Green light for new work in CBD

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Greg Chemello with Phillip Bell outside Murphy’s Pub, to be rebuilt and renamed the Commonwealth Hotel

After what seems an eternity for Ipswich business and residents, demolition work has ceased in the Ipswich CBD and contracts have been awarded to rebuild Murphy’s Pub and build a road down the Ipswich Mall.

Ipswich City Council Administrator Greg Chemello reveals the urgent need to continue redevelopment work in the Ipswich Mall space and claims the area will re-open by late 2019.

Redevelopment of the heart of our city is set to continue, with a urgency, despite the closure of the council-run development body Ipswich City Properties.

Mr Chemello announced that two tenders had been awarded: to rebuild Murphy’s Pub and to build a road to re-connect the Mall section of Nicholas Street with Bell Streets via Union Place. Work is expected to recommence early this month.

Mr Chemello said the Council was hopeful that this “significant project” would be complete by late 2020, with the Mall and Plaza expected to be opened to pedestrian and people by the end of 2019.

“The grand vision of this is to create a new civic cultural community heart for the broader city of Ipswich,” Mr Chemello said.

“It will contain a brand new library and a fantastic new plaza or a piazza that I think the people of Ipswich will be very proud of for decades to come.

“This new open space area will be framed by the library, the Council administration offices, connections to Riverlink and to future developments.

“It will also have a retail and entertainment precinct.. not a major shopping centre.”

Mr Chemello said the project was not only crucial for Ipswich’s economy, but for the morale of the city and the businesses trading within the CBD area.

“It’s demoralising for the residents to see the Mall in this kind of condition,” he said.

“It’s an important signal that Ipswich is back and back to being the great city it should be.

“I think the key thing I’ve been told by the traders [within the Mall] indirectly is the need to get on with the project.”

James Trowse Qld Pty Ltd, the construction company awarded the tender to restore Murphy’s Pub have a complex job ahead of them.

With each piece of the original pub façade already numbered and awaiting careful return to their original position, Mr Chemello said their task will focus on the stabilisation, lifting and sub-structure of the pub, followed by the interior and exterior renovation and restoration works.

Civil engineering contractors will design and construct the section of road, including the demolition of the existing Ipswich Mall and pavements, excavation works and the installation and/or relocation of underground services such as stormwater, power, lighting and communications.

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce President said traders will be delighted at the news of the redevelopment continuing after months of frustration and disruption.

“We’re excited that Ipswich Central is proposing space for commercial, retail, entertainment, food and beverage businesses,” Mr Bell said.

“We’re supportive of any project which helps rejuvenate business in the Ipswich heart, and considering this project is over 8 hectares, it’s the most significant improvement to the city in more than 30 years.”