First look inside - former Co-op HQ transformed into luxury apartments
- Credit: David Vincent
A £2million-plus project to convert the former Ipswich Co-op headquarters in Carr Street into homes is nearing completion.
Developer Joe Fogel’s House Group and main contractor TLC Home Group have transformed Carr House and the buildings behind it into luxury apartments, with retail units on the ground floor.
Carr House, a Victorian building in Carr Street, was the headquarters of Ipswich Co-operative Society, and later part of the East of England Co-op department store until its closure.
The development contains 36 apartments, including seven large duplexes with two bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Mr Fogel said: “The project hasn’t been without challenges. We had to get the cranes in to remove 13 safes from the banking hall and strong room.
“The strong room is now a fine apartment overlooking Carr Street. We call it the locker room.”
Meanwhile, permission has been given for the main department store building to be demolished, to make way for the new Central Ipswich Primary School.
Mr Fogel previously converted the First Floor Club in Tacket Street into homes and repurposed the Dolce Vita club in St Margaret’s Street into rental flats.
It stands on one side of Cox Lane, linked by footbridges with other departments, and offers views over Ipswich town centre.
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It formerly included a banking hall, where Co-op members would call in to pay their bills and collect their shopping "divi" twice a year.
The original windows have been restored and double-glazed, and there is a security system with entry phones for individual tenants.
The first phase of seven homes was completed in December, a further seven in February, and the final 22 were handed over on October 1.
Mr Fogel said: “Carr House has taken longer than we planned. We had expected a 18-month to two-year project, but first Covid and then materials shortages have added six months.
“We are really pleased with what we have achieved. They look great and have high-level finishes."
Mr Fogel said all the homes were already let.
"All that remain are two retail units on the ground floor and we already have interest in them from potential tenants.”
There are plans to switch the restored floodlighting system back on once the footbridges are removed.
“It will be great for the town centre and this lovely old building to see it lit up at night. It will be on a timer, from dusk to midnight,” Mr Fogel said.