Precinct with ‘Endless Possibilities’


In this article, Ipswich City details its ambitious redevelopment that’s reinvigorating and future-proofing the city’s “heart” as the precinct gears up for its next phase…

A precinct with endless possibilities. Explore an eclectic marketplace that brings the community together through culture, arts, food and drink, new retail experiences, and so much more.

Home to two libraries including Australia’s only standalone children’s library, zero-depth water play area, performance stage, approximately 1000 car park spaces, more than 20,000sqm of retail space and an active calendar of markets, events and live music—the Nicholas Street Precinct in Ipswich, south-east Queensland is rapidly growing as the city’s leading entertainment and cultural destination.

Centred around a digitally connected civic square known as Tulmur Place, which in the Yagara Language of the three local Aboriginal groups is the word for the area that is called Ipswich, and a fitting tribute to the civic square and community gathering place, the city is undergoing a regeneration and welcoming the community, business, industry and leisure operators back to its thriving urban heart.

The design of Nicholas Street (previously a mall) and Tulmur Place (a former shopping centre) has sparked an important conversation around the changing role of modern and regional centres and how to better adapt these locations to celebrate south-east Queensland’s sub-tropical environment and lifestyle.

Thoughtful placemaking initiatives, coupled with forward-thinking design approaches have resulted in a striking entertainment and civic heart that is embraced by locals and visitors, and offers an enduring sense of place.

▲ Ipswich library in the Nicholas St precinct: retail tenants are now signing on to be a part of the city’s next chapter.

The completion of the $250-million Ipswich CBD redevelopment will be the catalyst for Ipswich to cement itself as one of the most exciting economic growth zones in Australia and redefine what a regional city centre needs at its heart, with research findings playing an integral and influential role in shaping the practical community outcomes of Nicholas Street and Tulmur Place design.

Those findings demonstrated the need for the civic centre public realm to be community centric, to accommodate flexible uses, to be customisable and offer plug and play activation, to become an educational leader, act as an entertainment hub, and have a sensitive and place-specific cultural interpretation.

Backed by a future-focused council, a crafted team of civic and commercial experts is tasked to navigate the delivery of the precinct’s strategic objectives to create an attraction that will draw locals and visitors back into the city heart and service the needs of the growing 16,000 CBD workforce.

With experience across placemaking, urban development, operations, marketing and retail design, the path has now been forged for some of Australia’s most recognised hospitality and retail brands to call Ipswich home.

With outdoor dining a key feature, Gelatissimo, Zambrero, Sushi Hyo and That Dumpling Place have all signed on as foundational tenants, with Terry White Chemmart paving the way for a host of additional beauty, hair and skin service providers.

Award-winning Aushotels will also take the reins of the much-loved Commonwealth Hotel which has been meticulously restored to maintain its heritage facade.

▲ The Nicholas St precinct is reinvigorating the heart of Ipswich.

Having proudly stood for over a century and a notable part of the history of Ipswich, extensive plans for the iconic redevelopment include multi-story indoor and outdoor dining, feature cocktail bar, lush beer garden and function rooms, with the design staying true to its classic and authentic persona.

Activation of the precinct through consistent and crafted events aimed at a multi-generational audience has seen increased visitation with regular markets, stage performances and live music.

Engaging school holiday programs designed to amplify the child-friendly assets have all assisted to position the precinct as ‘the’ school holiday destination in the city.

As well, residents will soon experience a taste of Times Square with a digital projection façade nearing completion and set to energise the evening skyline.

The extensive dining offering, cultural foundations, digital attractions and active calendar of events will be anchored by a soon to be announced and world recognised cinema operator, supporting the leisure positioning, bolstering trade and driving the emerging night-time economy.

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