Jigsaw complete for shopping venue
CENTRAL Ipswich's largest shopping centre is hoping to celebrate its tenth birthday next month by revealing the final piece in its retail jigsaw.The Buttermarket Centre opened in October 1992, and has been through many changes over the last decade.
By Paul Geater
CENTRAL Ipswich's largest shopping centre is hoping to celebrate its tenth birthday next month by revealing the final piece in its retail jigsaw.
The Buttermarket Centre opened in October 1992, and has been through many changes over the last decade.
One of its biggest blows fell last year when C&A pulled out of the centre, leaving its second largest unit – on two floors – unoccupied.
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Earlier this year the ground floor unit was taken over by fashion store New Look.
Now work has started on preparing the upper unit for possible occupation by a new tenant.
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No retailer has yet signed up to move in, but Buttermarket manager Colin Roberts is hopeful it will be occupied by Christmas.
"There has been some interest in that unit – and I would be most disappointed if it is not occupied and trading by Christmas," he said.
If it is taken over by an independent trader or regional company it would probably open faster than if it is taken over by a national chain which wants to stamp its own identity on the unit.
The property arm of C&A signed a 95-year lease when they moved into the centre – so any deal has to be completed with them.
They were in negotiations with a prospective tenant for the unit earlier this year, but those talks did not end in a deal.
But there are hopes that another deal should be concluded by the time the centre celebrates its tenth birthday.
Meanwhile preparations are being made for a new locally-based card shop to move into the former Matthew's unit near the Buttermarket street entrance to the centre.