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Old December 21st, 2012, 07:49 PM   #281
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Interesting. This is the company behind it:

http://www.spenhill.co.uk/about-us.asp

Would certainly help make the place look a little less bleak and windswept!
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:23 PM   #282
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Interesting. This is the company behind it:

http://www.spenhill.co.uk/about-us.asp

Would certainly help make the place look a little less bleak and windswept!
oh that's the Tesco development company.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:29 PM   #283
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oh that's the Tesco development company.
So it is. A subsidiary of Tesco.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 10:37 AM   #284
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I think the 'Sent to Coventry' show will be quite negative. I dislike those kind of programs but I think because the Coventry one is going to be different from the others as its looking at social issues like poverty in the city I think it will leave viewers with a bad impression- if they didnt have one already!
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 05:32 PM   #285
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Rix in Priory Place has already been in trouble, despite being open for a couple of months:

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/new...2746-32476843/

Quote:
“I run four places in the UK and I abide to the law – I’ve never had any problems until this. I have lost £200,000 in two months from this business so you can understand the stress I’m going through.”
Yikes... That's either hot air OR this place isn't really going to stay open long.

What's happened to the former MYO building? Is that still open as a restaurant?
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Old December 26th, 2012, 04:55 PM   #286
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Tried Cafe Sovrano today opposite the library - nicely fitted out with lots of character, served my Cappuccino 'Sicilian-style' with a glass of water to accompany it! Nice addition to the area.

The new cafe where the Tin Angel used to be looks good too.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 01:49 AM   #287
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Has work started on the Ricoh station?

http://www.rail.co/2012/08/01/ricoh-...p-and-running/
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Old December 27th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #288
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Tried Cafe Sovrano today opposite the library - nicely fitted out with lots of character, served my Cappuccino 'Sicilian-style' with a glass of water to accompany it! Nice addition to the area.

The new cafe where the Tin Angel used to be looks good too.
I agree. Nicely fitted out and the Cappuccino I had was really quite nice (With the traditional glass of water as well!).

We (All four of us) had some food as well. The food was OK. Unfortunately, they seemed to have too many staff milling around and their kitchen was in total chaos! Not that I'm complaining, as some of the waitresses were very... nice. They lost track of the orders and there was a lot of confusion... But I put this down to opening 'nerves'.

Good new addition to the area, which has always looked so drab and cheerless.

It still amazes me that people queue up to get into West Orchards car park when there are two massive, half empty car parks a short walk away from the shops.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 09:39 PM   #289
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Went to the new 'Caffe' today, Americano was excellent and although I didn't have any the food looked nice. Good ambience and much prefer it to Starbucks. Yeah, there were a lot of staff milling about but will be going back some time.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #290
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Went to the new 'Caffe' today, Americano was excellent and although I didn't have any the food looked nice. Good ambience and much prefer it to Starbucks. Yeah, there were a lot of staff milling about but will be going back some time.
Yes, I'll be going back too. Their coffee was similar to the "caffe" that opened up on Ball Hill briefly. I used to pop in sometimes in the morning, but I really did feel sorry for them. Did they choose the wrong location for a decent upmarket coffee house.

Has anyone tried the new one in the former job centre building?

I was looking on Google the other day at the former National Grid gas depot by the ringroad (The white building that's just been demolished.). It's a pretty big site. It looks like it's just being demolished and then the ground de-contaminated.

I wonder what could be built there? Housing? It's too poorly connected for anything else.

it's quite bizarre. Going back 10 years you couldn't really get a proper coffee in Coventry... Now the choice is quite diverse. Although I've given up on Cafe Nero. The last two times I've been in there it tasted very odd.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:36 AM   #291
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I went into Cathedral Lanes today for the first time in a while. It's a truly depressing place inside. Like a morgue. There was hardly anyone in there, even though the city centre itself was fairly busy.

I'm beginning to think the whole idea of a shopping precinct is just... rubbish.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #292
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Yes I think future generations may look at shopping malls with curiosity! I think (what I am presuming will be) the first phase of Coventry South, the southern bit with the anchor store, will help to bring some normality to Coventrys street pattern. It will certainly be more natural.

What are everyones predictions for 2013?

My predictions for 2012 were far too optimsitic, I was expecting some initial work on Friargate and Bishopsgate. For 2013 I think:

-There will be progress on finding a developer for Coventry South. Negotiations will advance to the point of meeting the expected new start date of 2015 or not long after. Its strange how time has flown, I remember the Jerde plan being released and thinking how far away their initial starting date of 2014 was but in a couple of days we will be able to say 2014 will only be 'next year'!!!

-Friargate may move forward in terms of negotiations for tenants etc and I know its expected to start in 2013 but I'm sceptical until the first spade is in the ground. The 'City Deal' may mean we see some progress on the infastructure for it though.

