New hope for deal in St Botolph's Quarter

Gazette: New hope for deal in St Botolph's Quarter New hope for deal in St Botolph's Quarter

DEVELOPERS are in talks over plans for two buildings in Colchester’s St Botolph’s Quarter.

Interest in St James House and the First Bus depot has been prompted by proposals for a cinema in Queen Street.

Curzon has been chosen by Colchester Council to open an art house cinema and two restaurants in part of the old Keddies department store, called Roman House. St James House formed the other part of the complex.

Developers are now hoping to make the most of the Curzon scheme.

Colchester Council owns the former Keddies buildings, the former bus station and the First Bus depot in Queen Street.

Nick Barlow, councillor responsible for regeneration, said: “We are talking to various developers.

“The original plans were for a Travelodge hotel in part of the Keddies building, but now we’re talking about various other schemes.

“Hotels are on the mind, but there are also a lot of options across the site.”

Mr Barlow said more details on the proposals were due to be released in the New Year.

He added: “The hope is we can get some development pretty quickly, with Curzon looking to start work soon and be open by early 2015. It shows how something like Curzon can bring people to Colchester and how these things feed off each other.”

The former Keddies buildings have been empty since 2006.

Colchester Council owns the buildings and has been paying £80,000 a year in business rates in the hope of attracting a hotel.

Travelodge pulled out, forcing the council to change direction.

It bought the adjacent First Bus depot to make the site bigger and entice buyers.

Mr Barlow said making the area more appealing to the public was vital.

He said: “Changing the perception of Queen Street is certainly part of it.

“It has been slower than we would have liked, but it is starting to change.

“I hope 2014 will be a busy year for that part of town.

“We’re trying to build a quarter and the great thing is we already have the community interested in it.”

Comments (13)

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8:37am Tue 31 Dec 13

Wicky1 says...

Knock it down and build a proper bus park.
Knock it down and build a proper bus park. Wicky1

9:12am Tue 31 Dec 13

Hamiltonandy says...

Nothing concrete as usual. These announcements seem to follow a standard pattern. A big sticking point is the statement from Colchester Council that they will not offer cheap loans of public money. Any developer would be reckless to risk his own money in this derelict area.
.
An alternative they already tried is to give the land away in the vague hope of some public benefit. This was done with 5 acres of land in the Hythe despite being unviable for development and ideal for a memorial park. I wonder if councillors would behave the same if it was their own money.
Nothing concrete as usual. These announcements seem to follow a standard pattern. A big sticking point is the statement from Colchester Council that they will not offer cheap loans of public money. Any developer would be reckless to risk his own money in this derelict area. . An alternative they already tried is to give the land away in the vague hope of some public benefit. This was done with 5 acres of land in the Hythe despite being unviable for development and ideal for a memorial park. I wonder if councillors would behave the same if it was their own money. Hamiltonandy

9:49am Tue 31 Dec 13

angryman!!! says...

Sounds good but as mentioned above ( the sensible comment not thd boring same old bus stop rubbish) we've heard it before but hopefully it happens and sooner rather than later
Sounds good but as mentioned above ( the sensible comment not thd boring same old bus stop rubbish) we've heard it before but hopefully it happens and sooner rather than later angryman!!!

9:56am Tue 31 Dec 13

No! I am Spartacus says...

Nick Barlow, like Lynn Barton before him, appears just as clueless by desperately offering hope without foundation.

Take this story and compare it to the one 2 years ago ( http://www.gazette-n
ews.co.uk/news/93760
75.Cultural_Quarter_
is_creating_a_stir__
_/ )

Back then it said: 'Sceptics say full regeneration of St Botolph’s Circus will take many years – one reason so many Colcestrians think the temporary bus station should remain in Queen Street
- with Lynn Barton advising “You can’t say nothing is happening. It’s happening now.” Really? When was that? More lies from our representatives?

As Andy says, would councillors be so wasteful with their own money?
Nick Barlow, like Lynn Barton before him, appears just as clueless by desperately offering hope without foundation. Take this story and compare it to the one 2 years ago ( http://www.gazette-n ews.co.uk/news/93760 75.Cultural_Quarter_ is_creating_a_stir__ _/ ) Back then it said: 'Sceptics say full regeneration of St Botolph’s Circus will take many years – one reason so many Colcestrians think the temporary bus station should remain in Queen Street - with Lynn Barton advising “You can’t say nothing is happening. It’s happening now.” Really? When was that? More lies from our representatives? As Andy says, would councillors be so wasteful with their own money? No! I am Spartacus

2:08pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Hamiltonandy says...

A clue to the future is the council renaming the "cultural quarter" to "St Botolph's quarter". Not a word about the "creative enterprises" that according to the council made up 20% of all businesses. Intriguing that Curzon cinemas seem so keen to open TWO restaurants but guess they hope for a good trade from the night club clubbers.
A clue to the future is the council renaming the "cultural quarter" to "St Botolph's quarter". Not a word about the "creative enterprises" that according to the council made up 20% of all businesses. Intriguing that Curzon cinemas seem so keen to open TWO restaurants but guess they hope for a good trade from the night club clubbers. Hamiltonandy

3:33pm Tue 31 Dec 13

stevedawson says...

