Talk of big changes to CBD stirs passion from Facebook
QT READERS have responded with mixed emotions following the announcement of Ipswich City Council's $150 million plan to rejuvenate the CBD.
Mayor Paul Pisasale announced a three-level centre, along with a nine-story council building, will be developed on the western side of the Ipswich Mall, bringing a new civic building for council administration, library, a supermarket, 15 retail tenancies and 10 specialty market-style stores.
Aaron Brown was in support of the proposal by simply posting: "Awesome"; however other readers felt there were other priorities which needed to be looked at.
The council released an artist's impression of the proposal which had Yvonne Beekhuyzen confused: "What are we looking at, scribble on a page. Where are any of the original buildings, where does the green grass come from?"
Kim Rye wants to ensure that the city's heritage would be considered during the rebuild: "Can part of the criteria be that any new buildings must fit the Ipswich heritage design please. I understand there is not a lot of room, so building has to go up instead of out. But the ones built in the last 10 years or so are ugly."
Jacky Jones-Barnes shared concerns about the parking situation in the CBD: "Where does council expect their 650 employees to park? More developement without the infrastructure to support it."
Murray Pocock managed to get a direct response from Cr Andrew Antoniolli following this post: "The paid parking under the old CBD has certainly killed, finished off and cremated any resilient non-council owned businesses still hanging on in the mall to allow all this to go ahead. What a strategy."
Andrew Antoniolli responded: "That's funny Murray. All the businesses are telling me that their customers are happier that they can now get a car park and that the three-hour free parking is perfect for their needs. The cinema is also saying that it suits their customers as well. Mall patrons are happy, readers are happy, so not sure who you're listening to."
This conversation went back and forth for quite a while, with about three dozen replies after the initial post.
If nothing else, at least we can agree that the management of the CBD is an issue that invokes lots of local passion.
We are in for some interesting times.