Paul Knox from Soul Cauldron and Bijanca Dukes from Underground Hair Culture in the Old Flour Mill.
Paul Knox from Soul Cauldron and Bijanca Dukes from Underground Hair Culture in the Old Flour Mill. Rob Williams

Owners hope precinct facelift will open up doors

BUSINESS owners in the Old Flour Mill are excited by the potential of the precinct once a major facelift has been completed.

Work to spruce up the heritage-listed building in the Top of Town started in November and was initially expected to be completed by March.

Tait Morton Johnston Architects architect Peter Johnston did not want to put a concrete finish date on the project but said it should be finished in the "next few weeks.”

He said the interstate owner wanted to give the building, which was constructed in 1901, a new lease on life and this renovation was just one step toward further development of the site.

The works to improve access to the building and restore the ground floor, which includes a restaurant space, are almost over the line.

The aim is for more development to follow once lessees move into the spaces on the ground floor.

There are several businesses based downstairs and a two bedroom unit on the top floor.

"The important thing is this is an ongoing process,” he said.

"The plan is to continue to undertake renovation work.

"The owners are really keen to invest in the building. Development will allow more development to be done.

"There's been nothing major done since the early 1990s. It's now back to a far more original representation of what used to be there.”

Soul Cauldron is one of several businesses on the bottom level of the floor mill and owner Paul Knox said he was excited for the works to be finished.

He had noticed a downturn in trade since construction started, which wasn't been helped by the usual quiet period from January to March.

Business owners believe the construction has led many to believe they aren't trading but believed a better access point at the front of the building would be a boost.

"I think it's got huge potential,” he said.

"People just need to know it's here. It's a great little area.

"Ninety per cent of the people who come down here come back again. There's nothing like it in Ipswich.”

Underground Hair Culture owner Bijanca Dukes believed the building was unique.

"If this was West End or Brisbane or something like that, we'd be pumping,” she said.

"It's quirky.”