Here’s what’s been happening on the Ipswich business scene during the past month.
CBD Reconstruction, but stores closing
Moving out is the sad outcome for some businesses within the construction zone that was the Ipswich Mall, as leases are up, businesses are shutting up shop and Ipswich looks toward at least a year in business limbo.
Dimmeys will leave Mall where they have conducted business for the past 15 years. Their current shop is being closed down as part of the CBD upgrade project. Employees at Dimmey’s say they don’t want to leave but would gladly take up a job again if the closure was indicative of a move. They haven’t yet been offered a new venue but will continue to be on the hunt.
Rosa at Asian Cuisine is not looking forward to having to leave her restaurant and says she is unsure where she will go. She would accept a position in a reconstructed CBD but so far has not been offered a new place.
Crossroads Books, the well-loved bookshop in Bell Street closed on April 30th after several months of half price sales. Deciding not to move to a new space in the square, the owners have moved all sales online, citing poor walk-by traffic and a lack of parking as the main reasons for the slow down in profit. While they are not sure what is happening with the space, they believe higher rents may prove a challenge to whoever occupies the building next.
CBD to be renamed ‘Nicholas Street’
Nicholas Street has been revealed as the title of the reconstructed Ipswich Mall area, bringing back the original name of the street that became a Mall. The council will renovate several buildings along the street and put them on the market. Greg Chemello has estimated a year for the refurbished precincts to open, which includes a revamped plaza, with library and administration buildings, the rennovated Queensland Hotel (previously Murphy’s Pub) and a number of new eateries.
Council administration building takeover
The council administration building has been sold to Queensland Health and will become a non-clinical administrative headquarters of the Ipswich General Hospital. The influx of people- patients, workers and visitors the new health precinct will bring into the city is expected to fuel the economy of Nicholas Street and other businesses in the city. It is not public knowledge when Council will move and work to accommodate hospital staff will commence.
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