Demolition crews have started tearing down the old Woolworths building as Ipswich City Council moves forward with the next stage of the $150 million CBD redevelopment.
The Ipswich central revitalisation is the biggest transformation of the city centre in three decades.
Developed by council-owned Ipswich City Properties, Mayor Andrew Antoniolli says the brand-new city centre will include dining and retail precincts, vibrant public spaces, and an entertainment stage.
“While many cities have to make do with what they have, we are able to create an integrated, innovative and world-class central district with real long-term job creating opportunities,” Mayor Antoniolli said.
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“This is one of the most city-altering redevelopments in Australia, and Ipswich is the envy of many councils because we’ve been presented with a unique opportunity to create a city heart from scratch.”
The Ipswich central project is forecast to create thousands of jobs, boost the local economy and provide the region with a new urban hub, incorporating planned retail, residential, cultural and recreational uses.
Hutchinson Builders have started demolition work which will take 17 weeks, with construction expected to start soon after.
Elements of the existing steel framework will be recycled and used in the new Ipswich Council Library.
Ipswich’s population is projected to more than double over the next 12 years, according to Mayor Antoniolli.
“The city’s average age is only 32 so a successful central district needs to provide employment but it also needs to offer young people and families a place to go for entertainment, education, shopping and dining.”
While it’s expected new businesses, retailers and visitors will be attracted to the area, Chair Councillor Paul Tully says the new city centre will also improve surrounding property values.