New department store set for Ipswich

IPSWICH could get a new department store as part of the new Mint Quarter development.Developers Shearer Property Group are aiming to build four large "anchor" stores as the lynchpin of the Mint Quarter – including a 40,000 square-foot department store.

IPSWICH could get a new department store as part of the new Mint Quarter development.

Developers Shearer Property Group are aiming to build four large "anchor" stores as the lynchpin of the Mint Quarter – including a 40,000 square-foot department store.

The development would have a further 50 smaller units, and 900 car parking spaces which would be managed by current site owner NCP.

But although the development partner has now been appointed, the new shopping centre is unlikely to open before 2010 at the earliest.

Developer Guy Shearer said a planning application for the site would be considered by Ipswich council early next year – but that work would be unlikely to start before the end of 2007.

Construction would then take another two and a half years before it was completed.

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He said his company had already talked to retailers about the Mint Quarter, but could not reveal their details.

But he was confident that this time the proposal would go ahead.

He said: "With the development of the Waterfront area and the university nearby this is just the right time to bring forward the Mint Quarter proposal.

"I have no doubts about the development – and retailers are keen to talk about expanding into Ipswich."

One of the key stores in the development is likely to be Woolworths, whose current store is part of the Mint Quarter estate.

The last proposal to redevelop the area fell apart when Woolworths withdrew its support – but this time the company is expected to agree to join in the redevelopment plan.

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