Amazing views over Ipswich town centre from Carr House
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 July 2019
The former Ipswich Co-op headquarters and department store in Ipswich is being transformed into homes and work is forging ahead.
Carr House, in Carr Street, and the buildings behind it are being converted into 34 apartments by developer Joe Fogel, the man behind the conversion of the former First Floor nightclub in Ipswich.
The Tacket Street First Floor Club building, now called Charlotte House, has apartments on the upper levels.
Similarly, in Carr Street, ground floor space will remain in commercial use with new homes being created on the floors above.
Developer Mr Fogel and builder Levi Draycott explained that stud and partition walls are currently going at Carr House.
Mr Fogel said: "We are pleased with the progress."
But the real progress is with the other elements of the development.
He said: "We are well on the way with Mill House, at the rear. The new windows are in and we are at first and second fix level with many of them.
"Kitchens are about to go in.
"There are seven units and we should be able to release them at the end of the summer."
Phase two, another block of seven apartments at the rear is also well on track.
Mr Fogel said: "When we have completed phases one and two we can close them off, and work on the main part of Carr House without disturbing them.
"Carr House is another 20 units. There is going to be a mezzanine level in the banking hall.
"It is a sound building and a lot of features, like the original main stair well, we are able to restore and use."
Meanwhile, there is positive news on the lower level development.
"All the commercial units on the ground floor have been let," he explained.
One problem that needs to be resolved though is that of the metal safes.
There are 16 substantial and very heavy safes in total around the building. Those from the banking hall area may have to craned out of windows, he said.
The Carr House building, and the other building on the opposite side of Cox Lane, had been used by the Co-op, latterly the East of England Co-op, until it sold off its department stores in 2009.
The Ipswich store was one of those sold to new owners, but it eventually it ceased trading.
Now the majority of this landmark building will provide town centre homes.