Business owner says shops needed to draw locals to CBD
THE GRAND opening of a $35 million project in the heart of Ipswich has the potential to draw crowds of locals to the city, according to its developer.
Tulmur Place, which opened on the weekend and forms part of stage two of a $250 million development of the city centre, is the CBD’s brand new one-hectare civic plaza.
Attracting throngs of people to its opening ceremony on Saturday, it is already looking promising.
Its purpose – connecting Riverlink Shopping Centre and the art gallery to the rest of the city and ultimately drawing shoppers to the CBD – appears achievable.
But some local business owners are yet to be convinced.
Health Plaza Coffee Lounge owner Quim Jom said during the 20 years he has run his cafe, he had “watched the city go downhill”.
“I’d like to (think it will work) but probably not,” Mr Jom said.
“Our city has a lot of problems.”
LOCAL NEWS: ‘Adaptable’ apprentice makes waves at awards
With his business situated on the corner of Bremer St, Bell St and East St, Mr Jom said customers had complained of the lack of nearby retail and amenities.
“There’s no retail here, no public services like banks – we have so many customers who complain,” he said.
“A lot of them come here, looking for what they want and we have to point them to across the river.”
He said the development’s construction itself had bolstered business at the cafe.
“Compared to other people, we’re lucky because we’ve had the construction workers and picked up some business from them,” he said.
“But they’ve gone now.”
He said more shops in town could attract foot traffic.
“I think the main thing needed to bring people to the CBD more often is retail – it will attract people living in town,” he said.
“We have so many shopping centres around other suburbs so people are going out there and not wanting to come into town.”
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.