Major office boom for town

IPSWICH'S ongoing regeneration received a fresh boost today after proposals for an ambitious £25million state-of-the-art office complex were unveiled.Despite current economic uncertainty developers Equity Estates have earmarked a site on Princes Street for the massive 90,000 sq ft office complex.

IPSWICH'S ongoing regeneration received a fresh boost today after proposals for an ambitious £25million state-of-the-art office complex were unveiled.

Despite current economic uncertainty developers Equity Estates have earmarked a site on Princes Street for the massive 90,000 sq ft office complex.

Made up of two impressive blocks, the complex would feature a food court and restaurant area and could accommodate up to around 700 office staff.

The news is a boost for the Princes Street area which has been identified as a key regeneration zone in the town.

Ipswich Borough Council has been considering the possibility of building a swimming pool complex on the stretch while Turnstone Estates, the team behind the Civic Centre redevelopment, have previously spoken of building a hotel and leisure area on part of the street.

The man behind the proposed office development, Alastair Thomas, Chief Executive of Equity Estates, said should planning permission be granted, work could get underway on the first of the two blocks once a major tenant is signed up.

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He said construction of the 50,000 sq ft phase one would take between 14 and 18 months.

Mr Thomas said: “It is 30 years since the last major private sector office building in Ipswich and the scheme will fulfil a need for new grade A office space in the town centre.

“The town has got a tremendously strong and broad economic base and lots of different sectors within the Ipswich economy have been expanding over the last two or three years, particularly the service sector, but there have been no new buildings to accommodate their expansion.

“Ipswich needs some more new space and we think there's enough demand for it if it can be provided.”

George Woodward, managing director of the development's lettings agents, EWS Chartered Surveyors, said: “Here we have an opportunity for office occupiers to ensure their needs are incorporated into the design process rather than work around the constraints of an existing building.

“It also helps that the developer has such an established track record of delivering high quality office schemes in Ipswich.”

The news has been welcomed by director of Ipswich Central, Paul Clement. He said: “Ipswich really needs high-quality office space these types of development are to be welcomed.”

The proposed site adjoins 153 Princes Street which Equity Estates previously refurbished for Suffolk Life, part of insurance giant Legal and General.

n. Would you welcome a rejuvenated Princes Street? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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