Failure to relocate staff could hit plan to rejuvenate CBD

THE failure to relocate staff to Ipswich appears to have put council's vision for the CBD on the backburner, along with the second, nine-storey Icon tower originally approved in mid-2013.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said council planned to relocate the Ipswich Library in Icon Tower 2 with the long-term vision to relocate council staff into the heart of the CBD, much of which is owned by the council-owned company Ipswich City Properties, and redevelop the South St council buildings into a residential precinct.

"The CBD has got to become more than a regional shopping centre. It has to be a destination, entertainment, work environment like other CBDs around the country," Cr Pisasale said.

"Our intention is to get the next tower up and part of that would be to move our library, which has a fair volume of traffic, in the middle of our CBD.

"There's got to be a regionalisation commitment. It takes congestion from Brisbane and it also helps regional cities."

Cromwell Property Group bought Icon Tower 1 for $93 million.

Ipswich City Properties chairman Paul Tully said Tower 2 was reliant on the firm commitment of 60% of the proposed space for it to be viable to proceed.

"It depends upon the market at the time, amount of available space and what commercial operators are looking for at any point in time," Cr Tully said.

"We're not going to spend money and have a completed building which is empty. It would be leased before it was built.

"CBDs that have been rejuvenated need to have strong commercial and residential development so that they are viable during the day and at night. That's having people living there and becoming part of a vibrant CBD including entertainment, outdoor dining, encouraging restaurant and other entertainment facilities."

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