Odeon sale hit by economy

PROBLEMS with the economy have been blamed for holding up negotiations to find a buyer for the former Odeon cinema in Ipswich, it emerged today.The site, which has been closed since August 2005, was destined to be transformed into a £5million leisure and entertainment nightspot until the developers pulled the plug on the move.

PROBLEMS with the economy have been blamed for holding up negotiations to find a buyer for the former Odeon cinema in Ipswich, it emerged today.

The site, which has been closed since August 2005, was destined to be transformed into a £5million leisure and entertainment nightspot until the developers pulled the plug on the move.

Since then it has been up for sale but despite interest from a number of parties, agents Savills told The Evening Star the state of the economy is making it a tough time to do a deal.

Neil Perrin, of Savills, said: “We are in active discussion with a number of parties. The inactivity of the market means everything is taking much longer than you would hope.”

House prices have been dropping nationally in recent months and uncertainty in the financial markets has left many developers struggling to finance potential projects.

A number of people in Ipswich have already felt the effects of the downturn in the economy with Ipswich's Waterfront said to be one of the worst affected areas.

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In March the Star reported that a number of Waterfront flats have gone under the hammer for a fraction of their original value after being repossessed because the owners couldn't afford the mortgage payments.

Despite concerns developers behind the ambitious Mint Quarter development say the situation is not affecting their negotiations as the start date for development remains some years away.

Have you been affected by the economic downturn? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk