THE $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre that will service the rapidly growing Ripley Valley region in the Western Corridor of Ipswich is set to become a reality with construction under way on the highly anticipated project.

The milestone development will create an exciting new regional hub that will service up to 120,000 people expected to call the Ripley Valley home over the next 20 years.

Ripley Town Centre developer Sekisui House, which is also behind the $500 million Ecco Ripley residential community, announced the start of construction of this highly anticipated project today.

The Town Centre will service Ecco Ripley and the broader Ripley Valley, which is set to become one of largest pre-planned communities in Australia.

The Brisbane-based Hutchinson Builders, one of Australia's largest construction companies, commenced work in February on what is destined to become a thriving new heart for the Ipswich region.

The Ripley Town Centre, which will ultimately comprise a broad range of commercial and retail spaces, a dining precinct, regional transit hub, community and entertainment facilities as well as residential, and is expected to be a major growth catalyst for the Ripley Valley.

The first stage of Ripley Town Centre has a project value of $40 million and will create 100 construction jobs and 100 ongoing jobs on completion in March 2018.

It will comprise a marketplace-style centre totalling 9,400 sqm, anchored by a 3,800sqm Coles supermarket and supported by 20 specialty stores, a medical centre and commercial office space. Tenants have already committed almost 80 per cent of available space in this stage.

Civil works for the Town Centre, including major roadwork's to support the development, were completed last year by developer Sekisui House, the world's biggest residential construction company.

The $10 million in civil works included upgrades to Ripley Road and associated infrastructure, laying the groundwork for Sekisui House's a long-term commitment to Queensland's booming south-east corner and the staged Ripley Town Centre and Ecco Ripley development which has a combined project value of $2 billion.

"The commencement of construction for the Ripley Town Centre is a game-changer for Ecco Ripley and the western growth corridor," says Sekisui House Australia CEO and managing director Toru Abe.

"This is the beginning of what we believe will become an important commercial and community heart for Ripley Valley and South East Queensland for many years to come.

"Ripley Town Centre is a milestone project that will be a catalyst for continued growth of the region.
The scale of this project is comparable to Springfield and Northlakes, both of which have been pivotal in improving capital values and building strong communities with their own unique identity.

"We have been warmly encouraged by the strong sales achieved since the first releases of land at Ecco Ripley, and the sense of community that we have already created.

"Ripley Town Centre is a showcase development that provides a clean, green environment in which to live, work, play and rest. It will become the new heart for the broader Ripley Valley.

"This is just the beginning of our long-term commitment to this region to create a living environment that is world-class."

Ecco Ripley is the urban core project within the 4680ha Ripley Valley Urban Development Area that is expected to ultimately house 120,000 people. The community was awarded a Five Star Green Star Rating in 2015.

Ripley Town Centre is also working towards Green Star accreditation through energy efficiency measures, including rainwater harvesting and the use of photovoltaic solar panels on roofs and car park shade structures.

The plans represent a collective design approach by Sekisui House to Ecco Ripley and the Ripley Town Centre, with the aim of providing a highly liveable, sustainable environment.

Ripley Town Centre is a staged project that will be developed in line with population growth, supported by a transport hub that can accommodate bus and rail services. Provision has been made for a rail corridor connecting to the Springfield and Ipswich line.

The project incorporates new generation urban design principles to include a range of open spaces, featuring the Ripley Town Park that backs onto Bundamba Creek. The design also includes the latest fibre-optic network connections for businesses and residences.

Ripley Town Centre alone is expected to create 20,000 new jobs for Ripley Valley when fully completed. It will also bring 257,000sqm of gross commercial, office and retail floor space to the market and create 2,000 new dwellings.

The broader Ecco Ripley project, which will ultimately comprise 4,000 homes housing about 10,000 people, is expected to be a key player in accommodating forecasts of a near doubling of the City of Ipswich population to around 327,000 by 2041.

Hutchinson Builders Managing Director Greg Quinn said he was thrilled to be involved in helping bring the Ripley Town Centre to fruition.

"This is a significant project for the Ipswich region and more broadly South-East Queensland," Mr Quinn said.

"As a proud Queensland company with a history dating back more than 100 years, we see the Ripley Town Centre as one of those rare projects that will benefit the local community on a generational level. This is the start of something big and we are honoured to be a part of it."

Ipswich Mayor Cr Paul Pisasale has welcomed Sekisui House's ongoing commitment to the city's future.

"This is a significant milestone for the City of Ipswich with a major new town centre to service the many thousands of people choosing to live here," he said.

"Our workforce is growing, our appeal as a destination is growing and this world-class development we are witnessing in Ripley Valley is adding to that appeal.

"This new town centre is realising the incredible potential in Ipswich."

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