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City centre set for biggest change in a generation



City centre set for biggest change in a generation

City centre set for biggest change in a generation

Ipswich is on the verge of an exciting new era after council-owned Ipswich City Properties Pty Ltd (ICP) and major developer epc.Pacific reached an agreement to relocate the council’s administration offices and city library into a new landmark 15,600sqm nine-storey building.

The innovative new council headquarters will feature next generation energy sustainability and efficiency features that will reduce operational costs and increase productivity while also anchoring the regeneration of the city and delivering dense activity to a new town square.

The $150 million urban regeneration project will also feature leisure and entertainment venues, cafes, restaurants and specialty stores in a three-level retail and mixed-use centre.

There will be a strong focus on food, beverage and alfresco dining fronting a new town square.

The heads of agreement between ICP and epc.Pacific was signed in December 2015 and followed an extensive expression of interest period.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said it was a great day for the city and in line with council’s vision of restoring the heart and soul of the Ipswich CBD.

“We know from the consultation undertaken as a part of the Advance Ipswich plan that revitalising the Ipswich CBD and attracting new investment are priorities for our community,” he said.

“This next stage features a new 5-Star Green Star multi-level building as the new home for council’s main administration centre and relocating the city library into a new 2,000sqm state-of-the-art facility.

“Forecast operational efficiencies and savings more than warrant the move. The existing admin building is not smart with its 1980s design and is increasingly costly to maintain.

“There’s a perfect opportunity for this development to incorporate elements of our Smart Digital City plan, utilising communication networks and wireless technology and management systems to create new services and improve efficiencies.

“This is a very exciting time to be in Ipswich. This agreement sets the wheels in motion to better serve residents but also opens up the CBD to attract new private investment.

“It is without doubt the most critical phase of the city centre redevelopment and will completely change the fundamental shape, size and feel of our city heart.

“We’ve been talking about opening the mall to face the river and that’s exactly what will happen.”

Cr Pisasale said some people may not be aware that the city commenced the journey of CBD revitalisation in 2009 when ICP purchased the neglected shopping centre.

“Since then we’ve successfully developed and sold one corner of the centre, the ICON Tower, for $93 million in 2013,” he said.

Ipswich City Properties Pty Ltd Chairman Paul Tully said Ipswich was ideally positioned to claim the title of Queensland’s Regional Capital with its non-stop development across the region.

“This agreement with epc.Pacifc puts aside any doubts about the future viability of the entire long term project,” he said.

“Having epc.Pacific on board with their vast experience in property and development places the city in the best position to get world class results.

“They bring a long standing track record of delivering projects of the scale and complexity needed for the redevelopment of Ipswich City Square shopping centre.

“This will be the first time since 1987 that we will see the Nicholas Street mall opened to face the river.

“It will include a new town square with a landmark nine-storey council administration and library building with 15,600sqm of floor space for the relocation of 650 staff.

“Relocating council’s administration offices will bring significant benefits for ratepayers.

“The existing Woolworths will be demolished, creating a new outdoor terrace overlooking River Heart Parklands.

“A new 3,800sqm Woolworths will likely be relocated to a prominent mall site adjoining Union Place with an array of market-style specialty stores, public gardens, green space and the retention of the existing multi-level car park.”

Paul Tully said the construction time frame was dependant on finalising design detail, however it was anticipated that the project would be completed in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Division 7 Councillor Andrew Antoniolli welcomed the announcement and said the city was ready for the next stage of the CBD redevelopment.

“Residents and visitors can look forward to a new array of dining options this development will bring, including cafes and restaurants,” he said.

“In addition to removing the existing supermarket and shops between the rotunda and Bremer Street, Nicholas Street and Union Place will be reopened to one way traffic from Brisbane to Bell Street.

“This will help transform Ipswich into a true 24/7 city.

“A relocated library and administration centre will bring additional activity to the city centre.

“The library alone generates significant foot traffic with about 8,000 people every week passing through its doors.”

epc.Pacfic recently completed more than $500 million in large scale urban regeneration projects and the company received industry accolades for developing the first Australian Taxation Office headquarters in Australia to achieve a 6-Star rating .

The company also recently developed the award winning 80 Grenfell Street in the CBD of Adelaide, purchased by Blackstone last month.

The $400 million transaction was Adelaide’s largest private property development and sale this century. The group is active nationally in development and value adds investment and is a member of the Pacific Group of companies.

This will be the company’s largest project in Queensland.

epc.Pacific Managing Director Patrick Smith saidthe company was proud to partner with Ipswich City Properties on such an important redevelopment project.

