The Easy Hotel, what's happening?

Discussion in 'Central Ipswich' started by martinc, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. martinc

    martincMember

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    The site of the new Easy Hotel in Northgate Street looks to have been abandoned. Someone I know who works adjacent tells me the workers have not been on site for a month or so now. Scaffold was put up and never used, then taken down again, and the office the builders have over the road in the former restaurant hasn't seen any activity in ages.
    Has the project fallen through?
     
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    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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      Interesting observation. I was thinking the same just last week how we haven't heard any news about it, such as a provisional opening date.

      I wouldn't be surprised if the project had fallen through, not just because it is Ipswich and it seems to almost be guaranteed, but it was always sketchy from day one. Easy Hotel plc were acquiring the building (i.e. owned) and then operate it themselves. The next minute, they weren't to own the site but were to run it as an official Easy Hotel... and the next it was to be a franchise hotel (the vast majority of their locations are outside the prime locations). So I am not sure what scenario is correct.

      I get the impression a third party was interested in a franchise of Easy Hotel but have since run out of money or pulled out from the deal for another reason (perhaps council involvement, again).  Edit: I have been on Easy Hotel website where it claims Ipswich is an "Owned hotel" with 94 rooms opening in 2018.

      I am not sure if Jordan will add this to his list on The Ipswich Proposal... hardly an ambitious project, rather straight forward, but either way might be a good inclusion. (If it does fall through)

      Of course, their website saying it will open in 2018 doesn't mean the project hasn't been pulled. If we can get to the bottom of why work has stopped, perhaps unpaid bill with workers downing tools? It could be something as simple as the construction firm having other work on with the understanding that work would be undertaken in 2 or 3 periods over 12 months... i.e. to save money.

      It could also be the council getting involved. I know they have been unduly with obstructing Northgate Street (this has to have been expected when the council granted the planning permission), so whether a bus company had put in a complaint or the council got funny about lorries half on pavement and the road, I am not sure. It was obvious for this work to be done that the pavement near the building will be closed and delays to traffic using Northgate Street due to construction vehicles.

      I await to hear any information - with an opening date of 2018... January? ...December? The project must still be possible to complete... but lack of activity is a strange one. I could only ever assume the importance is on opening asap to start making money.
       
    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

      Messages:
      1,852
      Found some information...

      Ipswich Star claims:
      A new “super budget” easyHotel due to open in Ipswich later this year will include a coffee shop.

      The low-cost operator paid £800,000 for the freehold of the former Groove nightclub building in Northgate Street a year ago and has now recouped £140,000 by agreeing a 999-year lease on part of the ground floor for use as a coffee outlet.

      The 94-bedroom hotel, planning permission for which was granted last summer, involves a total investment by easyHotel of around £4m.

      Due to open this summer, the Ipswich easyHotel is one of four currently under construction in the UK, with others in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester all scheduled to open in the next two months.

      Easy Hotel document:-
      easyHotel Ipswich
      94 rooms, acquisition completed
      Construction to commence in the coming weeks
      Opening by July 2017

      easy.com shareholder news... (page won't load but is in Google without Cached version) http://www.easy.com/shareholder-news/4339-ipswich-to-get-easyhotel-in-2017.html

      Obviously, as of 30 June 2017, there will be no July 2017 opening!

      easyCoffee tipped to be the ground floor coffee shop, this probably will open before the hotel. If we can take what the latest information on Easy Hotel is saying, seems the project is pushed back 6 months or so. A major embarrassment for Easy Hotel who may have slammed on the brakes in Ipswich to meet higher costs for its other city hotels in the UK and abroad such as Barcelona. If they are changing their minds about Ipswich, they might struggle to offload the hotel to another operator...
       
    • OP
      OP
      martinc

      martincMember

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      783
      They may have carried out some initial enabling works before a full fit out at a later date, but no business I know works like that, you hit it hard to get a return on your investment. We will have to keep an eye on it, or seek insider info!
       
    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

      Messages:
      1,852
      Indeed. Costs are only going to rise and you aren't bringing in an income from that location.

      In other news, the Ipswich Society is speculating about the Buttermarket Centre... with a new A3 unit opening up... they say it is another ice cream place but still puzzled about the Pret. I think Pret would be more likely, as Kaspas (and the Northgate Street one earlier, RaRa's... was so popular for a few you would have thought it would have never have closed down!) obviously avoided such an expensive Shopping Centre location. Well, I say shopping centre... now mostly leisure, I mean restaurants! I would prefer an Itsu than a Pret.

      I am not one for the mystery game. Brands should be willing (once they have signed up formally) to disclose if they are opening up a new location, rather than leaving it hush-hush. Some people enjoy the excitement on social media of speculating who it might be, I don't.
       
    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

      Messages:
      1,852
      I can reveal an update on Ipswich Society's facebook stating "Creams Cafe" is opening in The Buttermarket. Poor name for an ice cream parlour selling Italian ice cream (gelato)

      Looks like we are waving goodbye to Kaspas? Or will this put I-Scream out of business?
       
    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

      Messages:
      1,852
      Martin, got an update on Easy Hotel!


      5 Pages of documents... the following snapshots and the attached files are just a small proportion of it.

      EasyHotelIpswich-NorthgateStreet-Update2.png EasyHotelIpswich-NorthgateStreet-Update1.png
      EasyHotelIpswich-NorthgateStreet-Update3.png
      Getting my head around it, they appear to want to change the fabric of the building to better suit their needs and also changing the entrance to it. So Easy Hotel still coming to Ipswich (if planning variation is granted) but not until mid-late 2018 earliest. With the extent of structural changes there couldn't have been much work done internally.
       

      Attached Files:

    • OP
      OP
      martinc

      martincMember

      Messages:
      783
      oh, so started worked and then changed their minds about what they wanted out of it by the looks of it then... how odd..
       
    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

      Messages:
      1,852
      Yes. I wonder if they had intended to do this originally but felt the planning permission would be turned down? Some developers like getting one foot on the ladder with local planning...

      It could be the case of no Easy Hotel in Ipswich, if it is refused. Likely to still get the coffee shop though.
       
    • dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

      Messages:
      1,852
      Ipswich Society...
      Says it will be more of a hostel than a hotel, interesting. I thought easyhotel was just a basic budget hotel.
       

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