Historic pub to move into the 21st Century

21 December 2021

The recently refurbished Commonwealth Hotel in the revitalised $250 million Nicholas Street Precinct will be extended to ensure the pub is adapted for modern use while staying true to its heritage roots.

The extension will see the hotel floor area doubled and will be the conclusion of the major restoration and renovation works that began in 2018.

Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said the extension will be external to the historic building at ground level and into the Bell Street green site both at ground and basement levels.

“The historic Commonwealth Hotel will be left largely the same with the new works outside the building footprint to ensure the premises will be fit for use as a modern hotel,” Cr Doyle said.

“The proposed works include new kitchen storage areas, a loading dock, beer garden area, and dining area.

“Council referred the development application for review by the Independent Decision Review Panel, with the panel indicating it was satisfied with the intention of the proposed council recommendation to recommend approval of the application subject to conditions.”

The Commonwealth Hotel, also formally known as Murphy’s Town Pub, had partially collapsed due to subsidence which made the building uninhabitable.

To ensure the hotel could be repaired, and to prevent further disintegration, the building was carefully deconstructed with the pieces stored offsite in a council depot to be restored and repaired.

Practical completion of restoration works occurred in June 2021.

“The hotel will be an anchor for the revitalised Nicholas Street Precinct and encourage additional visitors and diners to the area,” Cr Doyle said.

“These extension works will ensure we can secure a larger tenant and will greatly improve the site’s commerciality allowing for greater return for council on its investment.

“The Commonwealth Hotel is a notable part of Ipswich’s history and these extension works will help ensure it will continue to be part of our future.”