“We understand the aims and objectives of ICP so before detailed plans are finalised our company will consult and listen to feedback from the business community, residents and key stakeholders and custodians of the city centre,” he said.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Ipswich CBD and our team is passionate about urban regeneration projects that can deliver real social benefit and change.

“It is a partnership that will deliver value to all key stakeholders of the Ipswich City Centre.

“We will bring our group wide capability, capacity and experience to the next phase of Ipswich City Square’s redevelopment.

“With our heavy focus on design and innovation, the vision and potential for the new public realm is indeed exciting.

“This, combined with the energy that will be injected into the city centre via the new council administration centre and library, provides an exciting platform for genuine positive change and outcomes.”


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Sinnathamby’s 52-Hectare ‘Health City’ Vision for Springfield



Sinnathamby’s 52-Hectare ‘Health City’ Vision for Springfield

Singapore-based Broadway Malyan will design a 52-hectare “health city” in expanding Springfield, pegged to have a total end value of $6 billion if the development plan is fully realised.

The site, already home to the Mater Hospital and Aveo seniors’ accommodation, will be fully integrated with the masterplan encompassing education and research facilities, a 2500 apartment aged care facility, business facilities along with residential and retail offerings across the 52- hectare site.

A key feature of the project includes a Living Lab, which the urban planners say will act as a testbed for new technology related to smart living and healthcare.

Springfield founder and property mogul Maha Sinnathamby purchased the 7000 acre parcel of land no developer wanted to touch in 1992. Three decades later, Greater Springfield has transitioned from a completely undeveloped site to a residential population of 36,000 with estimates 150,000 will call Springfield home come 2035.

Sinnathamby’s 52-Hectare ‘Health City’ Vision for Springfield

“Our approach promotes ease of movement, with a car-lite campus designed to create an open, walkable development, to subtly reinforce a health conscious environment.” Broadway Malyan Board Director Ed Baker.

Broadway Malyan director Ed Baker says the health city masterplan will see the creation of a community that functions beyond the working day.

“We have used the concept of healthy living as our guiding design principle, focusing on a development that will support and encourage the wellbeing of the people who will live, work and visit Health City.”

Springfield’s Health City marks Broadway Malyan’s first appointment in Australia, after securing the project through an international competition working alongside local partner Conrad Gargett.

Sinnathamby’s 52-Hectare ‘Health City’ Vision for Springfield

South Ripley’s $1.2 billion master planned community ‘Providence.’

Located on Brisbane’s fringes, at 33-kilometres from the CBD, Greater Springfield sits among one of Australia’s fastest urban-growth corridors.

To date, more than $15 billion has been invested by public and private stakeholders into the masterplanned city, with estimates the area will be worth more than $85 billion upon completion.

Nearby development includes South Ripley’s $1.2 billion master planned community, which last month celebrated the opening of the $40 million first stage of its Ripley Town Centre, by developer Sekisui.

The state government has spent $1.5 billion on major infrastructure items in the western corridor since 2005, with an additional $500 million recently announced to further support the corridor’s growth objectives.


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High-rise care for elderly in heart of Ipswich CBD



High-rise care for elderly in heart of Ipswich CBD

NEW ROLE: The Metro Hotel Ipswich International will undergo alterations in design and layout for aged-care facility. Rob Williams
IPSWICH is about to get another residential aged-care facility and this time it will be right in the middle of the Ipswich CBD. According to media articles the Metro International Hotel Ipswich is to be redeveloped into a residential aged-care high-rise facility by a company called Oracle Care.

The Queensland-based company is apparently a new operator in this market and is currently developing other facilities, three in Goodna, two others in Queensland and one in Western Australia, according to the Weekly Source.

The Queensland Times, Monday, May 7, in an article outlined the facility would “provide single ensuite rooms and double suites for couples”. The article commented further that the “existing building facade is to be retained but the hotel will undergo alterations to the existing layout and design”. Oracle will keep the ground-floor function rooms and dining areas for residents and the community alike.

Oracle Care was only incorporated in 2015 and the business is registered as an Australian Proprietary Company, limited by shares. This seems like a very large undertaking by such a young company and it makes me wonder just who is backing it.

Council of the Ageing Queensland, the sector’s peak body, has welcomed the proposed redevelopment as an efficient way to bring beds on-stream much earlier than building from scratch.

The question is, what is the cost to the short-term accommodation availability in this city. Ipswich does not have that much short-term accommodation as it is, especially when there are major events held in and around the city. So by reducing the accommodation rates by this redevelopment lessens that available space to cater for tourists and other visitors to our city.

