New apartments with seaviews nearing completion on former hotel site
PUBLISHED: 16:03 26 April 2020
Work on a major new seafront development at Felixstowe is rapidly nearing completion – creating new retail space and apartments.
The four-storey building, which will feature 23 flats, is being constructed on the site of the old North Sea Hotel, which had stood empty and boarded up for 14 years before its demolition two years ago.
The hotel had been described as “an absolute scab on our seafront” by former mayor of Felixstowe Graham Newman because of its dilapidated appearance.
Now the building has been replaced with a modern design development in the seafront conservation area with flats of which four will be one-bedroom and 19 two-bedrooms with seaviews.
The ground floor frontage onto Sea Road will also include 2,333sq ft of retail space.
This was originally intended to be three units – possibly shops and a restaurant – but is now being actively marketed by agents Kearney Bell and looks likely to be a single unit.
With the coronavirus outbreak having affected the building industry, completion is now delayed and it is not yet known when the final work and fitting out of the flats will take place.
The now-gone North Sea Hotel dated back to the early 20th century and back in 1913 was the headquarters of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe Air Station.
The MAEE was based at Felixstowe port, a base for the development of seaplanes and flying boats which made the town famous worldwide.
The North Sea carried on as a hotel into the 1980s and 90s but then closed, and was then converted into a nightclub, running under the name The Yellow Cab Company and later La Plage and Lix’s.
Attempts to convert it to offices were rebuffed by the council and it then stood empty and deteriorating.
In 2014 it was sold to Hertfordshire-based Ponders End Investments PLC (PEI) for around £450,000 and the company secured the planning permission for flats and retail, later reduced in size due to no firm tenancies being secured desite extensive marketing of the leasehold opportunity.
The site was marketed again for £650,000-plus in 2017 and an auction date set.