Abacus House – the former Co-op Redevelopment

coop2The redevelopment of this site has proceeded rapidly and reached its full height in the Spring of 2014. From then on building continued rapidly, and on 5th September 2014 the first group of students began to arrive. The building is now known as Abacus House.

 

The story of the project is below.

History

The former Co-op department store on London Road has lain empty for several years. Although it has seen welcome temporary use as an art and community space – the most notable being the stunning transformation during Brighton Festival 2010 by Dreamthinkspeak into the set of ‘Before I Sleep’ – the empty store has left a gap unfilled on our high street.

A planning application which involved demoltion of the existing store to convert to student housing was turned down by the council in 2011, but December 2012 the council approved a revised application – still based around student housing, but retaining the much valued fascia of the original building.

The developers attended the LAT meetings and set up special events to inform residents as they developed thier proposal. More information about the plan can be found here and on the council website here (ref BH2012/02675)

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Facade of former Co-op

Facade of former Co-op

The work on the site has proceeded through 2013 amid considerable disturbance to immediate neighbours to the site.

2013-09-20 15.49.38

The demolition phase has merged into the pile-driving phase, and while demolition continues in the north west corner of the site the steel frame of the new structure has sprung rapidly out of the ground in the southern boundary.

2013-09-10 14.29.52

The new steel frame goes up rapidly

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