REVEALED: How $80m expansion will change shopping centre
CONSTRUCTION has started on a major expansion at an Ipswich shopping centre.
Developers will spend $80 million to double the Karalee Shopping Village on Junction Rd adding a new full-line Coles supermarket, 15 speciality shops and about 320 new car parking spaces.
A new entry and exit to the centre will also be included in the works, along with a new set of traffic lights added at the nearby intersection on the Mount Crosby Rd side of the development.
The existing centre covers about 5300sq m and the expansion will add another 5600sq m of retail space.
About $1 million will be invested in road infrastructure as a result of the expansion, including the upgrades on Junction Rd.
Works began today after a 'sod turning' ceremony on site.
It follows unexpected delays last year as developers waited for changes to the development to be approved.
The new part of the shopping centre will be built on vacant land, bought by Consolidated Properties and CVS Land Capital Partners in 2015, next to the existing premises.
During construction there will be some disruption to shoppers but Consolidated Properties executive chairman Don O'Rorke said staff would work to minimise the impact on residents.
"The good thing is the two sites are side by side, so we're not building on top of the existing area," Mr O'Rorke said.
Retailers expected to fill the new part of the centre are yet to be confirmed but will likely include medical, health and fitness facilities, along with the new Coles.
Robbo's Bakery owner Andrew Roberts, who has been trading from the centre for 25 years, said the increased foot traffic at the shopping village was inevitable with the a boost in residential development within Karalee and surrounds.
He said adding a Coles to the centre could also attract new customers.
"The Coles will likely bring in more people who had previously been travelling to other centres," Mr Roberts said.
"Those people could potentially then become customers for us and the other businesses already here."
Karalee is an increasingly popular area for home buyers.
Palace Property Agents owner Clare Cantwell said the availability of large acreage and affordable waterfront blocks had attracted families from Brisbane, Springfield and elsewhere.
"The demand is very high," Ms Cantwell said.
"The new homes being built around the shops are mostly rental properties but there are other estates including The Crossing and Aspect which have been very popular with families looking for more space and a different lifestyle."
Ipswich is one of the fastest growing cities in the southern hemisphere, expected to hit 460,000 residents by 2031.
That growth attracted investment from Consolidated Properties.
"We go to where the growth is," Mr O'Rorke said.
He said the group was always on the lookout for opportunities and "this one ticked all the boxes".
Construction is expected to finish in April 2019.