05 October 2011

New Masters' store at Springfield Central ready to open as two more stores planned for Ipswich

IPSWICH'S do-it-yourself war is intensifying with new home improvement chain Masters lodging a development application for a massive store at Bundamba.

Masters, formed as a venture between Woolworths and US partner Lowes to take on Bunnings, already has an application for a store at Yamanto.

And a Masters Springfield Central store is expected to open for trading in the coming weeks.

The Bundamba store is slated to be a 13,048sqm building on Ashburn Rd in the Citiswich Business Park, but access will be off Hoepner St.

A spokesperson for Masters said if given approval construction would start as soon as possible, with the store taking about a year to build.

It will hire between 130 and 150 staff once completed.

According to documents lodged with the council, about 290 construction jobs would be created if the project was to receive the green light.

The move will put pressure on existing hardware giant Bunnings, which currently has a store at Booval.

Bunnings expects to open a second Ipswich store at West Ipswich in 2012.

If all the proposed stores are approved, Ipswich would have five massive hardware stores in the coming years.

Bunnings chief operating officer Peter Davis said his company would continue to actively look for new store sites as part of an ongoing expansion strategy.

He said Ipswich would see a new store open next year.

"In addition to our Booval warehouse we also have plans to open a new warehouse in West Ipswich by the end of 2012," Mr Davis said.

Ipswich City Council's planning and development chairman Paul Tully said pending approvals, having five large hardware stores in the city would provide for better competition for Ipswich residents.

In regards to the proposed Yamanto sore, Cr Tully said the council had sent Masters an information request and was awaiting a response.

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