The topping out of a new 14 storey tower was the high point at a special event held on Friday 5 May to celebrate the City Park West development in Chelmsford city centre.
Over thirty stakeholders and project staff took in the city views after the finishing touches were applied to the top of the tower in the second phase of the Genesis Housing Association development on the former Anglia Ruskin University site. Guests included Councillor Paul Hutchinson, Chelmsford City Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Housing.
City Park West will offer nearly 650 mixed tenure homes including shared ownership, rental and extra care units once the second phase is completed by the contractors Higgins Construction in 2018. The scheme, which started on site in 2013, has also delivered new green space and commercial units, and has sympathetically restored three historic buildings including the Anne Knight Building, a former Quaker meeting house.
Ahead of the topping out ceremony, guests were treated to a walking tour of both phases led by the scheme’s architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards. The event rounded off with refreshments at the Grand Central Restaurant, housed in the restored Anne Knight Building on Victoria Road South.
Speaking at the event, Neil Hadden, Chief Executive of Genesis Housing Association, said:
Everyone gathered here should be proud of the part they have played in making this development the vibrant and thriving city-centre community taking shape today.
City Park West is already a shining example of urban renaissance, innovative design and fantastic partnership working. We look forward to watching this development continuing to set the bar high in the exciting times ahead.
Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins Construction said:
Today’s event represents an important milestone at City Park West. This is a significant project for Higgins Construction and we are extremely proud of what has been achieved to date. But we are about more than just construction, we are delighted we have been able to work with the local community and also take on local labour from the area through our training and future apprenticeship schemes.
Daniel Carter, Project Manager at Bidwells working on behalf of Genesis, said:
We have been involved with the City Park West scheme for almost a decade and it has been an honour to work on such an innovative development which is creating a whole new community in the heart of Chelmsford.
It really has been staggering to see the development unfold and how well it has been received, not only by Genesis, but also the wider community in Chelmsford. We have been proud to work alongside everyone involved who have all shown such boundless enthusiasm and energy for the scheme throughout.
The calibre of the scheme is already gaining major attention and last year it was named the winner of the RTPI East of England Regional Award for Planning Excellence with hopefully lots of other prestigious honours to come.