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Crane lifts heavy metal safes out of old Co-op

PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 August 2019

One of the many heavy metal safes left inside the former Co-op headquarters and offices in Carr Street, Ipswich. The former offices and shop space is being converted into apartments. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

One of the many heavy metal safes left inside the former Co-op headquarters and offices in Carr Street, Ipswich. The former offices and shop space is being converted into apartments. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Archant

A crane had to be called in to remove massive safes from the former Ipswch Co-op head office in order to make way for new flats.

A crane had to called in to lift heavy safes out through windows of the former Co-op headquarters building, in Carr Street, which is being converted into apartments. Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDA crane had to called in to lift heavy safes out through windows of the former Co-op headquarters building, in Carr Street, which is being converted into apartments. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The heavy metal objects, designed not to be removed easily, had to be lifted out through upper windows to make way for the redevelopment.

Developer Joe Fogel is converting the upper floors of the former East of England Co-op building in Carr Street, Ipswich and the warehouse behind it in Cox Lane into 33 luxury town centre apartments.

This building, which was originally built as the headquarters of the Ipswich Co-operative Society, had a banking hall, a boardroom and executive offices above retail space on the ground floor.

And at Christmas a first floor toy shop was usually introduced within the building.

The former Co-op headquarters banking hall in Carr House, Carr Street, Ipswich which will become town centre apartments. The banking hall had giant metal safes. There were 16 safes around the building.  Picture: DAVID VINCENTThe former Co-op headquarters banking hall in Carr House, Carr Street, Ipswich which will become town centre apartments. The banking hall had giant metal safes. There were 16 safes around the building. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

When developer Mr Fogel took on the project, the many industrial size safes dating back to a time when when cash was king proved an unexpected complication.

Now he has called in a specialist contractor to remove the heavy objects.

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He said: "There are 16 safes in all, too heavy to be carried in the normal way. We had to call somebody in.

A cgi of how refurbished Carr House in Carr Street, Ipswich formerly the home of Ipswich Co-operative Society offices and department store, may look.
Picture: HOUSE GROUP DEVELOPMENTSA cgi of how refurbished Carr House in Carr Street, Ipswich formerly the home of Ipswich Co-operative Society offices and department store, may look. Picture: HOUSE GROUP DEVELOPMENTS

"This is a significant landmark for the conversion project."

The former Co-op building is one of several former commercial buildings in Ipswich town centre which are finding new life as homes when no longed needed as shops or offices.

John Norman, chairman of the Ipswich Society, welcomed the development.

"This is great for the town centre," he said. "It will be bringing young people, and life, into the town centre.

"Bringing people into the town centre brings it to life and brings trade for the shops and it is a real boost.

"There is also going to be the primary school next door, and hopefully parents will drop off their children and stay to use the shops.

"It is an excellent use for ex-industrial buildings as loft-style apartments.

"The more of these brownfield sites that can be developed the better in the long-term, rather than yet more greenfield housing."

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