The Metro International Hotel Ipswich is ideally located behind the Ipswich Civic Centre and caters to, or it did, patrons attending the many shows staged there. Many of the shows staged at the Civic Centre are very popular and much cheaper to attend than travelling to Brisbane. In fact many patrons to these shows come from other places and stay at the hotel behind the civic centre for the night.

According to Oracle, this redevelopment will create more than 200 jobs and if that is the case great. But realistically these types of developments start with this type of rhetoric which eventuates in much less than first anticipated. But what about the jobs that will be lost from the hospitality industry? What about the jobs lost by the cleaners and house attendants currently employed by the hotel? Is this development really only replacing jobs from one sector to another?

So, will hundreds of jobs be created or will they just be one industry replacing another. Will there be any benefit for Ipswich jobs? I really do not think so. I believe that discussion about jobs is just a smoke screen by another developer seeking to rip money out of this community as we have seen so many times before.

We, the community, need to stand up and let the elected and bureaucrats of council know that it is no longer accepted that they continue to rip the guts out of the CBD. And that is what this approval for this redevelopment is doing. It is not good enough to continue to blame another level of government. Our council needs to take responsibility for its own actions.

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$1.5 billion town centre officially open for business



$1.5 billion town centre officially open for business

THE first stage of Ripley Town Centre officially opened on the weekend as the $1.5 billion precinct is expected to be a catalyst for major regional growth during the next decade.

The milestone marks one of the first major regional infrastructure deliveries in the Ripley region since October 2010 when the State Government nominated it as a priority development area to accelerate development for the growth requirements in South East Queensland (SEQ).

The Ripley population is tipped to soar by almost 28% each year during the next eight years, which will underpin the growth requirements in SEQ. Latest data from Urbis shows the Ripley catchment will be the fastest growing suburb in Queensland until 2026.

This pace makes it one of Queensland’s fastest-growing areas, with the district set to reach a scale comparable with Springfield or North Lakes in the future.

The State Government has spent upwards of $1.5 billion on major infrastructure items in the western corridor since 2005, and a further $500 million has recently been announced to support the corridor’s growth objectives.

These include the $366 million extension of the Centenary Highway, the extension of the passenger rail line from Darra to Springfield plus the Centenary Highway duplication to Springfield valued at $1.27 billion, as well as a $124 million extension of the Ipswich Hospital.

The $40 million first installment of Ripley Town Centre, developed by Sekisui House and constructed by Hutchinson Builders, is anchored by a Coles store.

The first stage reflects a marketplace theme and spans 9400sqm, including 20 specialty businesses, commercial office space and 360 car parks to support the growing Ripley community.

Among the retailers are BWS, Madhouse Discount Ripley, APAR Hair Studio, Gold Class Nails, Orion Massage, Eco Shot Café, Mum’s Bakehouse, Ripley News, Ecco Ripley Sales & Information Centre, The Discount Chemist, Ripley Dental Surgery, Ripley Veterinary Hospital and opening soon Ripley Medical Centre and Chinese Lor Restaurant.

Sekisui House Australia CEO Toru Abe described the town centre opening as a “game-changer” for the western growth corridor, noting it was set to become a vital commercial and community hub for southeast Queensland.

Mr Abe said the site would ultimately turn into a 25ha precinct offering up to 1,000,000sqm of planned commercial, office and retail floor space as well as a dining precinct, regional transit hub, community and entertainment facilities, health and education, open spaces and new inner-urban residential nodes.

“Ripley Town Centre will epitomize the 20-minute neighbourhood – with everything located within 20 walking minutes,” he said.

The eco-friendly town centre recently received a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, after complying with strict criteria for sustainable design and construction across nine categories.

Mr Abe said the rating showed that Green Star transformation of the built environment wasn’t confined to Australia’s capital cities.

“Regional projects can lead on sustainability,” he said. “This project is packed with intelligent design features such as the rooftop solar that doubles as carpark shading and reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 15 per cent.

“Sustainability excellence was a primary objective of the Ripley Town Centre project and this required innovative design and management to achieve high indoor environment quality, energy and water saving plus a selection of low-impact materials to minimise the impact on local ecology.”

The heart of the centre offers a showpiece open air space, Satoyama Way. Landscaped with trees, green walls, water features and a range of seating areas, the design was based on the Japanese concept of Satoyama – harmonious interaction between nature and man-made environments. The area will be extended as the town centre grows.

Ripley Town Centre will hold a Main Street Festival on May 26, from 11am to 4pm, to mark the official opening and to celebrate growth and harmony in the region.

Celebrations will include sidewalk dining, live music, entertainment, kids cooking, kite flying, rock climbing, community displays, roving performers and a silent disco.

Mr Abe said the festival was designed to showcase


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