Ipswich: Will the sale of the Odeon lead to its redevelopment?

Ipswich Odeon has been sold for £530,000 Ipswich Odeon has been sold for £530,000

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
6:14 PM

After the former Odeon cinema at the Major’s Corner was sold for £530,000 yesterday, civic leaders have called for it to be brought back to life.

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The 1991-built cinema was sold at a Savills auction yesterday. It had been given a guide price of £500,000. The identity of the buyer has not yet been revealed.

And there has been no immediate word on the buyer of the building, or on the future plans for it.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said he hoped the sale of the building would lead to its redevelopment – the Odeon closed in 2005.

He said: “The hope is that someone who has paid a substantial sum for the site will have a clear view of how they want to develop it – it’s been empty for far too long.”

Mr Ellesmere was not aware of any approaches to the council to ask about possible future uses of the building.

However he said officials at the borough would be delighted to speak to the new owners about possible future uses and would be contacting Savills as soon as possible to try discuss its future.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the Odeon site was vital to the regeneration of that part of the town centre.

He said: “I would have liked to see the borough buy it and do something innovative alongside the Regent – but whoever has it needs to get on with doing something.”

And he admitted the building had strong personal memories for him: “It’s where I went on my first date!”

Mr Ellesmere said the borough had considered bidding for the building, but had not been able to put together a potential partnership deal before the auction took place.

It was built for the Odeon chain as part of a complex deal that saw the council take over the Regent and NCP take over the borough’s Cox Lane car park.

When built, it had five cinema screens – three on the ground floor and two above.

When the building went on the market last year Chris Moody from Savills said this number had now been reduced to four after a wall between two was removed, but apart from that the building was basically sound although the seats had been removed.

There could be a number of potential uses for the building, although it seems unlikely to become a cinema again.

Odeon pulled out because it was unable to compete with the 11-screen Cineworld in Cardinal Park. Now Vue cinemas is due to convert part of the Buttermarket centre into a nine-screen cinema.

In its planning guidance for the site, the borough suggests it could be used in conjunction with the neighbouring Regent Theatre.

Mr Moody has said it might be suitable for other entertainment uses.

A proposal a few years ago to turn it into a family restaurant, a sports bar and a nightclub attracted objections from the police who were concerned about another club opening on the edge of the town centre.

32 comments

  • @bluenos - I don't think IBC were talking about the 5 year period (or had interest in buying it at it's original 1 million price tag) they are referring to the period between when it was put up for auction at 500,000 (a bargain price really) and the eventual sale which was just a few weeks

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • An ice-skating rink...

    Report this comment

    Chris Ward

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • What ever it eventually turns into, you can guarantee the people of Ipswich will moan about it.

    Report this comment

    Public Purson

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • "... unlikely to become a cinema again" Derr - stating the obvious. What is this - Channel 4 news? As for future redevelopment how about building a block of low business rate shops to attract some varied small retailers back into a town bereft of any shopping choice and plagued with a history of failed modernistic council big ideas?

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • mmmm Cornetto

    Report this comment

    Liam Dodd

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • When will Savill's rein of terror end?

    Report this comment

    Crabstick

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • When will Savill's rein of terror end?

    Report this comment

    Crabstick

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Hand car wash maybe ? You can never have enough of those so it seems..

    Report this comment

    mmm

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • How about a fantastic new nightclub or perhaps a lap dancing club, now that would go down well NOT

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Dumpling

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Who wants to pay high rent for that part off town

    Report this comment

    dc

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • @Miguel100 You already have 3 mosques in Ipswich The Ipswich and Suffolk Bangladeshi Muslim Community and Mosque Centre , Shah Jalal Masjid and Jam'at Ihyaa' Minhaaj Al-Sunnah.

    Report this comment

    Ivan 'ncfc' Humble

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I reckon it'd be a good place to put The Famous Fisks. At least for the next 5 years until their population would outgrow the space a 5 screen cinema can provide...

    Report this comment

    evilweazel

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • You would need to be as mad as a bucket of Star reporters to buy a flat there, the air is virtually unbreathable.

    Report this comment

    IanW

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Rumour has it that the space will be used to store 100,000 traffic lights in preparation for a siege on the town :-O

    Report this comment

    soapbox

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • @IpsEnt Your return on investment isn't going to attract many buyers.

    Report this comment

    IanW

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • No doubt it will be turned into some downmarket leisure facility which will go out of business shortly after, and four years down the line we'll be back to the same place. It's in a terrible area of town, just knock it down and use the land to ease what is one of the towns many road bottlenecks. Although I wouldn't trust Newman and his team with it.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Convert it into a massive house! :-O

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Nice to see ignorance alive and well in Ipswich. Personally I couldn't care less if it were to become a Mosque although I don't think we have a large enough Muslim population for the size of the building. Anyway, live and let live is the way I live. I would like to see it form some kind of leisure facility, haven't given it any serious thought but maybe a restaurant complex full of various independently owned eateries from every corner of the globe.

    Report this comment

    Drew Peacock

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I can tell you that its being converted into luxury apartments (subject to planning) - 5 open plan apartments and nice shared breakout spaces. They will sell for £1 million+ - how much it costs to convert the insides will determine how much profit is made. The question is, could you afford the likely £1000+ pcm going rent?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Car Park, to help with all the extra traffic the town will get from the fantastic new lighting system that has been put in place, plus all the decent shops people can frequent...

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • "Mr Ellesmere said the borough had considered bidding for the building, but had not been able to put together a potential partnership deal before the auction took place." nice to see our hard working officials were all over this - it's been sat there for what, 5 years but still they didn't have time - very impressive. Maybe the owner is just sick of dealing with IBC and sold it in secret hoping they wouldn't notice.

    Report this comment

    bleunos

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Tesco's? or could it be made into a traffic light factory, or a charity shop or a betting shop, oooh the suspense.

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • This site fail too often and needs fixing before it will be worth spending further time using it

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • So as the Tax payer paid for this to be built, how much of the 530,000 is to refunded or is this already allocated for more of these wonderful road improvements we are witnessing

    Report this comment

    Livemusic

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • It will probably end up being put up for sale again by the new owners, as per several empty sites around the town - somebody buys them, then puts them up for sale, then somebody else buys etc etc

    Report this comment

    Mr Grumpy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • The Taxpayer paid for it to be built ? Enlighten us please

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Good location for a drive thru Pound Shop

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Man

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Perhaps the council DID buy it by proxy ...they just dont want anyone to know ....

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Tedbundy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I think the £530.000 should got to the SCC and the IBC's pensions as they are all working so hard to f***k this town up.

    Report this comment

    m01

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • An ice-skating rink...

    Report this comment

    Chris Ward

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • When will Savill's rein of terror end?

    Report this comment

    Crabstick

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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