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Have a look inside the transformed First Floor Club in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 09:51 27 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:47 28 August 2017

Owner Joe Fogel and builder Levi Draycott outside the building in Tacket Street.
The scaffolding comes down in a few days as conversion into homes, of the upper floors, continues.

Owner Joe Fogel and builder Levi Draycott outside the building in Tacket Street. The scaffolding comes down in a few days as conversion into homes, of the upper floors, continues.

Archant

The former First Floor Club nightspot in Ipswich is being transformed into new town centre homes.

Charlotte House, the former First Floor Club apartments, Tacket Street, IpswichCharlotte House, the former First Floor Club apartments, Tacket Street, Ipswich

For many years in the 1970s and 1980s the First Floor Club was the premier nightspot in Ipswich.

Climbing the central staircase to the entrance door was a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night ritual for many people.

Opening in 1966, it was mainly a disco, with occasional cabaret or live music acts.

It was a favourite place for hen parties and stag parties to let their hair down. For celebrations of all kinds too.

And for young men and women to meet - and get chatted up, of course.

The club was owned by local businessman Ken Bean at the time.

Subsequently it changed hands before it had a renaissance in the 2000s as Fire & Ice, with that club eventually closing in 2010.

Now the building is being converted to a new use - town centre homes.

Charlotte House, the former First Floor Club apartments, Tacket Street, IpswichCharlotte House, the former First Floor Club apartments, Tacket Street, Ipswich

Owner Joe Fogel bought it at auction last year and the project, named Charlotte House, is now nearing completion.

There will be 17 homes in all, over the three upper storeys, mostly two bedroom apartments with some studios.

The businessman is doing this project with his House Group Development company.

The exterior of the building has been restored; the exterior brickwork at the front steam-cleaned, with new double glazed windows throughout and the roof renewed.

Charlotte House, the former First Floor Club apartments, Tacket Street, IpswichCharlotte House, the former First Floor Club apartments, Tacket Street, Ipswich

Mr Fogel said: “We are very pleased.

“The scaffolding comes down in 10 days, and people will be able to see the changes.”

Builder Levi Draycott added: “It is pretty much on track.”

Mr Fogel said: “We estimated a nine to 12 month project and we are coming up to that now. I suppose it is 11 months really.

In 1969 the First Floor Club held the speedway dinnerIn 1969 the First Floor Club held the speedway dinner

“The apartments are spacious and are mainly open plan, and have fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms. The two bedrooms flats also having an en suite.

“The kitchens have large fridges, cookers, washers and dishwashers in them.”

“We hope to have the first tenants move in on October 1.”

When the building was a nightclub, many windows were painted black or covered over.

Now they have been revealed and replaced with new double glazed units, the homes have plenty of light.

The homes are on the first, second and third floors where some will have access to a roof terrace.

On the ground floor, at the rear, a secure cycle store is being created.

There will also be some communal open space.

Mr Fogel added: “We are pleased with how it has gone. There have been a few unexpected things, but there always are with conversions.”

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