Riverlink reveals new restaurant, closed shops in grand plan
IPSWICH'S "dominant" retail precinct has shuffled its stores and lured restaurants in an effort to create a new leisure and entertainment precinct.
LEDA, which operates Riverlink Shopping Centre, has revealed a new family restaurant, Rashays, will move into its eastern mall to improve after-hours offerings.
In an interview with the QT, LEDA retail chief operating officer Peter Coroneo spoke about the company's efforts to create a piazza-style precinct at the centre.
Rashays, a home-style Aussie restaurant, is expected to open in December as iPlay continues its build of a bowling alley and games room in the same area.
A stage and improved children's playground is also proposed for future works.
Mr Coroneo said the company had assessed Riverlink and analysed its future strengths.
"The centre is trading well and we've invested a fair bit of capital to improve it," he said.
"If you sit on your hands, you'll have a problem.
"What we're trying to do is introduce an entertainment and leisure precinct.
"We think that will be a good thing for the city."
Mr Coroneo said Riverlink needed to evolve to keep its "dominant position in the retail landscape of Ipswich".
"It's got a lot to offer. It's a big statement; it's easy to access and it's convenient," he said.
LEDA has previously likened Ipswich City Council's CBD retail proposal as a foray.
Mr Coroneo said the company was supportive of anchor council infrastructure, such as the library and administration centre - but not restaurants.
"From a retail perspective, we don't support that. We see that as competition," he said.
"We definitely see direct competition as not required or warranted considering what we have here and our investment in the city of Ipswich."
He supported the council's proposal to link the shopping centre and the mall, which is similar to the Brisbane and Southbank connection.
Inside Riverlink, Cotton On and Supre have closed, to be replaced by Ed Harry and OPSM; which are expected to be open by December this year.
Hope might remain for Cotton On shoppers, with a proposal for a bigger store.
"We are negotiating with Cotton On to bring a bigger statement back to the centre, a Cotton On megastore," Mr Coroneo said.