By Paul Geater
Thursday, February 7, 2013
ALTHOUGH work is continuing on drawing up plans to convert the former department store in the Buttermarket Centre into a cinema, the future of the largest store in the shopping mall is not yet clear.
TK Maxx’s store on the first floor would be absorbed in the redevelopment – the attrium of the shopping centre would be opened up and family restaurants and cafes are to be created on the first floor.
The managers of the centre, Cornerstone, are confident that TK Maxx will move into what had been the ground floor of the department store – it is a similar size to its existing shop – but so far nothing has been signed.
TK Maxx is understood to be one of the most successful stores in the town centre and this has prompted speculation that it could be looking to move to a larger store.
In other towns and cities it has much larger premises – and there have been suggestions it could move into the former Littlewoods unit at the nearby Tower Ramparts shopping centre.
However, the company itself is remaining tight-lipped. It would only repeat its statement from last year, saying: “We are aware of a planning application with regard to the Buttermarket shopping centre. However, we are not currently able to comment on these plans in relation to our store.”
Cornerstone is hoping to go out to tender for the multi-million-pound conversion work for the Buttermarket centre in April, with work starting in the summer.
The new Vue cinema is expected to open in summer next year with nine screens.
Would you like to see a larger TK Maxx in Tower Ramparts, or should it stay in the Buttermarket? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org