The mega warehouses changing the face of Ipswich
- Credit: Archant
The rapid growth of internet shopping is changing the retail landscape. And in Ipswich it is changing the actual landscape as well.
More giant warehouses are predicted for the town some up to 150ft tall.
Already 2million sq ft of new commercial space is in the pipeline for the Ipswich area.
Ipswich, with its close proximity to the Port of Felixstowe, is an ideal location for serving the online shopper with vast quantities of goods of all types arriving in containers from China and the Far East.
Commercial property expert Chris Moody of Savills said: "It an economic reality for Ipswich and other towns they have to face. People are shopping more and more on the internet.
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"Ipswich has a golden strip along the A14, close enough to the Port of Felixstowe but west of the Orwell Bridge, perhaps as far as Stowmarket.
"Then for onward distribution these sites are ideal for the A14 and A12.
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"Online retail has continued to grow and demand for distribution centres has sky-rocketed. The proximity to the Port of Felixstowe has triggered an industrial revolution of its own.
"The new wave of demand, largely from international firms looking for space, is seeing the industrial landscape change beyond recognition.
"These new, high warehouses will make some existing warehouses look like dolls' houses."
The former Ipswich sugar beet factory site in Sproughton Road, and owned by Ipswich Borough Council, has a £40m high tech warehouse under construction for international food company LDH La Doria.
The massive building can be seen from a wide area. Eastern Gateway, as it is known, is a 60 acre site with massive potential, he added.
At Great Blakenham a 100,000 sq ft warehouse is also under offer.
Also at Great Blakenham, Port One offers another 60 acres of commercial space. Here Chinese import company FDS, which already has a warehouse in Ipswich, has applied for permission for a 143,000 sq ft distribution warehouse.
Ipswich businessman Colin Louch started his internet sales business nine years ago. MonuMart imports large items, including furniture and pet cages, from China and has now combined several sites in a 100,000 sq ft unit at Europa Way, in Ipswich.
"I have expert staff who can unpack a 40 ft container in 50 minutes. We sell online thorough eBay and Amazon Prime and we are a trusted supplier.
"We despatch about 3,000 items a day."