Broad Street Mall

buseng
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Broad Street Mall

Post by buseng »

I sincerely hope this isn't true!
Flats, flats more damn flats. Will it ever end?
https://tvproperty.co.uk/news/mall-cons ... -bed-hotel
Last edited by johnH on 17 Nov 2018 13:28, edited 1 time in total.
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dave m
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Re: What a Dump!

Post by dave m »

I don't see a problem
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Re: What a Dump!

Post by Melchett »

The Broad Street Mall could really do with turning some of it into a leisure facility. Indoor crazy golf, arcades, would give them a USP over The Oracle. However, it would probably attract scumbags being in the part of town it is.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: What a Dump!

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Have you seen the ping pong area in BSM Melchett. It’s not even visually attractive and wouldn’t entice me there. Looks like it’s been done on a half assed idea and a two quid budget, Seems BSM always had an aura of being somewhat downmarket, but I don’t know whether that’s more to do with the architecture of the time not being, IMHO, the best looking?

My mum used to work in the Tesco there. ,it was a pretty big store and took up much of that corner and the space where New Look is and Argos was, I think. It was always busy, with ‘weekly’ shoppers and the daily pop in types. Whether that’s because there was less choice of supermarket then, or at least less basket stores, I don’t know. I presume parking must have been easier/cheaper, as the trolleys were always very full.

Don’t think I’d fancy living in a flat built above BSM. Not for any snobbish reasons at all, but the Mall was originally built for three storeys, mainly, and foundations dug accordingly. It would worry me slapping another five storeys on top. Presumably that’s all been worked out by the architects though.
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piwacket
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Re: What a Dump!

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 17 Nov 2018 09:39
Don’t think I’d fancy living in a flat built above BSM. Not for any snobbish reasons at all, but the Mall was originally built for three storeys, mainly, and foundations dug accordingly. It would worry me slapping another five storeys on top. Presumably that’s all been worked out by the architects though.
... must admit that was my first thought too - closely followed by not actually wanting to live right in the middle of town anyway, but the under 25s probably feel differently :)
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Re: What a Dump!

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Bear in mind that the underground levels of the BSM is a whole network of roads and storage. The new build would pile drive/ drill and cast new supports for anything that went on top.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

True, Dave m. True. Would the build not originally have been calculated on a three storey weight load though. So how would you ensure the existing foundations and/or ground itself, plus or minus any new piling work etc, could bear the added weight. I’m sure tenexperts have taken that into account, but I was just pondering on it,

I was also thinking of emergency egress? I’ll have to look at the plans and would also presume that there will be means of escape that doesn’t involve exiting through the 3 existing floors of the BSM in some way?

Bit morbid I know, and any new floors would be built to building regs in force at the time, but the existing three floors wouldn’t be, unless they were given a serious I.e. costly, upgrade too.
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lizwing
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by lizwing »

There are passages and stairways behind the scenes in the BSM which could provide entry and exit for any flats.
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dave m
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by dave m »

Without seeing any plans it's hard to say but they would probably have records going back to the build, and could easily test bore on the hexagon/ civic centre site or in a section of the basements.
It is amazing how little holds buildings up.
Fountain house is pretty tall and stays up. Presumably a section of retail space would be sacrificed to create new entrances similar to fountain house's or even build out .
There isn't much in the way of public exits all along the dusseldorf way side apart from a car park pedestrian exit
Ground testing rigs are pretty small and mobile
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MickEdge
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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One must just hope they don’t employ the same architects who designed the car park ramps between floors, with their delightfully narrow lanes edged with concrete and that European experience of driving on the right hand side.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by C.A.Versham »

Just think, the new flat dwellers will not only have a walk in medical centre on site but also live close to plenty of coffee shops and bars, fast food outlets and within easy walking distance of a fine church and concert hall. What more could someone want? Not sure about schools though for any young offspring.
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mikejee
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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MickEdge wrote: 17 Nov 2018 16:04 One must just hope they don’t employ the same architects who designed the car park ramps between floors, with their delightfully narrow lanes edged with concrete and that European experience of driving on the right hand side.
I think it was somewhere on this forum many years ago that someone said that the original BSM plans were a straight copoy of one of the early American malls with no alterations for British conditions.
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piwacket
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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C.A.Versham wrote: 17 Nov 2018 16:24 Just think, the new flat dwellers will not only have a walk in medical centre on site but also live close to plenty of coffee shops and bars, fast food outlets and within easy walking distance of a fine church and concert hall. What more could someone want? Not sure about schools though for any young offspring.
A walk-in centre - provided you were sick before - what is it? 6pm? Schools and Doctors? :whistle1:
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C.A.Versham
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by C.A.Versham »

From the walk in centre web site 'From 01 October 2018, patients will be able to access appointments during evenings and weekends, Mon -Thu 0800-2000, Fri 0800-1830, Sat 0800-1600.'
Better hours than my GP.
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mikejee
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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I did once try visiting the walk in centre a couple of years ago. My doctor had no appointment for 3 days and i was a bit worried about something. It was , i think, about 2 hours before their listed closing time. I (and several others before me) were told that they had had an emergency and therefore would not be adding any more patients to their list that day. As with many Virgin declarations, full on promise and anticipation, poor on performance
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MickEdge
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by MickEdge »

Mrs Edge has used the BSM walk-in clinic a couple of times, when her GPs weren’t available and was fairly happy.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by C.A.Versham »

I've used it twice for the same reason and, although there was a wait, the service received was fine.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by ash »

The proposal for the use of space make sense to me. Retail uses on the ground, basement and first floors. Residential units above. Expanded car park sandwiched in between. Agree that more services needed in central Reading for the new and existing residents.

