Former Ipswich nightclub to become apartments

Foundry House, Old Foundry Road, Ipswich a cgi of how it will look after renovation and conversion

Foundry House, Old Foundry Road, Ipswich a cgi of how it will look after renovation and conversion - Credit: HG Developments

Take a look inside former Ipswich nightclub, Dolce Vita, which is going to be converted into luxury aparments.

A derelict former Ipswich nightclub is about to be transformed into luxury apartment homes.

Now developer Joe Fogel of House Group Developments, who last year converted the former First Floor Club/Fire & Ice building in Tacket Street into new apartments, is tackling another disused former nightspot.

Work is about to begin on the former Dolce Vita night club, in Old Foundry Road.

Owner Joe Fogel and builder Levi Draycott, of TLC Building Services, took me round the building before work starts.

The heavily timbered building has the look of medieval times, but apparently it is much more recent, having replaced a building that was lost in a fire.

Joe Fogel said: “The previous building burnt down and it was re-built. It is not as old as it looks, and it is not a listed building.

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“It is going to be a challenging project. It has been empty for a long time. We are really excited to get going.”

We walked inside, and up the staircase to the first floor area.

It is a sad sight today, smelling damp and with moss growing where rained has forced its was through the roof.

But I remember parts of the Old First Floor building in Tacket Street had been in a poor state before rescue and renovaton took place.

“The scaffolding will be going up in the next couple of weeks,” explained Mr Draycott.

“We will strip off the roof and completely renew it, with new battens and felt and re-use the tiles where we can.

“Once the scaffolding is up we weill refurbish the exterior.”

Mr Fogel said the plan was to provide 13 homes initially.

The ground floor is to be three one bedroom apartments and a studio, with four two-bedroom apartments on the first floor and a further four one bedroom apartments on the second floor.

Outside the shop unit, The Cake Shop, facing Old Foundry Road, would become a self-contained unit.

The building in Old Foundry Road was a nightclub for a short period, in the early 1990s and for a while was a bar, known Bar Fontaine.

I remember visiting the club, and seeing Norman Wisdom in cabaret there.

Much of it has been standing empty for years. Apparently it was previously a furniture store.

Mr Fogel said: “It is a nine months project, once we get started.”

One major change planned is removing the existing staircase, and putting one in more centrally to serve the new apartments.

There are some people who criticise schemes which bring more apartments to the town but they are in great demand and convenient for all amenities.

There is a shortage of homes to buy and to rent in Ipswich, and so they are popular.

There are 17 apartments in the former First Floor Club in Tacket Street, all now occupied.

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