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Covid delays Ipswich hotel and office block – but plans still go ahead

PUBLISHED: 13:53 29 August 2020

The former Drum and Monkey was demolished in 2018.  Picture: JADE GIDDENS/IBC

The former Drum and Monkey was demolished in 2018. Picture: JADE GIDDENS/IBC

Proposals for two new developments in Princes Street by Ipswich council’s property company are expected to be formally lodged with planners next month – but it could be some time before they finally take shape.

Ipswich Borough Assets has set up a new development arm to build and then own new commercial property in the town.

It is preparing proposals for the site of the former Drum and Monkey pub and the former garage complex opposite St Clare House.

A new hotel is expected to be built on the pub site – and a potential occupant is already in discussions about taking on the site, which is regarded as being in a good location mid way between the town centre and railway station.

The former garages are to be demolished and their site has been earmarked for a new office development – but Ipswich Borough Assets chairman Colin Kreidewolf said this was likely to be a more long-term option.

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Demand for new office space has fallen during lockdown and the company would only be able to go ahead with the redevelopment once the economy has picked up and a tenant for a large part of the office has been agreed.

But Mr Kreidewolf remained optimistic, saying: “We don’t know what is going to happen, but given the good value of office space in Ipswich and the high costs being quoted in London, we are hopeful that there will be demand for new office space and this would ensure we are in a position to meed that.”

The proposals for the hotel and office block are linked with the planned new multi-storey car park on land between Princes Street and Portman Road.

This is currently used as a surface car park, but Mr Kreidewolf told members of the borough’s planning and development committee that the new developments and the multi-storey car park would allow much of the former cattle market area to eventually become a community space for the town.

Creating a business district along Princes Street, between the station and the Civic Drive junction, has long been an ambition of the council.

The area between the Portman Road junction and Friars Bridge Road is the last section waiting to be redeveloped on Princes Street itself, after major new offices have been completed over the last four years.


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