Major Waterfront company collapses

IPSWICH: A huge question mark today hangs over the future of a major development on the Waterfront after the company behind the scheme collapsed.

Duncan Brodie

By DUNCAN BRODIE

Business Editor

duncan.brodie@eveningstar.co.uk>

IPSWICH: A huge question mark today hangs over the future of a major development on the Waterfront after the company behind the scheme collapsed.

City Living Developments, which was responsible for the part-completed Regatta Quay complex, is now in the hands of the administrators.

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National accountancy firm Grant Thornton today confirmed three members of its recovery and reorganisation team had been appointed as administrators, at the request of the company's own directors.

Grant Thornton partner Martin Ellis said: “We are exploring all opportunities to protect and enhance the value of the development.”

The Regatta Quay development involves a mix of restoration and new-builds, with the first occupants having moved in last year.

Work on a second phase of construction work was halted last autumn due to the decline in demand for residential property amid the growing recession. The main block of flats has been left standing as a concrete shell ever since.

Residents and tenants are not directly affected by the administration, however, in the long-term, they are likely to end up with a new landlord when a new owner takes over.

There are also three restaurants already operating within the development - the Waterfront, Quayside and Pizza Express. The restaurants were last night unable to comment on the situation.

The development phase halted last October is also due to include the new 220-seat Witchbottle Theatre planned by the Red Rose Chain theatre and film company, currently based in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich.

David Newborn, producer at Red Rose Chain, said the group's plans were not directly affected by the administration with construction having already been put on hold pending an upturn in the residential property market.

“We were disappointed to hear that the company had gone into administration but we do not think it will affect our project a great deal,” he said.

“We are proceeding with our plans for the business and continuing to gather support for the project.”

Regatta Quay is also scheduled to include the construction of a new 88-room hotel for budget operator Travelodge, on the side of the development facing away from the waterfront.

Travelodge has previously said that it plans to open the new hotel in December this year.

A spokesman for the company said it was “monitoring the situation” following the appointment of the administrators but was unable to confirm whether its timescale would be affected.

What's your reaction to the collapse of City Living Developments? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Building work started on Regatta Quay in March 2007. The plan was for the development to eventually contain 350 flats when finished.

It was built on the site of the Paul's Albion Maltings, with the former building's original design incorporated into the new development.

Building work stalled last year - and construction on the main block of flats was not due to re-start until summer or autumn of this year.

It emerged last year that one in five properties in the Waterfront development were sitting empty due to the economic downturn.

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