July Business Beat


Here’s what’s been happening on the Ipswich business scene during the month.


Ripley Town Centre has celebrated its first year with a Main Street festival. The Centre threw open it’s doors to offer live music, food trucks, street performers, face painters, outdoor games, workshops and giveaways in a bid to include the community and show off the $1.5 billion master plan that maps out the centres future. Ripley Town Centre Senior Development Manager Taku Hashimoto highlighted the community-centric vision.
“A truly connected community where everything is at your fingertips, from retail, education and health, to commercial, residential and recreation.”
Ripley Town Centre will be surrounded by wide green spaces, tree-lined streets and laneways, cycle-friendly paths and pedestrian walkways, as well as integrated transport options, including the proposed Ripley rail extension. The developer in charge of the revamp Sekisui House are already planning stage two, and that will include high rise residential property for seniors as well as a retail extension.


Work has begun on the Metro Hotel turning it from flailing hotel to a 99-bed aged care facility. While the change has been in the works since early last year, the work begins at a good time, just two months after Greg Chemello announced the refurbishment of the current Ipswich Council Building to a Queensland Health administration building, set to begin next year. The aged care residency will be run by Oracle Care, a joint operation company made up of “aged care players” and property and development specialists. The upgrade is expected to be limited to the upper floors in order to install lifts and modernise the façade while the ground-floor cafe, bar and restaurant, wellness centre, beauty salon and function areas will remain for public and resident use.


The Hotel Metropole timed it’s grand re-opening in time for the Ipswich Cup on June 15, which saw a whopping eight-hundred and ninety people through the door in celebration. The hotel, which has been closed for over a year, is one of Ipswich’s longest running hotels and it’s re-opening is welcomed by many as a great addition to the Ipswich social scene. While there has been no mention of a Club Metro comeback, the Metropole will be open six days a week, including dinner and is able to play host to engagement parties, bucks nights and weddings in the function rooms.