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The Princesshay Redevelopment - Page 5

An ongoing photo essay by David Cornforth © 2005/6/7

I have compacted the photo essay by removing some images - Latest update - Page 5

Page 1 May 2004 to 2nd June 2005

Page 2 10th June 2005 to 17th November 2005

Page 3 13th December 2005 to 12th July 2006

Page 4 19th August 2006 to 15th March 2007

Page 5 29th March 2007 to Latest Update

Other Related Links City Council Webcam

29th March 2007 - The first shops open before the official opening on Tuesday when there is to be a 'programme of events with musical entertainment'. Exeter College's gospel choir will start the day with Al Swainger's Monkey's Uncle in the afternoon - ooohhhh, I can't wait!

Bedford Street 29 March 07 - photo David CornforthA general view of the new Bedford Square and Bedford Street on a very wet Friday afternoon. The extra glow from the interior lights does lift the scene a tad. 29 March 2007

Cathedral from Debenhams 29 March 2007 - photo David CornforthA reflected view of Strada, the glass restaurant with the Cathedral poking up behind. 29 March 2007

Orange Tree 29 March 07 - photo David CornforthOrange Tree open further down the street, selling what looks like, furniture and home style - you can't beat Trago Mills for style, Dawn French always says (I may be confusing her with her character).... 29th March 2007

Strada 29 March 2007 - photo David CornforthAnother view across the new Bedford Square. Strada only occupy the left side of the new building and the right half will be Exe Shed. There will be two coffee shops and four restaurant/bistros side by side, so you need never go hungry when in the new Bedford Square. 30th July 2006

Official Opening Day of Bedford Street and Bedford Square

2nd April 2007 - Eight hundred and forty seven days after Princesshay was closed to the public on 14th February 2005, the new Bedford Street and Bedford Square officially open for business on a sunny, spring day. A temporary stage for the day's entertainment was erected in Bedford Square - ITV local news had their van and crew for a local broadcast in attendance, while the Express & Echo had their little video camera and crew to interview passers by on their views of the new development. There is still much work to be done along Princesshay itself, and along Paris Street and the new Next at Eastgate, all due to open in the Autumn. Thanks to the shop staff who posed for photographs.

Bedford Street 2 April 07 - photo David CornforthAl Swainger's Monkey's Uncle perform on the temporary stage, entertaining passers by, along with cafe patrons at the opening of the Bedford Square area of the Princesshay redevelopment.
2nd April 2007

Bedford Sq 2 April 2007 - photo David CornforthA view across the front of Strada with Costa Coffee behind the temporary stage at the opening of Bedford Square.
2nd April 2007

Debenhams 2 April 07 - photo David CornforthBedford Street is now officially open for eager shoppers, and those passing through. Debenhams will be open in the Autumn.
2nd April 2007

Crabtree and Evelyn 2 April 2007 - photo David CornforthStaff ready to go at Crabtree & Evelyn.
2nd April 2006

Neals 2 April 07 - photo David CornforthStaff outside Neal's Yard, Bedford Square.
2nd April 2007

Stem 2 April 2007 - photo David CornforthStem, the new flower store along with new staff.
2nd April 2007

Focus on Eastgate the Next building

20th April 2007 - Four photos of the Next building at Eastgate today for your delight. The two panoramic photos were taken by William Dartnall with a special panoraic camera. I have added two photos taken by myself of the same building as it does look quite impressive, if a little large, on a sunny day.

Eastgate - photo by William DartnallA panoramic photo of Eastgate taken from Paris Street by William Dartnall.
20th April 2007

Eastgate panoramic - photo by William DartnallA second panoramic photo of Next taken from the High Street. Two of the City's hanging baskets make a nice juxtaposition with the glossy exterior of the new store. Photo by William Dartnall.
20th April 2007

Eastgate from Debenhams - photo David CornforthThe new store from the Debenhams resturant. Go back to 2nd August 2005 to comapre the old with the new.
20th April 2007

Next building - photo David CornforthA blue sky gives a dramatic view of Next from the street, close to the Virgin Store.
20th April 2007

20th May 2007 - Most of the work is now in the centre of the development, not giving much scope for photographs. Here are two showing the progress of the construction along Paris Street, which for some reason, is not so interesting as that on the other side of the development.

Paris Street - photo David CornforthI don't know what this little street is to be called, but it will join Paris Street with the end of the Princesshay Arcade.
20th May 2007

Paris Street - photo David CornforthThe view up Paris Street from the corner of the Civic Centre - not very inspiring, now and probably not when its finished.
20th May 2007

29th May 2007 - The facade of the buildings at the end of Princesshay, on Bedford Street are nearing completion, so there are two photos to show the progress. Also, a photo at street level of the new Next at Eastgate through the wire mesh and builders junk. The last photo is of the row of campers outside the Princesshay residential agents who are queuing to buy one of the first 20 flats and apartments to come up for sale in the Bedford Street area. The first in the queue signed for the only one bedroomed flat in the development and was given a bunch of flowers and a bottle of champaigne, while the BBC and others filmed the event.