What ever they try it wont suit andy.
What ever they try it wont suit andy. stevedawson

4:40pm Tue 31 Dec 13

No! I am Spartacus says...

stevedawson wrote:
What ever they try it wont suit andy.
I don't agree with all Andy says, but at least he has an opinion and strands by it.. do you have anything worthwhile to add, or just sniping?
[quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: What ever they try it wont suit andy.[/p][/quote]I don't agree with all Andy says, but at least he has an opinion and strands by it.. do you have anything worthwhile to add, or just sniping? No! I am Spartacus

8:28pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Hamiltonandy says...

It is great everyone can have their say on this forum. What matters are the facts and alternative ideas to solve the problems created by the elected dictatorship.
.
What I never understood was the reluctance of publicly elected representatives to face reality. And why councillors refuse to challenge objectors to put forward alternatives. A refusal to listen ensures frustrated people become determined to ensure council projects never succeed.
.
One Japanese originated working practice is to let everyone have their say bringing out the facts. Once everyone is in agreement then everyone moves on together. But you could not expect this arrogant and petty council to care.
It is great everyone can have their say on this forum. What matters are the facts and alternative ideas to solve the problems created by the elected dictatorship. . What I never understood was the reluctance of publicly elected representatives to face reality. And why councillors refuse to challenge objectors to put forward alternatives. A refusal to listen ensures frustrated people become determined to ensure council projects never succeed. . One Japanese originated working practice is to let everyone have their say bringing out the facts. Once everyone is in agreement then everyone moves on together. But you could not expect this arrogant and petty council to care. Hamiltonandy

9:49pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Boris says...

Andy is right, Spartacus is right, Wicky is largely right, and Angryman is largely wrong. Of course the VAF should never have been built on the bus park, but it was, so we now need a new bus park, for which the only suitable location now is the Britannia car park.
.
The article says "The former Keddies buildings have been empty since 2006 ". That will be the date the shoe shop closed down, but the bulk of those buildings has been unoccupied for a lot longer than that. In 2004, a Firstsite functionary showed me round the upper floors, which he said had previously been used by CBC for offices, but they had moved out several years before. Given that the buildings belonged to CBC, why didn't they carry on using those floors, rather than moving to Rowan House at vast expense?
.
Happy New Year to everyone, Andy, Angryman, Wicky, Spartacus, and the many others who contribute to these threads.
Andy is right, Spartacus is right, Wicky is largely right, and Angryman is largely wrong. Of course the VAF should never have been built on the bus park, but it was, so we now need a new bus park, for which the only suitable location now is the Britannia car park. . The article says "The former Keddies buildings have been empty since 2006 ". That will be the date the shoe shop closed down, but the bulk of those buildings has been unoccupied for a lot longer than that. In 2004, a Firstsite functionary showed me round the upper floors, which he said had previously been used by CBC for offices, but they had moved out several years before. Given that the buildings belonged to CBC, why didn't they carry on using those floors, rather than moving to Rowan House at vast expense? . Happy New Year to everyone, Andy, Angryman, Wicky, Spartacus, and the many others who contribute to these threads. Boris

9:51pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Boris says...

Stevedawson, sorry I omitted you, New Year greetings to you too.
Stevedawson, sorry I omitted you, New Year greetings to you too. Boris

12:48pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Morant says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
Nothing concrete as usual. These announcements seem to follow a standard pattern. A big sticking point is the statement from Colchester Council that they will not offer cheap loans of public money. Any developer would be reckless to risk his own money in this derelict area.
.
An alternative they already tried is to give the land away in the vague hope of some public benefit. This was done with 5 acres of land in the Hythe despite being unviable for development and ideal for a memorial park. I wonder if councillors would behave the same if it was their own money.
Let's hope you can find some new hobbies for 2014. The same boring old diatribe........
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Nothing concrete as usual. These announcements seem to follow a standard pattern. A big sticking point is the statement from Colchester Council that they will not offer cheap loans of public money. Any developer would be reckless to risk his own money in this derelict area. . An alternative they already tried is to give the land away in the vague hope of some public benefit. This was done with 5 acres of land in the Hythe despite being unviable for development and ideal for a memorial park. I wonder if councillors would behave the same if it was their own money.[/p][/quote]Let's hope you can find some new hobbies for 2014. The same boring old diatribe........ Morant

1:39pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Ok "Morant" what is your solution to the derelict "cultural quarter"? What facts or insights can you bring to the debate? This is your opportunity to bring your experience to the problem. You might prefer to address your complaint to Colchester Council who refuse to face financial reality and ensure public protests continue.
Ok "Morant" what is your solution to the derelict "cultural quarter"? What facts or insights can you bring to the debate? This is your opportunity to bring your experience to the problem. You might prefer to address your complaint to Colchester Council who refuse to face financial reality and ensure public protests continue. Hamiltonandy

2:00pm Wed 1 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

I like the idea of a picture house and resturants ive said that before on here.andy wouldn't you.it might just bring a bit of sanity to that troubled area.
I like the idea of a picture house and resturants ive said that before on here.andy wouldn't you.it might just bring a bit of sanity to that troubled area. stevedawson

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