In 1993 Sippy Downs was established as suburb following the decision by Shire of Maroochy to rezone the area. 1996 saw the opening of the Sunshine Coast University College with 524 students, then renamed the University of the Sunshine Coast in 1999. Fast forwarding a few years and Shire of Maroochy Council had transitioned into the Sunshine Coast Council delivering the Sippy Downs Town Centre Masterplan in 2006.

(Images Courtesy USC Early Years | The Power of and Idea)

The Masterplan and it’s delivery then languished for quite a few years resurfacing based upon our research in early July 2011 with the Buderim Chronicle reporting “Coles to sell units in Sippy Downs” closely followed “Woolies’ bombshell stuns Mayor” and just hours later. “Retailer, council to meet again” was published in September 2011 whereby Woolworths sought State Government intervention to allow their planned Town Centre Development despite Council objections.

Artists Impression of the early stage design for the Sippy Downs Town Centre

This dispute was reported on again in November 2011 notifying locals “Decision deadline draws nearer” with a yet another story released in January 2012 stating “All up for Sippy Downs” reporting Woolworths was to start work mid-2012 on its $100 million Sippy Downs Town Centre development after the State Government approved the project. This of course never came to fruition, and the Coles development fizzled out as well. Come January 2013 and “Sippy Downs Town Centre ready for action” reports the Chronicle based upon the release of a temporary local planning instrument (TLPI). Cr Christian Dickson was reported as saying “”The purpose of the TLPI is to kick-start development of the Sippy Downs Town Centre, including the Business and Technology Park,” with yet another report just 6 days later stating “Shovels ready to start Sippy Downs town centre” however due to a range of factors including the harsh economic climate of that time nothing eventuated again.

Between that time and the present Sippy Downs saw the first real activity within the town centre precinct with the delivery of Stage one of the $4 million Sippy Downs Drive upgrade project delivered, Ochre Medical Centre delivered in March of 2014, closely followed by the 305-apartment Atrium residential complex commencing in November of the same year. Early 2016 saw the long-awaited Coles development began along with Youi Group turning the first sod on their site in August 2016 with Coles opening in January 2017 and Youi opened for operation in late 2017. The Suncentral site next to Coles also kicked off in 2017 in turn opening in 2018.

In recent months and weeks media has reported the commencement of works between Coles and Stringybark Road with a story titled Five high-profile sites in a row at rapidly-growing precinct” and most recently the announcement that Nambour RSL plans to deliver a Community Club here in Sippy Downs with even more development to come before the Sippy Downs Town Centre is fully realised.

What is the destination? When will the clearing end? What about the wildlife? Keep an eye out tomorrow for our follow up story “Sippy Downs and the Town Centre Part 2 – The Destination.”

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