Business

'We want life back in the mall'

GET IT RIGHT: Ipswich City Mall Newsagents owner Pauline Williamson wants to see the redevelopment of Ipswich City Square succeed.
GET IT RIGHT: Ipswich City Mall Newsagents owner Pauline Williamson wants to see the redevelopment of Ipswich City Square succeed. Rob Williams

PAULINE Williamson admits she will be dancing with joy when she sees work start on the $150 million Ipswich City Square redevelopment.

Ms Williamson has owned Ipswich City Mall Newsagents for two years and is one of many Ipswich Mall business owners getting ready for D-day, when works start in the second half of this year.

But as she waits for that day she admits to a mixture of optimism and trepidation.

"I'll be so happy when I see that shovel go in the ground," Ms Williamson said.

"I will be dancing in the window.

"The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.

"The community wants it fixed up. They want to see it back to life. They say all the time 'it used to be a hive of activity and now look at it'.

"Now they have got it in their heads that the whole place is being demolished, but I try and get through to them that it will be done in sections."

Ms Williamson likes several aspects of the council's plan.

She said moving the library to the CBD was "a major plus" and would increase foot traffic.

"It will be better for older people too because it is a bit of a trek up the hill (to the current location)," she said.

While she welcomed the plan to have cafes and restaurants in the precinct, which she said would "breathe life" into the mall, she said the right mix of businesses was vital.

"Losing Woolworths was a major blow because it was so handy for people," she said.

Workers at knock-off time and people who use public transport would get what they needed and circulate in her business and buy magazines or a Lotto ticket.

"So I still think we need some department stores or maybe a supermarket," she said.

"Not everyone wants to go to Riverlink."

When the work starts, all Ms Williamson wants is for it to be done strategically so it does not impact businesses unduly.

"Hopefully they don't block us in too much.

"They tell me that what we will lose in footpath traffic we will pick up with tradesmen, but I don't know about that.

"If they can complete one end first and progressively work their way through that will really help."

One shining point that came through talking to Ms Williamson was that she wanted the redevelopment to work.

She knows there will be some short-term pain.

The QT spent time in the newsagency yesterday morning and Ms Williamson's customers were all salt of the earth Ipswich people.

She has experienced tragedy on a personal level and hardships with her business, but she has no intention of moving.

"It is either do or die. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't," she said.

"My husband bought this business and had multiple strokes three days into it, so I had to learn in a big hurry how to run it.

"So it has been a bit of a trial from day one."

"But most of my customers are absolutely wonderful - good community minded people.

"I had a tragedy last year when I lost my son and all these people who were strangers to me two years ago were coming in giving me hugs and kisses and all sorts of things.

"It has restored my faith in human nature. At the end of the day I am saying that I don't want to leave here.

"I don't want to move. I love Ipswich and I love the CBD and the old aspects of it, with its charm and character.

"This place can be revived. They just need to put something into it and bring the CBD back to its former glory."

Topics:  ipswich ipswich city square ipswich mall redevelopment pauline williamson


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Damage in Logan 'considerable' after floodwaters peak

Floodwaters creeping up to the M1 in Logan.

Damage to Logan described as 'considerable'

Body of missing man found in flooded Logan suburb

Cameron Power paddles in his backyard, as the paddle shows the depth ahead of the Logan River peaking at Waterford today.

Logan River set to peak at 2pm Saturday.

WATCH: Whirlpool forms in Logan floodwaters

Mt Lindesay Highway cut off at Jimboomba. Pic Mark. Calleja

Logan River is expected to break previous flood records

Local Partners

Madonna biopic in the works

MADONNA’S life as a rising pop star in New York in the early 1980s is set to be documented in a new biopic titled Blonde Ambition

Billionaire Elon Musk and Amber Heard hit Shingle Inn

Amber Heard and Elon Musk enjoy a bite to eat at the Shingle Inn, Broadbeach.

Actor Amber Heard and billionaire Elon Musk are enjoying Qld

New Netflix doco on JonBenet Ramsay's death makes huge claim

A new documentary will air claims that child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay was murdered by a paedo sex ring.

New claims that JonBenet Ramsay was killed by a paedophile sex ring

Movie review: Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers on all fronts

Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

Does Guardians Vol. 2 live up to high expectations set by original?

Sir Elton John hospitalised with rare infection

CROCODILE ROCKER: Sir Elton John will head to Mackay in September for the first stop of his Australian tour.

Elton John cancels shows after becoming violently ill.

Sunshine Coast singers out to turn chairs on The Voice

NEXT BIG THING? Tune in to see Glasshouse Mountains folk artist Benjamin James Caldwell on The Voice.

Do our Coast folk singers have what it takes to turn judges' chairs?

Former Glee star Lea Michele posts nude selfie to Instagram

Former Glee star Lea Michele has posted a very revealing snapshot

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

DREAM HOMES: 10 properties with a million-dollar price tag

5 Lawson Street, Laguna Quays

10 properties in the Mackay region with a million-dollar price tag.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!