-Bishopsgate may announce it has secured an anchor tenant. Work may start towards the end of next year. The problem will be connecting that building to the rest of the city centre. If they knocked down Primark it would help to create a more natural and clear pedestrian link-up with the precinct but obviously that will never happen so its relationship to the city centre will be like Ikea- on the edge, somewhere people go to in itself rather than the wider city centre. On balance I do welcome it though

-The second phase of the civic improvement works will work okay by the council house (and make it far easier to cross the road there as the mini-slip road there has always been dodgy!) but not so much at the Little Park Street traffic lights! The Police may find the shared space a pain when they rush to emergencys.

-The owner of Cathedral Lanes will release the other designs for the redevelopment of the centre, but will probably end up not spending much and just remove the pointy roof off and opening it out at the back to create a throughfare.

-Coventry Unviersity may announce some future plans- possibly the future of the old student union builidng and priory hall. Maybe.

-The FGS hotel is due to start, perhaps they will wait another year until the FGS regeneration is nearing completion? Perhaps the hotel idea may be changed to office space for start-ups if the new units in FGS are a success?

-The Gateway Project is likely to kick off, no high-paying jobs for a few years but still a 250 million pound investment, plus the government work on Tollbar island, is welcome.

-Old Peugeot site will be largely finished. The jobs will pay ALOT less than the previous factory though!

-The Binley shopping park will be completed and further damage the city centre. From what I can see the design is actually surpisingly quite good for an out of town place though.

-No movement on other sites such as Ansty. I think I read that the Whitley business park only has one empty unit though so maybe we will see full occupancy.

Overall I thought 2012 had some great improvements. I know Broadgate isnt to everyones tastes but I think its a massive leap forward and the best that can be achieved without knocking down Cathedral lanes. The link between the city centre and the train station is a huge improvement. The area is actually really nice to walk along.

Last edited by We-Are-Borg-1987; December 30th, 2012 at 08:18 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #293
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I think the owner of Cathedral Lanes will just want to sell it.

I was in Starbucks the other day (On a Saturday, when the city centre was fairly busy) and watching Broadgate was quite interesting: there's no footfall around Cathedral Lanes, which might explain why it's always struggled. People seem to get to the top of the upper precinct and either go left or right, but few people go across it. And there wasn't much in the way of footfall from the high street or Trinity Street...

I think it's pretty much doomed. I can't see it being much good for 'food' use as it's inaccessible in the evening and will struggle to attract customers. This has been a longstanding problem in this city and the council have blatantly ignored it and Bishopsgate makes city centre access even worse. Too many mistakes.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #294
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Interesting observation about footfall. Cathedral Lanes is something people seem to walk around. If they created a cut through and had businesses such as cafes footfall would improve but I think the best thing would be too get rid of it.

The new owner may sell after seeing its not financially viable. The problem is the council won't be able to afford to buy it for many many years and the government wouldn't give them a grant to knock down a building that is so modern etc.

Its a difficult one.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 09:00 PM   #295
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Interesting observation about footfall. Cathedral Lanes is something people seem to walk around. If they created a cut through and had businesses such as cafes footfall would improve but I think the best thing would be too get rid of it.

The new owner may sell after seeing its not financially viable. The problem is the council won't be able to afford to buy it for many many years and the government wouldn't give them a grant to knock down a building that is so modern etc.

Its a difficult one.
They tried that, but it didn't work. When CL first opened it had a cafe at the back and you could walk through to the top level of the mall. It didn't last long - and the cafe was actually really good. I took my parents there when they came down to visit. It was aimed at tourists, but there aren't enough.

So why did they make the same mistake with Priory Place?
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Old January 1st, 2013, 01:40 AM   #296
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Oh for crying out loud, why don't they shoot it out of it's misery and just turn it into a park with flats.. I'm beginning to think that of the doughnut city is a really good idea.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 01:41 PM   #297
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Oh for crying out loud, why don't they shoot it out of it's misery and just turn it into a park with flats.. I'm beginning to think that of the doughnut city is a really good idea.
Yeah, I think it's already actually happened, and the realisation hasn't set in. Which is why I think all this shit with Broadgate and Ironmonger Square is just a waste of money.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 01:54 PM   #298
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What are everyones predictions for 2013?

Overall I thought 2012 had some great improvements. I know Broadgate isnt to everyones tastes but I think its a massive leap forward and the best that can be achieved without knocking down Cathedral lanes. The link between the city centre and the train station is a huge improvement. The area is actually really nice to walk along.
Well I think 2012 has seen no improvements. This tinkering with paving slabs has done nothing for it, and Broadgate is just a dreary plaza. They've ruined the chances of CL being used for anything past 5:30 as well. I don't know why they just didn't make it pedestrian only during the day but then reopen the road at night and have parking around it. It might make CL a whole lot more attractive for restaurants. (Broadgate at night is pretty creepy and empty these days).

