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Shops under the hammer... Ipswich’s £7m town centre sell-off

08:00 02 February 2016

Former Woolworths store in Carr street. Guide price £4.25m.

Former Woolworths store in Carr street. Guide price £4.25m.

One of the largest landowners in Ipswich town centre has put many of its shop units up for sale for about £7m.

Car park operator NCP owns many shop units in Upper Brook Street, Carr Street and Upper Orwell Street in a property portfolio built up in the 1990s to become the Cloisters, or later Mint Quarter, development.

Now the buildings have been put up for sale by auction at the end of the month.

The largest single lot is the former Woolworths store, now occupied by Poundland, on Carr Street. It has a guide price of £4.25m.

A further four units are up for sale in two separate lots in Carr Street – the Millets and Looks unit is valued at £900,000 and the BetFred/barbers’ shop is valued at £450,000.

Four units on Upper Brook Street, occupied by Greggs, Palace Amusements, Can Can, and one vacancy, have a guide price of £700,000.

The portfolio was built up in the hope that the whole area, including the Tacket Street and Cox Lane car parks, could be redeveloped as a major new retail centre in the heart of Ipswich.

However this failed to come forward – and now owner NCP 
has decided to pull out of the 
Ipswich properties in a bid to give someone else the chance to redevelop them.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “We can confirm that these retail freeholds are being offered for sale at the end of February and is simply part of a rationalisation of non-car parking assets.

“NCP remains committed to Ipswich with our numerous car parks throughout the town.”

The news of the sale has been given a cautious welcome by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer and by Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement.

Both hoped that the move could hasten redevelopment proposals for the area around the two surface car parks – but there are concerns that if they are all bought by separate owners it could be more difficult to achieve a comprehensive redevelopment.

Mr Gummer said: “I did know about the proposed sale. I have been urging NCP to come up with proposals to develop its estate or to sell them to someone who does want to do something with them.

“The important thing is that it would be best to see them sold to the same developer to come up with a plan for the future. That area is very important to the future of the town.”

Mr Clement said he the sale could pave the way to some significant developments for that part of the town centre – but emphasised the hope of the Ipswich Vision partners that much of the Cox Lane/Upper Orwell Street area should be residential-lead.

He said: “By splitting up the lots, it should speed up the sale of these properties.”

19 comments

  • Can I suggest you apply some moderation to your Facebook Page. The corresponding article on there that links to this article has posts containing both the C and F word. Now you wouldn't allow them on this site, so please don't allow them on your Facebook Page. I have messaged you via FB on this issue before but without the benefit of a reply which is disappointing. It's a family newspaper, its various online manifestations should be as well. Thank you.

    Report this comment

    M Prime

    Monday, February 8, 2016

  • Personally i think IBC should but the whole lot... Redevelop it themsleves if they love this town so much.. On top of that they get extra revenue from the shops created on top of tax and what not.. it would be nice to see more shops in the town other than coffee shops

    Report this comment

    Richards2013

    Sunday, February 7, 2016

  • Bulldoze it and create a proper covered market area .

    Report this comment

    traffic lights

    Sunday, February 7, 2016

  • That NCP car park behind Poundland is the worst kept car park in Ipswich, don't go in there if you can help it, people begging, no cctv and grit everywhere.

    Report this comment

    kev70

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • The buyer of the woolworths building will turn it into flats and cover it in battleship grey cladding. With so many empty shop units in the town, no-one in their right mind is going to try to put shops in there. So it will provide valuable customers to the numerous bookies, charity shops and poiund shops in the area. And it will look crap than it does now. They should do the same with the old Co-op building and the old council building in St Helens Street, both of which have been empty for years.

    Report this comment

    Alice

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • Interesting to note how many times the word 'could' occurs. Will probably need the words (probably not) added. Lets face it, Ippy need some radical new ideas.

    Report this comment

    Scuzzer

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • I see those letters NCP and will not park on any of their land therefore would rather use the internet than go into Ipswich center or even better these days the out of town developments where parking is free.

