-36,000 coming from the Ripley Valley in general," Mr D'Costa said.
Parklands and the ease of getting around were key aims of Ecco Ripley, he said.
"A key benefit is we are developing the major town centre and the ability for residents to walk or ride to the town centre. This means it can be a pedestrian and 'cycleable' community with less need to drive," he said.
A challenge of the Ripley Valley is that it's being guided by multiple developers but they were working for the same goal.
"Ripley Valley has a task force where all the stakeholders work together to bring the region's requirements together," Mr D'Costa said.
"At its ultimate, the Ripley Valley is to house 120,000 people so we need to anticipate that and each precinct of Ripley Valley has to deliver infrastructure.
"The Ripley Valley structure plan outlines where key facilities will be required like neighbourhood centres, schools, bus stops need to be etc."
He said connecting Ripley into Ipswich would be important with the train line strengthening Ripley as an extension of Ipswich.
"As a developer we don't see Ripley as separate to Ipswich; we feel like we're building on Ipswich," he said.
"A transit corridor has been set aside for a future rail connection through Ripley and this timeline is yet to be determined. Current concept designs have a station in the Ecco Ripley town centre.
"In the short-term bus services to the Springfield train station or Ipswich CBD would be utilised."