See inside the Hollywood and Zest nightclub as new office complex opens
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
The £3.5m Maltings office complex which was unveiled today has been hailed as part of the ‘renaissance’ of Ipswich town centre.
The former Hollywood nightclub, in the heart of Ipswich, has been transformed into Grade A office space in a £3.5m renovation project of the 200-year-old landmark maltings building.
The club had been a mainstay of the town's entertainment scene in the 1980s, and was also known as Zest and Kartouche during its history.
Now it is light and airy, with dozens of windows, new steel work and a soaring glass atrium linking The Maltings buildings.
The towering kiln has windows and two floors added to become an office suite with views over the river.
The development brings 24,000 sq ft of air conditioned, high tech offices to the Princes Street Enterprise Zone.
The Grade II listed building stood derelict for years until developer Mark Pertwee bought it from the borough council to bring it back to life.
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He said: "When we first came in to see it three years ago it was pitch black, you needed a torch to see.
"The bars and dance floor remained, and beer barrels and fittings, a metal structure which supported the cages for dancing girls were here, and there were fittings for a Jacuzzi room."
They have all gone and it has been transformed office space with a loan of £600,000 from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's Growing Places Fund.
Mr Pertwee said: "We started in April last year. There are always surprises with an old building, so it has been a challenge.
"It is such an interesting building and it has got so many existing features and we didn't want to lose them.
"It looks good. I think it will be a very inspiring place for people to work."
Promoting the offices to future tenants, he said: "It is just a few steps to the station so you can be at London Liverpool Street in an hour to meet clients, without having to be based in London.
"This project, and other schemes like the Winerack, are a tremendous vote of confidence in Ipswich and the future of the town."
Their first tenants, Chaucer Underwriting, move in next month.
"We have some strong interest from other would-be tenants," added Mr Pertwee. "This iconic Ipswich building is now leading the way in workplace design and performance."
The Maltings was officially opened by Doug Field, chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
He said: "The work and commitment of motivated businesspeople like Mark Pertwee is indicative of the approach being fostered through collaboration in the Ipswich Vision Group - a group that is really leading the way in Ipswich.
"The Maltings represents a boost in confidence for the town and should be a catalyst for future development projects in the area adjacent to the Princes Street Enterprise Zone. We at the LEP will do everything we can to support projects that continue this renaissance."