James Buxton is back. The affable former senior partner at Bidwells today launched plans through property company Pigeon for a £30m scheme in Ipswich (pictured above).
James was at Bidwells for 32 years - 10 of which he was senior partner - which in anyone's book is a fair amount of time. He's now resurfaced as executive chairman of Pigeon, a Bury St Edmund-based company which also boasts William Stanton, formerly head of Eastern region at Savills.
Pigeon has big plans for the former Tolly Cobold brewery on Ipswich waterside including offices, hotel, resi and a mid-sized supermarket. They say they have private money (no bank funding here) and are ready to go once they've got planning in place, which they hope will go to committee in late autumn. A public exhibition begins on 10th July, and with a two-and-a-half year build, by 2015 the scheme could be ready.
Pigeon says the scheme can be phased with the supermarket the first piece of the jigsaw. No names have been revealed but the firm says it is in negotiations hinting at a new name in the city as there are 'some notable gaps in the city'.
Part of the regeneration is the historic (Grade 2 listed no less) brewery building which will become a museum/educational space. There, they will be uncovering a wall that Pigeon's consultant Clive Thompson says 'hasn't been seen by man for 100 years'.
The idea is that the project will bookend the wet docks on the eastern side, with Cranfield Mill providing the westerly bookend. It's not often these days that proposals with funding pop into the inbox. Let's hope these take flight.
Pigeon's scheme at a glance:
Food and business units 100,000 sq ft
Hotel 60,000 sq ft
Residential 45,000 sq ft