THE first stage of the $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre is on track for completion mid-year.
Construction of the 9000sqm, Ripley Town Centre, first stage is now well advanced with the roof installed, glazing and shopfronts currently being installed.
The side and ceiling window accents spanning the undercover mall are now in place, which will bring in an abundance of natural light with the height of the main structure assisting natural air flow throughout the building.
This area of the town centre will be named Satoyama Way, which reflects the seamless connection of nature and the urban environment that has been incorporated into the town centre design.
Coles supermarket is in the process of being fitted out, and both ground and second floor tenancy walls and glazing are being installed. Nearing completion is the town centre's main loading dock, while the exterior wood façade is partially installed.
Brisbane-based Hutchinson Builders, one of Australia's largest construction companies, commenced work on the town centre in February 2017.
The retail offering in the first stage of the town centre has been bolstered by an array of new leases, with the latest leases lifting occupancy to over 80 per cent.
Once completed in coming months, the first stage will comprise a marketplace-style centre anchored by a Coles supermarket and supported by 20 specialty stores, a medical centre and commercial office space to service the growing population of the Ripley region.
In the latest round of leases, Ripley Town Centre has secured tenancies from liquor giant BWS, a bakery, newsagent, nail salon, hairdresser, massage centre and café.
"We're pleased with construction progress over the past year, and we're thrilled to see the number of retailers and commercial businesses moving to capitalise on the potential of the regional town centre,” said Ripley Town Centre development manager Taku Hashimoto.
"The new tenancies will improve the amenity for residents, with all essential shops and services under the one roof.
"Inquiries for space have been strong from the outset and the quality of tenants we have secured has firmly positioned Ripley Town Centre as a major drawcard for the region.”
The new leases build on the tenant mix at Ripley Town Centre which last year saw the Victoria-based Quay Family Healthcare sign a major medical centre to operate on the site.
The medical centre is will offer a wide array of essential health services offered at the town centre including general practitioners, pathology and radiology.
Other health and medical tenants secured include The Discount Chemist, dentist Dr Nauv Kashyap who is opening his eighth South East Queensland practice, and Ipswich veterinarian Andrew Hemming who is targeting a second surgery to complement his existing Flinders View Veterinary Surgery.
Ripley Town Centre will be developed in stages to coincide with the needs of local and regional communities, and rapidly increasing population growth. This exciting new regional hub will service up to 120,000 people expected to call the Ripley region home over the coming years.
Ripley Town Centre has implemented several sustainability initiatives to secure a 5 Star Green Star - Design & As Built accreditation.
This includes the installation of 1800 individual solar panels with the majority to be installed on the 360 vehicle carpark shade structures as part of the 480kW system that will help generate a sizable portion of the town centre's power needs at peak times.
"The solar system will not only reduce demand on the grid at peak times, but also lower costs for tenants within Ripley Town Centre and ensure the town centre meets the needs of the community well into the next century,” Mr Hashimoto said.
"Sustainability is a primary objective for the Ripley Town Centre and we've made a commitment to achieving a 5 Star Green Star Design & As Built accreditation.
"This commitment involves the implementation of innovative design and management to achieve high indoor environment quality, energy and water saving, and a selection of low impact materials to minimise the impact on the local ecology.”
When completed, Ripley Town Centre will ultimately comprise a broad range of commercial and retail spaces, a dining precinct, regional transit hub, community and entertainment facilities as well as new inner-urban residential nodes.
"As the future stages of the Ripley Town Centre come to fruition, we will see a rise in the use of public transport and less reliance on the car,” Mr Hashimoto said.
"Our vision is to see the extension of rail services to Ripley Town Centre, which will combine with existing infrastructure to create an urban centre that combines retail, commercial, residential and community facilities to create jobs within the community.
"Our vital mission of the project is to ensure the people who live, work and visit Ripley Town Centre remain just as satisfied over the decades to come.”
The project incorporates a three-dimensional approach to urban design. The green space, mixed-use buildings, and integrated transport system allow the community to live and work seamlessly. The town centre is also pedestrian friendly, with everything located within 400m of the transit hub.
The large-scale project will create in excess of 20,000 new jobs at Ripley Town Centre for the region.
The recently unveiled 10 hectare-plus parkland will provide areas where workers and shoppers from Ripley Town Centre can take a break and relax. The recreational precinct blends seamlessly into the amenities and infrastructure of the Ripley Town Centre. Construction of the parklands precinct is well under way and is expected to be completed early this year.