New shopping centre still coming to town

DELIVERY of a major new £230million shopping centre for Ipswich will not be affected by the effects of the credit crunch, developers claimed today.The Mint Quarter scheme, destined for the area between Tacket Street and Carr Street, will comprise a department store, 50 shops and car parking for around 900 cars.

DELIVERY of a major new £230million shopping centre for Ipswich will not be affected by the effects of the credit crunch, developers claimed today.

The Mint Quarter scheme, destined for the area between Tacket Street and Carr Street, will comprise a department store, 50 shops and car parking for around 900 cars.

Developers Shearer Property Group say unlike many other planned large-scale developments across the country, the Mint Quarter project is not at risk of being shelved as a result of the credit crunch.

Guy Shearer, who runs the firm, said: “The Mint Quarter won't be on site until 2011 and it won't be open until 2014 so I think from our point of view the timing is good.

“Potential tenants are going to be more selective but all the major stores are long-term players and recognise you can't just conjure up a big store overnight.

“If we are talking about new stores in new developments there has to be a long-term commitment and the retailers we are dealing with are of that calibre.

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“Things are very tough at the moment and are going to get worse but it won't stop them proceeding with a new store in a new development if they feel it is the right thing to do.”

The Mint Quarter scheme has endured a series of delays and setbacks dating back years - a development on that site, then called The Cloisters - was first proposed in 1992.

Last year The Evening Star revealed Shearer Property Group is keen to sign up John Lewis for the development's 40,000 sq ft anchor store although the firm has declined to reveal details of who they are speaking to.

Shearer Property Group this week announced it is to start work in the next few months on a £150million shopping development in Newbury.

Are you concerned the Mint Quarter scheme may not come to fruition? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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