Town’s old electricity building has ‘proud’ new owner
- Credit: Ross Dean
A prominent town building which once housed an electricity service centre before becoming a corset factory then a radio station has been snapped up by a local businessman.
Martin Holland’s property investment and development business Christchurch Holland has bought Electric House in Crown Street, Ipswich.
He said he and his team had “a real passion” for Ipswich and were proud to now be the owner of “one of the town’s most important buildings”.
“Ipswich has a range of fantastic architecture and I am really proud to now own one of our landmark buildings”, he said.
“As a young boy, passing Radio Orwell which used to be based here, I never imagined I would own such an iconic building.”
Christchurch Holland has invested in property around the country but is now keen to focus on Ipswich.
“Our team are looking to prioritise Ipswich with our investments,” said Mr Holland. “High streets and town centres everywhere are facing a challenging time but we believe Ipswich town centre can be vibrant and interesting. Now is the time for Ipswich to fly.”
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The building currently houses Haart Estate Agent on the ground floor with 14 apartments on the upper levels.
Built in 1933, the building has some stand-out features with an Art Deco style frontage which reveals its original use.
“If you look up when next passing you can see the crest and letters IESC, standing for Ipswich Electricity Supply Centrewhich is where the name Electric House comes from,” said Mr Holland. “It was opened in 1939 as the service centre for what later became Eastern Electricity.”
“Light Power Heat” is engraved into the upper part of the building, and despite a variety of functions over the years it is still referred to as Electric House.
In the 1960s the building became a corset factory, and in 1975, was home to the town’s first commercial radio station, Radio Orwel. In 1993, local solicitors Graham and Oldham, now Ashtons, and The Futon Company moved in.
Five years ago, the building was renovated and now houses 14 apartments, with an estate agent on the ground floor. It has a rooftop terrace with views across the town from the top of Lloyds Avenue.
“My great - grandfather was Mayor of Ipswich in the 1930s when Electric House was being built,” said Mr Holland. “I hope he would be proud that Christchurch Holland is the new owner.”
Electric House was sold through Goldings Auctions with the legalities completed by Smith and Co Solicitors.