Wine Rack Or Bottle Bin?
Ever since intended developers City Living went in to administration in 2009, the so called Wine Rack has been a skeletal feature on the landscape of the Waterfront. Here our colleague Steven Johnson explains the latest on the future of the building.
The future was bright, Ipswich Waterfront was an area that was having millions of pounds pumped in to it and a place where any property developer worth their salt was investing heavily. The year was 2007 and the building that is now known affectionately – if that is the right terminology – as the Wine Rack was being born out of an architect’s drawing board.
The project was being built by property developer City Living Developments (Ipswich) Limited and was to be an iconic part of the new façade of buildings facing the wet dock. Fast forward to 2009 and with a property recession in full swing, City Living called in the administrators. To be fair, the very late 2000s went on to witness a grave financial crisis, with rising global commodity prices and a subprime mortgage crisis, that infiltrated the entire British banking sector.
So, only partly built and with its concrete underwear on full public show, the Wine Rack became an unwanted emblem of property negativity for the area.
Fast forward to 2016 and after many speculative stories of interest in the building, a new owner emerged. A Mr John Howard. John left school at 17 to join the family estate agency business and by the age of 19, John had taken over the business.
As Managing Director of Ipswich Wharf Developments Limited, John’s recent acquisition of the Wine Rack sees him intending now to complete the scheme; to comprise 147 contemporary residential apartments and three ground floor commercial units. With the development being granted retrospective planning approval by Ipswich Borough Council, works are due to commence in the early part of 2017.
We hope regularly to feature the development of the Wine Rack in future articles in print and online, so please watch this space - and of course, activity around the Wine Rack itself.