As the fastest growing region in Queensland with a youthful population and a median age of only 32, Ipswich is actively preparing to welcome another 330,000 residents by 2041.
Located in the historic Ipswich CBD and designed by renowned Australian design firms Buchan Group and Vee Design, the fabulous new Nicholas Street Precinct invites visitors and locals to stay awhile and explore the best in Ipswich dining, retail and diverse experiences.
Nicholas Street is about celebrating Ipswich’s invaluable past with a modern twist. With heritage sites and landmarks right around the corner, the precinct is the gateway between the old and the new; forging a path that honours how Ipswich began, and where it is headed.
The precinct is a culmination of history, opportunity, arts, entertainment, leisure and culture: centuries old character upgraded with a mix of contemporary offerings and amenities.
Originally intended to be the capital of Queensland in the 1800s, the City of Ipswich has a much publicised and colourful past, with the Nicholas Street Precinct project cast as the biggest redevelopment of the Ipswich CBD since the 1980s—and one residents and local businesses would agree was long overdue.
The Ipswich CBD was once a thriving city centre before suffering from a trend towards suburban shopping centres and a failure of a previous council to invest in the precinct.
This slow decay due to neglect and a lack of investment came at a significant cost to ratepayers, business owners and CBD property holders.
In 2020 the newly elected Ipswich City Council was left with three options: let the CBD to fall into further ruin, sell the CBD and lose control of its future or bring the CBD back to life.
The latter was chosen with the council then taking on the derelict mall with a vision to deliver a revitalised, inclusive space for the community to enjoy and be proud of.
The vision was to establish the city centre as a highly sought-after retail leisure destination putting Ipswich squarely on the map with the council seizing the opportunity to act as a catalyst by relocating land, offices, and cultural and civic services to the city centre and delivering a new council administration building, libraries, civic plaza and more than 14,500sq m of landscaped public realm.
Heritage considerations were paramount through the redevelopment, with a key cultural link to Ipswich’s past being the city’s much-loved Commonwealth Hotel built in 1910 and proudly anchoring the redevelopment project.
The heritage façade of the grand hotel was meticulously restored and rebuilt by engineers and the hotel will continue to be revitalised after Aushotels signed on as the new operator of the pub.
With the vision now taking shape, more than 800 council employees have joined the already growing 16,000 strong CBD workforce and now call 1 Nicholas Street their primary place of work in an open plan office space with high spec tech and green thinking at its core.
At the entrance to 1 Nicholas Street is Tulmur Place, which in the Yagara Language of the three local First Nations groups is the word for the area that is called Ipswich, and is a fitting tribute to the civic square and community gathering place.
Now a digitally connected civic square, Tulmur Place is also home to two libraries including Australia’s only standalone dedicated children’s library, zero-depth water play area, performance stage, approximately 1000 car parking spaces and an active calendar of markets, events and live music.
The Nicholas Precinct was recently awarded the 2021 UDIA Qld Award for Excellence in Social and Community Infrastructure for Tulmur Place and the Ipswich Central Library.
With connectivity at its core, the precinct is 40 minutes from Brisbane, 60 minutes from the Gold Coast and centrally positioned next to the city’s major train and bus networks.
Offering more than 20,000 sqm of retail, restaurant and leisure space, and national brand names already signed on, the Nicholas Street Precinct is realising its vision to become Ipswich’s leading entertainment and cultural destination.