Public exhibitions for Eden Walk and old post office - as former developer pulls out of Kingston

The old Post Office in Kingston is part of the Ashdown Road redevelopment site

The old Post Office in Kingston is part of the Ashdown Road redevelopment site

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

Two public exhibitions on plans to redevelop key areas of Kingston town centre will be held next week.

Initial ideas by residential developers St George for its newly acquired Ashdown Road car park site will go on display for three days at the old Post Office in Eden Street, starting on Thursday, July 10.

St George has bought the three acre site - which includes the former Grade II-listed post office and telephone exchange buildings - from Hammerson, the company behind the failed £500m project to regenerate Kingston's Eden Quarter.

Little is known about the new owner's plans save that it will be a mixed-use development featuring housing, retail, restaurants and public spaces.

And St George's land director Malcolm Wood promised the firm would work with residents and businesses on developing its final plans.

Marylin Mason, secretary The Old Post Office (TOPO) steering group, which wants to reopen the post office building as a community hub, said: "I don't know much about St George's plan, but they are prepared to talk to TOPO which is progress of sorts.

"We still hope the tiny part of that site that is Grade II-listed will be given to the community and be turned into a cultural and environmental hub."

Meanwhile, British Land and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will hold a joint exhibition of new plans for the Eden Walk shopping centre, on July 10, July 12 and July 18.

Surrey Comet: Eden Walk shopping centre

Eden Walk shopping centre is also set to be revamped

The exhibitions follow on from last month's Kingston Futures conference, which discussed the potential redevelopment of several landmark areas in Kingston town centre.

Nobody from Hammerson was present at last month's Kingston Futures conference, where more than 150 prospective investors paid £354 a ticket to hear about potential development opportunities in the town centre.

Four years on from the Eden Quarter deal collapsing, it is understood Hammerson is now selling its stake in Kingston as it concentrates on a £1bn redevelopment of Croydon's Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres.

While other firms like St George and parent company Berkeley, British Land and (USS) are all listed as principle corporate partners for the event, Hammerson was not.

In February, investors Aviva paid £7.6m for the Eden Street and Adam's Walk site, also previously owned by Hammerson.

Hammerson was yet to comment.

Comments (2)

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10:11am Fri 4 Jul 14

chramies says...

I'm all in favour of the old Post Office being brought back into use for something but is there a way to stop it being demolished? At this rate there will be no nice old buildings left in Kingston apart from anything that's Listed to within an inch of its life, e.g. the Market Place.
I'm all in favour of the old Post Office being brought back into use for something but is there a way to stop it being demolished? At this rate there will be no nice old buildings left in Kingston apart from anything that's Listed to within an inch of its life, e.g. the Market Place. chramies
  • Score: 8

10:46am Fri 4 Jul 14

DB says...

The problem is that St. George's definition of 'mixed-use' is very different to what residents would expect. Any site should really have a new doctors surgery and probably some eductation provision, but I think it will be dominated by flats and shops. These always represent the most profitable use of space so the developers always aim for that.

Based on recent developments, they may even wany to cut back on retail space for more flats. The development in the centre of Surbiton has been up for about 5 years now and there is no sign of that retail space having been occupied. It is the same with the development opposite the old Slug & Lettuce site in Kingston.

At worst, we might see more of what has happened to the old Currie Motors site in Surbiton where a car showroom has been converted into makeshift flats that have now been for there at least 10 years.
The problem is that St. George's definition of 'mixed-use' is very different to what residents would expect. Any site should really have a new doctors surgery and probably some eductation provision, but I think it will be dominated by flats and shops. These always represent the most profitable use of space so the developers always aim for that. Based on recent developments, they may even wany to cut back on retail space for more flats. The development in the centre of Surbiton has been up for about 5 years now and there is no sign of that retail space having been occupied. It is the same with the development opposite the old Slug & Lettuce site in Kingston. At worst, we might see more of what has happened to the old Currie Motors site in Surbiton where a car showroom has been converted into makeshift flats that have now been for there at least 10 years. DB
  • Score: 2

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