Waterfront reaches for the stars

IPSWICH'S Waterfront is set to undergo a dramatic change even by its own standards when the top stories of East Anglia's tallest building are erected in coming weeks.

IPSWICH'S Waterfront is set to undergo a dramatic change even by its own standards when the top stories of East Anglia's tallest building are erected in coming weeks.

The remaining 13 floors of The Mill are set to go up virtually in the blink of an eye in traditional construction terms - at the rate of a floor every one-and-a-half weeks.

When complete the highest building within the £70million Wharfside Regeneration development will tower over the Waterfront at 23 stories.

Construction is well under way and the building process is reaching a crucial stage, with the tower now taking shape.

The building, which will contain 37 apartments, already has the shell for ten stories erected but over the next 16 weeks the remaining stories will go up at rapid speed.

Keith Davis, construction director at Wharfside Regeneration, said the construction teams were achieving their target of a new floor every week-and-a-half.

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“It is going up at that rate right now,” he said.

The Mill will contain 330 flats, 52 affordable units, an 81-bedroom hotel, the 25,000 sq ft DanceEast dance studio and 35,000 sq ft of commercial space.

It will contain two restaurants and four cafes and have commercial space on the ground and first floors.

Phase one of the development is under way and phase two, which will see the conversion of buildings retained on the 2.5 acre Cranfields Mill site, is expected to begin within the next three to four months.

Phase one is expected to be completed by August 2009, with the topping out ceremony for the tower to be held this August.

Mr Davis said he expected the 23-storey tower to attract a lot of attention in coming weeks.

He said: “I think it will create a talking point locally. Probably a lot of people don't realise the height of the tower building.

“I think it will create a lot of comment. It will put Ipswich on the map.”

Wharfside Regeneration pre-sold 150 apartments at The Mill but will offer the rest at “an appropriate time”, Mr Davis said.

The company won a national competition in 2002 to redevelop Cranfields Mill with its design for The Mill.

Meanwhile, one of Ipswich's existing tallest buildings is being pulled down. The former Ipswich Borough Council offices in Civic Drive are in the process of being demolished.

What do you think of the transformation of the Waterfront? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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