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Shopping centre fearful of retailers' futures due to Nicholas St precinct

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The new Nicholas Street Precinct will duplicate businesses throughout Ipswich with fears it could hurt retailers, says a rival Ipswich shopping centre.

Riverlink Shopping Centre manager Jamie Sneyd says Leda, the owners and managers of the centre, have and continue to invest heavily in the Ipswich region to deliver quality destinations for the community to “live, shop and be entertained.”

Mr Sneyd has accused the council of ignoring independent report advice to not duplicate the current business offerings in the area.

“As a major corporate contributor to Ipswich, Leda enthusiastically endorses the rejuvenation of the Ipswich CBD however not a duplication of current businesses in the surrounding areas including Riverlink and top of town,” he says.

“Further, the council is rumoured to be finalising terms with an International Cinema operator to compete with Limelight Cinemas at Riverlink which is an Independent Australian owned Cinema company.

“If this cinema goes ahead, it will provide approximately double the amount of screens in Ipswich per capita than the national average and hurt retailers who have been battling years of difficult and disrupted trading conditions.”

Ipswich City Council maintains the $250 million Nicholas Street Precinct is a food and entertainment hub only and will allow Ipswich businesses to thrive.

“We believe it’s an amazing opportunity for all residents and businesses in Ipswich to thrive,” councillor Marnie Doyle says.

“We are the food and entertainment capital of the CBD. You will not see retail offerings here like Target and Kmart.

“If you want to head out for some retail therapy, you pop over to Riverlink.”

Cr Doyle also confirmed that the council is in deep negotiations with cinema operators, with announcement expected in the coming months.