    Report this comment

    reg

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • TREBOR60 - I'm with you. More residential less retail. Changing shopping habits mean the demand for 'hard copy' bricks and mortar retail outlets is fading fast and will never return. As in Barcelona, so in many pleasant French towns. The commercial centre and residential outskirts model is so old hat, only people like our councillors could think it's still the way to go.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • nice one mike..but Ipswich central go one better than that.. they get IBC to collect their money for them as they are a private ltd company and IBC have to chase those who fail to pay the extra 1% tax business levy...In a town thats struggling to entice extra business we have the ridiculous Ipswich central ltd getting 750k each year to run the business district..625 businesses pay their wages each year and they have no choice to opt out..they have been here since 2007 ..says it all really as has the town improved since their arrival ?.. a non professional group( one of which is the chairman Terry Baxter a former radio presenter) are responsible for the towns whole swing around to the beloved waterfront.!!

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • I'm borrowing the money off Marcus Evans, buying the lot, opening them as a business called 'Ipswich Central' (as they are 'central'). The stores will be void of any useful stock, then I will sit in the shops and waffle a lot, while getting paid a lot, to produce nothing. I think it's a winner!

    Report this comment

    Mike Derruki

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • I'm going to open a fancy traffic light shop, should do well in Ipswich

    Report this comment

    john

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • @ Ipswich Entrepreneur....careful now! IBC may invoice you for coming up with such good ideas! Without doubt the town needs a radical change of leadership and direction as it is clear those running the town centre have failed badly and that is why Norwich, Bury and Colchester continue to attract more shoppers and visitors. Ipswich, as the oldest English town, has a lot to offer but the council and these other bodies such as Ipswich Central (who they?) just aren't getting the job done.

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Time for the council to buy the "Woolworths" building, demolish it and relocate the market there. Plenty of parking nearby. Some days can be groceries, other days can be non-food. Not a huge site but enough for permanent stalls with a refreshment hut in the middle and a couple of hot food stalls. 7-day a week market, Sundays could even be a car boot sale.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • This information was on Streetlife 4 days ago , good to know our local paper has its finger on the pulse ! If you look at Ipswich Vision you will see what our people in charge want for the town. They talk about a roof over Lloyds Avenue and 2000 homes in the town centre etc !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Seems an excessive price unless you let Mr Ellsemere in the auction room...

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Why is there a surplus of shops as mentioned in this article ? Would you take over a shop in the half of the town centre that gets no investment or block paved streets for shoppers ? Would you want a shop next to busy traffic like Upper Orwell Street and Upper Brook Street ? It is less hassle if "we" just hand over this part of the town over to the developers so they can blitz the town with more wine rack apartment blocks. More traffic mayhem for everyone and half a town centre for shoppers. Then the newspaper can ask its readers why do all the shoppers go to Norwich and Bury St Edmunds all over again.:)

    Report this comment

    chantry

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Bulldoze everything bordered by TacketCarrUpper Brook and Upper Orwell Streets and replace it with modern residential apartments both large and small over several [6-8] storeys with underground parking as can be seen in central Barcelona. Ipswich is short of housing and has a vast surplus of retail premises already!

    Report this comment

    TREBOR60

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • No surprise there then. If we shun the air-fairy abstractions of outfits like Ippers Central and get down to concrete reality, imagine you're the board of an expanding and successful enterprise looking to expand. Someone suggests Ipswich and a quite country town in sleepy suffolk sounds ideal, so you all go a fact finding mission. A quick walk through the centre observing and listening to the undesirables who infest the place these days, what are you going to think? It's going to be hot foot to the station and out of the place. No-one is going to risk their capital in the town centre of our town now are they? The centre is bad and getting worse and it will never ever improve.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Another great plan for Ipswich that never got off the ground Will anyone be interested in these properties? Don't look like moneyspinners

    Report this comment

    neilf

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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

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