Poll: Major boost for the Ipswich Waterfront as progress made on development of notorious Winerack

Ipswich Waterfront

Ipswich Waterfront

Developer John Howard is about to go out to tender to select the building company to complete the Waterfront tower that has become known as `The Winerack.’

John Howard developer at the Waterfront

John Howard developer at the Waterfront - Credit: Archant

A major step forward is about to take place in the re-birth of “The Winerack” alongside Ipswich Waterfront.

It is going to be completed, finally, and brought into use for luxury homes and business.

Developer John Howard is going out to tender to select his builder for the multi-million pound scheme.

His plan is to complete the landmark tower block, which became a symbol of the recession and the banking collapse which stalled redevelopment in the Victorian Wet Dock area.


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Now it is on the move again with building work due to start, on site, early in 2106.

The `Winerack’ - orignally part of the Regatta Quay development - is a mixed use development.

It will include up to 147 contemporary apartment homes wih panoramic views, and with commercial areas on the lower floors including offices, and possibly restaurants and bars.

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The developer revealed he is going out to tender, on September 1, to a shortlist of three contractors in order to select one for this important project.

With the development having been granted retrospective planning approval, by Ipswich Borough Council, work is due to start early in 2016.

John Howard said the project should take two to three years to complete.

He said: “It is very exciting. This is a major step forward for the project. It has been very frustrating but we are moving forward now.

“This is important for the Waterfront, and for Ipswich.

“I am really pleased to be doing it. It has come full circle for me - the first tower block I did in Ipswich was St Francis Tower in 1986.

“We are pleased to be back in Ipswich with this one. “I always try to surround myself with the best experts and because this is local, it has more of a personal interest in it for us.”

He said he would be very “hands on” with the project.

He expects to select his builder by the end of this year, to allow works on site to begin once the worst of winter weather had passed.

There would be some early site works, he said, with major work probably getting under way in March.

“The first job we have to do is to put the roof on and then we will start cladding and putting windows in.

“Our target is to have the first apartments ready for residents to move in, in Spring 2017.”

The completed scheme will be the first of its kind in the region to incorporate a German-manufactured `stacker’ car parking scheme, with space for 264 vehicles, and for use by tower residents.

There are three large commercial units from 2.300 sq ft up to 5,300 sq ft, two of them having marina views.

They could become up-market offices or a bar/restaurant.

One unit, fronting Key Street, had previously been intended as a theatre and performance area and so could be used for arts or entertainment in the revived scheme.

The apartments will probably have a new name - still be be chosen.

More details, including plans for the penthouses, will be released at a later date.

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