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Drake Circus Shopping Centre

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Drake Circus Shopping Centre

Drake Circus Shopping Centre is a 60,800 m² (654,000 ft²) covered shopping mall in the centre of Plymouth, England which opened in October 2006.The new building, designed by London-based architects Chapman Taylor and built by Bovis Lend Lease and situated behind the ruined Charles Church, preserved as the city's civilian war memorial, has provoked a mixed reception. Just after it opened, the shopping centre won the inaugural Carbuncle Cup "for crimes against architecture", as the worst new building in the UK. However in 2007 it won two retail industry national awards, one of which was the Retail Week magazine's "Shopping Location of the Year". Also in 2007, the centre's management introduced a code of conduct which, like one the Bluewater centre controversially introduced in 2005, banned hooded tops and baseball caps.The term circus as used here refers to an open space, usually circular, where a number of roads meet (see, for example The Circus (Bath)). Drake Circus was originally a large oval roundabout built in the early 20th century at the junction of four main roads and several minor ones. The roundabout consisted of Edwardian buildings housing shops, and from 1937 its south end carried the "Guinness Clock", which was visible to people travelling up Old Town Street and was a landmark in the city of the time.The circus survived the Plymouth Blitz of World War II relatively intact, but it was demolished in 1966-7 as part of the Plan for Plymouth, and was replaced by a new open roundabout to the north. Around this time the lower section of the main road to Tavistock off this new roundabout was renamed Drake Circus. A two-level shopping centre with open malls and a large C&A store was built, partly over the site of the original circus. It opened in 1971 and was also named Drake Circus.Initial proposals to redevelop this mall in the early 1990s failed, but the developers, P&O Estates, tried again in the early 2000s. Plans were drawn up for a much larger centre, and after Allders signed up as the first "anchor" tenant in 2001, work started in February 2004 on demolishing the old centre and the adjoining Charles Street multi-storey car park.The scheme suffered a setback in January 2005 when Allders went into administration. New tenants Next and Primark committed in 2005 and the building opened in October 2006.On 3 February 2005 it was announced that the shopping centre had been sold by P&O Estates to Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund for £55m. On 20 November 2006 it was announced that Kandahar Real Estate had taken a 50 per cent stake in the centre.

Practical Information

Address: 1 Charles Street,

Location: Plymouth, UK

Official site: http://www.drakecircus.com

Parking: 1270 car spaces

Size: 654 000  ft² (60 758.6 m²)

Owner: Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund (MSREF), Kandahar Real Estate

Opened: 2006

Architect(s): Chapman Taylor

Nb of stores: 66

Nb of floors: 3

Anchor tenants: 8

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Drake Circus Shopping Centre –

Drake Circus Shopping Centre is a 60,800 m² (654,000 ft²) covered shopping mall in the centre of Plymouth, England which opened in October 2006.The new building, designed by London-based architects Chapman Taylor and built by Bovis Lend Lease and situated behind the ruined Charles Church, preserved as the city's civilian war memorial, has provoked a mixed reception. Just after it opened, the shopping centre won the inaugural Carbuncle Cup "for crimes against architecture", as the worst new building in the UK. However in 2007 it won two retail industry national awards, one of which was the Retail Week magazine's "Shopping Location of the Year". Also in 2007, the centre's management introduced a code of conduct which, like one the Bluewater centre controversially introduced in 2005, banned hooded tops and baseball caps.The term circus as used here refers to an open space, usually circular, where a number of roads meet (see, for example The Circus (Bath)). Drake Circus was originally a large oval roundabout built in the early 20th century at the junction of four main roads and several minor ones. The roundabout consisted of Edwardian buildings housing shops, and from 1937 its south end carried the "Guinness Clock", which was visible to people travelling up Old Town Street and was a landmark in the city of the time.The circus survived the Plymouth Blitz of World War II relatively intact, but it was demolished in 1966-7 as part of the Plan for Plymouth, and was replaced by a new open roundabout to the north. Around this time the lower section of the main road to Tavistock off this new roundabout was renamed Drake Circus. A two-level shopping centre with open malls and a large C&A store was built, partly over the site of the original circus. It opened in 1971 and was also named Drake Circus.Initial proposals to redevelop this mall in the early 1990s failed, but the developers, P&O Estates, tried again in the early 2000s. Plans were drawn up for a much larger centre, and after Allders signed up as the first "anchor" tenant in 2001, work started in February 2004 on demolishing the old centre and the adjoining Charles Street multi-storey car park.The scheme suffered a setback in January 2005 when Allders went into administration. New tenants Next and Primark committed in 2005 and the building opened in October 2006.On 3 February 2005 it was announced that the shopping centre had been sold by P&O Estates to Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund for £55m. On 20 November 2006 it was announced that Kandahar Real Estate had taken a 50 per cent stake in the centre.

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