Bedford Street towards the High Street - photo David CornforthThe building that will form the left side of the entrance to Princesshay is taking shape, and is a somewhat better design than the totally, ugly, new Debenhams. Will the architect of Debenhams email me and justify the mess, or is he/she too afraid.......
29th May 2007

Bedford Street towards Bedford Square - photo David CornforthA view in the opposite direction towards Bedford Square. It does look like the concept art that Land Securities produced all those years ago, so the folk of Exeter can't really say that didn't know what they were getting.
29th May 2007

Next - photo David CornforthThe new Next is glass from top to toe; the ground floor has this large, curved window at street level to allow the retailer plenty of display space to stick up their Sale notices!
29th May 2007

Queue for flats - photo David CornforthAfter an uncomfortable week of living in a tent on the street (just like Delhi), these flat hunters presumably purchased their properties - if they see this, maybe they can email me to let us know how they did. If they kept a diary, or would like to write of the experience, I will add it to the site. Email below.
29th May 2007

16th June 2007 - two more photos from opposite ends of the development. which show some progress that can be seen from the street.

princesshay from Bedford Square - photo David CornforthThey are starting to add the facades to the buildings lining the new Princesshay. A glimpse of the arcade covering of the upper part of Princesshay can just be seen.
16th June 2007

Paris Street - photo David CornforthThe opposite corner of the development shows the concrete heavy multi-storey car park. I believe concrete is one of the most energy greedy building materials on the planet - mind you, you can hardly drive a car up a cardboard ramp.
16th June 2007

13th July 2007 - a really dull and murky July day for the two latest photos.

Eastgate and Paris Street - photo David CornforthThe side cladding on the rear of Next, adjacent to Paris Street is almost complete. It is not very exciting in what is a dull length of buildings between Eastgate and Southernhay.
13th July 2007

The Cathedral - photo David CornforthA view that was not available before, is the rear of the cottages in Cathedral Close with the North Tower of the Cathedral beyond from the short alley between Strada and Cafe Rouge. It is an attractive little vista.
13th July 2007

6th August 2007 - a couple more photos this week from the Paris Street end of the development.

Next in Paris Street - photo David CornforthThe sweep of the side of the Next building, looking towards Eastgate. It does have a nice curve, and there are interesting reflections from the sky but it is a bit dull and grey from other angles.
6th August 2007

Carpark off Southernhay - photo David CornforthThe end of the not very nice rooftop car park, opposite the Civic Centre - I don't know if this is the final colour, but it is quite attractive as it reflects the red sandstone on many of Exeter's old buildings. I bet they paint it white.
6th August 2007

3rd September 2007 - these will be the last photos uploaded of the redevelopment before the official opening on the 20th September..

The carpark, Paris Street - photo David CornforthThe corner of Paris Street and Southernhay. This sharp edged, glass and steel mesh homage to keeping the shoppers car dry is having the finishing touches done to the outside. The shops beneath, are ready for the shop fitters and in some cases, are complete.
3rd September 2007

Apartments in Southernhay - photo David CornforthSome of the verandas from the new flats, or is it apartments, a much posher word, overlooking the top end of Southernhay. The flats remind me of the sort of apartments you see in Palma Majorca and Benidorm - they will want to put a swimming pool and a couple of plastic palms in the middle of Southernhay next. Better get the towels on the sun loungers before you know who gets there first.....
3rd September 2007

11th September 2007 - OK, so I said there would be no more photos before opening. These two seem too good to not post on the site.

Debenhams - photo David CornforthTwo of the 560 brand new mannikins in a rather naked state, stare out of the corner window of Debenhams, ready for dressing. According to the E & E, all the stock in the store is new and no stock from the old store will be transferred.
7th September 2007

Also see the photo essay - Debenhams last sale

Next - photo David CornforthThe sun catches the window of the new Next, which will be opening on the 20th September.
11th September 2007

20th September 2007 - At last - the grand opening

Judy Spiers - photo David CornforthThe Lord Mayor - photo David Cornforth
Judy Spiers starts the proceedings followed by a representive from Land Securities. Hazel Slack, Lord Mayor then cut the tape to open the 'streetscape'.
20th September 2007

The Blueboy - photo David CornforthThe Blueboy statue was a welcome return for the new Princesshay.
20th September 2007

Eastgate - photo David CornforthA rain shower brought out the umbrellas as the throng of shoppers descended like a plague of locust on the shop fronts.
20th September 2007

Topshop - photo David CornforthQueuing outside Topshop and Topman, half an hour after opening.
20th September 2007

princesshay north - photo David CornforthLooking along Princesshay towards Eastgate with Topshop straight ahead.
20th September 2007

princesshay south - photo David CornforthA misty view of the cathedral as a sudden shower brings out the umbrellas. Debenhams on the left
20th September 2007

princesshay shops - photo David CornforthSome of the shops opposite the side of Debenhams in Princesshay. The overhanging windows from the apartments above give the street a more intimate feel.
20th September 2007

princesshay and Bampfylde Street - photo David CornforthAnother view of the Cathedral from the Princesshay, Bampfylde Lane crossing. This is from the spot where the old Phoenix emblem was situated in the old Princesshay
20th September 2007

Well, that's the last photos of the Princesshay photo essay - if you have visited them regularly, I hope they helped you follow the demolition and then construction of the Land Securities 'streetscape'. Having some limited access, a couple of times, to the site would have been helpful, but I'm afraid the Land Securities public relations company were not very helpful, even a little dismissive. They could do with some good PR to polish their tarnished image - I wouldn't employ them.

And what do I think of the whole development - a curates egg is a nice, old fashioned way of describing it. It's just a pity that the new Debenhams is so large and those awful bricks and glass blocks.... Other parts are quite closed in, and intimate in keeping with a city that has a long history. Better wait 10 years and see what we all think then.

David Cornforth

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