Multi-million pound project turning Ipswich maltings into offices

Ipswich Central chair Terry Baxter. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

Ipswich Central chair Terry Baxter. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK - Credit: Archant

A boost for Ipswich - the transformation of former Hollywood nightclub into offices is under way.

The former Zest nightclub building, which is being turned into offices. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The former Zest nightclub building, which is being turned into offices. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The last dance has been danced at the Hollywood nightclub, in Ipswich.

Now, in a major boost to the Princes Street business corridor, work is starting on converting the former maltings buildings into a modern, high tech office centre.

Work begins on the former Hollywood and Zest nightclub in Princes Street, Ipswich to turn it into light and luxurious offices - to be known as The Maltings.

This multi-million pound project, by local developers Pertwee Estates Ltd, sees the first stages of the project getting under way this week.

Ipswich Central boss Terry Baxter said the project is a "shot in the arm" for the town. Picture: GRE

Ipswich Central boss Terry Baxter said the project is a "shot in the arm" for the town. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mark Pertwee, managing director of Pertwee Estates, said: “We are delighted to be getting going, it has been a long time coming together.

“It is always very exciting, and a bit nervous too, starting a new project.

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“This is an important project for Ipswich and for us. There is a lot of investment going on in Ipswich at the moment.”

This £3m scheme is part of a major regeneration of Ipswich which includes other buildings in the Princes Street business corridor and across the town centre,

The iconic building's makeover will give the town a boost, community leaders have said. Picture: GRE

The iconic building's makeover will give the town a boost, community leaders have said. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Terry Baxter, chair of Ipswich Central said: “We have seen a big increase investment in the town over the last year or so.

“This is an important, flagship site.

“It is a real shot in the arm to see this site get underway. It is a boost for those partners who have worked tirelessly to bring new economic prosperity to the town.

“The general public are impatient to see change, as we are. There is a real confidence that we starting to turn the corner and see real money coming into our town.”

CGI what the rear of the Maltings development should look like on completion

CGI what the rear of the Maltings development should look like on completion - Credit: Archant

It was a boost for the Princes Street business corridor, he said, involving such a prominent site, close to the railway station and not far from the new Birketts office building and Connexions.

“There is such a lot going on in the town; the Cornhill project, the Easy Hotel, the revival of the Winerack, the new Crown Car Park and now the Maltings,” he said.

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, which sold the building to the developers, said: “We are really glad to see this happening. It will be a fantastic addition to the Princes Street area, between the town centre and the station.”

This Victorian industrial complex was a nightclub for many years, with names including Hollywood, Zest, and Kartouche. It was at the heart of the late night scene in Ipswich.

Now it will be transformed into 23,000 sq ft of office space for letting to local companies.

With communal and break-out areas it will amount to around 29,000 sq ft of accommodation in total.

The first stage of the project is the `soft’ strip out, clearing the interior space and some demolition works where a glass atrium is planned to be built to link the two buildings as a feature entrance hall.

There will be work to the floors and some of the windows will be re-opened.

Then, in May, scaffolding will be going up around the buildings.

Mr Pertwee explained: “Once we have the scaffolding up we will work on the exterior of the building, cleaning and repairing brickwork, and roof repairs, and installing new windows.”

It should be an impressive sight, he said, with 97 purpose-built aluminium windows and seven ridge lights being installed.

“We have special purpose-built aluminium windows and ridge lights which will transform the building. By mid summer the outside of the building will look very different, fairly well done.

“We hope to be finished by Spring 2019,” he said.