As for the rest.

Bishopsgate - really not sure about this one. Supermarkets are having a rough time, and the huge 'mega' stores appear to have fallen from favour now. I can see why they think this location is good due to the fact it's off the ring road... But I can't see which chain would be interested. Surely Coventry has ample supermarket provision? Would another chain want to dilute their existing stores? And this also has a 'Gymn' unit. We've already got a city centre gym in Skydome.
Friargate - I can't see this ever happening.

Belgrade Plaza - well Café Rouge are opening up in 2013, which is positive news, but the whole place is dreary and windswept and desperately needs the other units filled and the other sites to start working on. I guess we can safely say the Radisson isn't going to happen, and the fact there are empty buildings everywhere ripe for conversion to student flats puts doubt on that aspect. Which is good. A city centre dominated by student facilities only serves to alienate the rest of us from it.

in fact, what with the number of empty buildings in the city centre, I can imagine people would rather convert those than build something new.

Cov Telegraph plan - I can't see this happening any time soon.

Coventry South - I can't see this happening any time soon. I don't think there's enough demand for retail in Coventry to support another department store.

As for the rest: more tinkering, more fiddling, and more rhetoric from the council about their shitty iconic precinct and 'asset' ring road.

I wonder what will happen to the AXA building? I think Coventry has too much empty land and too many empty city centre buildings.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:45 PM   #299
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Looking back its a shame that CCC didn't have a masterplan in place when Ikea was built. If they had the Coventry South then Ikea could have been an anchor that nowhere else had plus the limitations of the masterplan would have ensured that the Ikea building wasn't so ghastly!

Attracting a department store will be tough. John Lewis have said they wont be building big stores anymore. Either they shrink the size of the anchor unit or they could get Primark to move lol!

I think Friargate will happen but on a smaller scale. They may be able to build about 50% of what they are proposing over the next 10 or 20 years. I think businesses who invest in Coventry will continue to focus on the outskirts of the city and I don't blame them.

I have often thought that if the Coventry Building Society is doing so well, not to mention Jaguar having their global headquarters at Whitley maybe they could be future Friargate tenants? You would think Jag would like to invest in a shiney new building rather than the awful looking boring offices at Whitley.

I think the Coventry Telegraph plan is solely to increase the value of the land, its not a real viable proposal.

I think the Axa building will be broken into smaller units. Coventry South includes demolishing that huge tower where by the entrance to the former Woolworths building so maybe those tenants may look to move there.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:10 PM   #300
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There was a 'masterplan' of sorts in place at the time, maybe not in terms of a layout but at the very least guidelines, especially regarding size, design etc. Most of it just blatantly got ignored. If they'd been followed the complete lack of any street frontage, the view of the car park etc would all have been rejected. It wouldn't have been that difficult to cover a lot of the ground floor car park with small window displays in front of them, but the planning department just let them build what they wanted, and they built a mess. Out of town retail park like they're used to - yes. As part of a street - most definitely not.

I think Coventry will eventually end up with a John Lewis, just when it has lost its prestige and joined the ranks of M&S, Bhs etc in the next rung down. Still a half-decent shop, but not considered 'posh' anymore.

I doubt we'll see much go on at all this year, just announcements about projects every few months to remind people of them.

Even when they are started they'll be massively scaled down.

Coventry South will end up just with a lick of paint and maybe the odd building knocked down here and there (like Iceland) which will never get rebuilt.
Friargate (if it ever gets started) will end up looking like it does now but newer - one or two office buildings built out of the whole plan and overall the thing looking rather untidy. (Although knowing my luck the few they'll build will be the ones positioned directly in front of the station and thereby putting even more obstacles in the way of a potential view of the three spires from the station area.
Belgrade Plaza and Cov Telegraph area will quietly be forgotten, and the likes of Cathedral Lanes, AXA etc will be talked about, tinkered with slightly but will have no difference on the outcome.
Digby Jones will continue to press for the Gateway, others will oppose it and it'll end up in planning limbo. Frankly I'm not overly sure we need it that much as it's not going to produce that many well-paid jobs and like Friargate I think the number of potential job creations stated in the blurb are way, way over the likely reality even taking into account potential jobs created elsewhere in other businesses supporting it.

If anything does get done, FGS will continue, but not get finished. Maybe we'll see the start of the clearing of the hotel site, but nothing start going up.
Bishopgate MAY get started, but I'm not expecting any movement in the first half of the year.
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