Bank ends lease in empty city centre
BENDIGO Bank will close its Ipswich Mall branch within months, dealing another blow to the increasingly empty central business district.
The community bank's branch, located off the now closed Nicholas St, will shut in October.
Customers can still access the branch via the pedestrian walkway next to the construction site.
A Bendigo Bank spokesman confirmed the closure of the branch in favour of the company's Brisbane St building, Tower Central.
"The Ipswich Mall branch will be relocated to Tower Central upon expiration of the lease in early October 2019," he said.
"The Tower Central branch will be a completely new fit-out and a modern design that we're sure our customers will love."
Ipswich City Council has budgeted $111 million this financial year to progress the development of Nicholas St and the wider CBD.
The vacation of Bendigo Bank adds to the closure of Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas, which shut its doors earlier this year.
It cited the "declining retail environment in the CBD" as a reason.
Bendigo Bank has previously touted its modern Brisbane St tower building as the "right choice for our staff community, making it easier and more enjoyable for our people to do their work".
Ipswich City Properties, the company tasked with redeveloping the CBD, is in the final stages of being closed.
The company left ratepayers with a $78 million loss through its failed attempts to progress the redevelopment of the CBD.
Ipswich council administrator Greg Chemello has cited the CBD development as a key priority during his tenure.
Mr Chemello said the council's leasing team was in discussions with more than 20 possible tenants for the retail, entertainment and food and beverage buildings owned by the council.
"The plan is to refurbish these buildings before leasing them to new tenants and selling them to the private sector," he said.
"In my view, council should not hold these buildings any longer than it needs to recoup as much money as possible for the city's ratepayers."