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Demolition begins at East Street Shopping Centre in Southampton
Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts stands among the rubble of the East Street Shopping Centre, which is making way for a giant new supermarket.
IT was once part of a bold vision to revolutionise a city centre.
Using a modern design and plenty of concrete, it was Southampton’s first shopping centre.
But the 1970s East Street Shopping Centre turned out to be a white elephant, with shoppers shunning the stores.
Now work has started on tearing down the centre as part of a vision for the city’s future that will create hundreds of new jobs.
As part of drive to regenerate the city centre, developers Arcadian Estates were granted permission to demolish the concrete eyesore.
Next year a massive new Morrison’s supermarket will rise from the rubble.
The three-storey 60,000 sq ft superstore will create 400 new jobs.
Chairman of Arcadian Estates John De Stefano said: “We are delighted that demolition is under way on site and we are looking forward to delivering this exciting redevelopment for the city.”
As well as a new supermarket, more than 280 cars will be able to be housed in two levels of parking, with travelators linking the car park with the supermarket.
And as part of the development the East Street pedestrian link between St Mary’s and the city centre will be restored.
This project is a key part of Southampton City Council’s city centre masterplan. The plans are being managed by urban regeneration specialist Centros.
City leader Councillor Simon Letts said: “The start of this project further demonstrates the confidence that major private sector employers have in our city.
“As a council we welcome the development, which will bring with it much-needed jobs for Southampton people.
“The council works with its partners to do all it can to bring developments forward, and continues to drive investment into Southampton for the benefit of the city and region.”
East Street Shopping Centre is the city’s oldest indoor shopping centre. It was built at the eastern end of East Street and blocked off the street itself, as it was built over the top of it.
Its location outside the main city centre shopping district has been blamed for its struggle to be commercially successful.
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