Unless they plan to dramatically change the appearance of the mall, it may end up looking strange with modern towers above. Unless they plan the towers to be 70's brutalist concrete, to match with the existing!
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by dave m »

It's relatively easy to change the outward appearance of a modern build with curtain walling.

The university library has been extended and reclad in gold
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piwacket
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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C.A.Versham wrote: 17 Nov 2018 23:52 From the walk in centre web site 'From 01 October 2018, patients will be able to access appointments during evenings and weekends, Mon -Thu 0800-2000, Fri 0800-1830, Sat 0800-1600.'
Better hours than my GP.
OK Thanks :) but I'd say that's still pretty limited, but yes often better than a GP - so then what - A & E for a few hours - and a few more hours than that with the addition of all the new residents planned ?
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Ah yes. Cladding. That’s gone well in the past, hasn’t it.....
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mikejee
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by mikejee »

dave m wrote: 18 Nov 2018 15:29 It's relatively easy to change the outward appearance of a modern build with curtain walling.

The university library has been extended and reclad in gold
I always knew the vice chancellors wine cellar would only absorb part of the ridiculous fees now charged
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OneGorman
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by OneGorman »

Personally I can’t stand the Butts and too much money has been spunked on renovating it when it was clear Is was never going to be a success now the town has the Oracle. Jeez, just look at all the empty shops in Broad Street to see how towns in general are in a lot of trouble as shopping online becomes the easier and cheaper norm.

I’d love to see the Butts flattened! Build that new theatre the town needs and then attract top singers to it. The town will also benefit from the thousands who attend and then spend money while they’re here!
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MickEdge
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by MickEdge »

The Mall was always going to be the poor relation after the Oracle was built. However, on recent visits it does seem to be reasonably busy. I suppose it’s chosen to attract what I think are called the “value” shops.

It’s an ugly building externally, although I like the Metro Bank corner, but it’s got enough going for it to survive. It’s well placed, close to lots of bus stops and the main pedestrian route in from the Oxford Rd area, where there are a lot of houses within walking distance, and it’s under cover with a car park. If they stick flats on top of it, which seems the plan, it will certainly add to its popularity and investor value.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by Melchett »

OneGorman wrote: 20 Nov 2018 01:05
I’d love to see the Butts flattened! Build that new theatre the town needs and then attract top singers to it. The town will also benefit from the thousands who attend and then spend money while they’re here!
The prison area should be the place for this.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by dave m »

Yes. In an ideal world the prison should be a cultural hub

There will be a load of technical issues in changing the BSM into a site for a theatre, ground levels being one
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by Fed-up »

dave m wrote: 20 Nov 2018 09:03 There will be a load of technical issues in changing the BSM into a site for a theatre, ground levels being one
Nothing that a batch of TNT wouldn't solve!

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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by peterson »

Plans now submitted. Lots of images in my article here:

http://readingonthames.com/2019/02/27/b ... ooking-up/

Nearly 500 flats, three main towers up to 22 storeys high.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

First impression? That’s chuffing ugly. Looks out of proportion to me and a hell of a lot of space to fill. I thought the Ark development, which never got off the ground, was at least different and elegant. First thing that popped into my head when I saw these pictures was the tower blocks you see on the way into London?

What happens if (when) Broad Street Mall comes to the end of its life? The development could potentially stand on top of empty units.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by OLDMAN »

I’ve been following this plan on FB and TBH thinks it not too bad

First impression is that it looks similar to the new Royal Winchester House in Bracknell

As for the BSM itself it’s all being renovated / updated so should have a longer life – and bring a bit more life to that end of the town

It will also depend on what gets developed on the old civic offices site
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by dave m »

BSM is concrete and Roman concrete is still standing. However, it does date from the concrete cancer generation.
It isn't clear how the structure will be supported in the public application. But I assume that the new piles would go right through to ground level so the new build is effectively on stilts above the mall. So you could demolish the BSM and leave the newer flats standing.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by Melchett »

I mean, that end of town is horrible and it would be nice for it to be improved. However, another worry with all these flats and not the infrastructure to support it.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by chris_j_wood »

To me, it just doesn't make sense to build on top of an already pretty while life-expired mall like this. It must surely be cheaper to demolish and rebuild from scratch, and doing that means you don't need to worry about what to do when the mall finally does expire, nor about how to sell or rent flats perched on top of a somewhat down-market shopping mall.

The only downside to demolish and rebuild that I can see is that there is a serious risk that with all that area a building site for a couple of years, there is a serious risk that the western end of town will have withered and died before they reopen. But then the building work has still got to be done. Will it be any less disruptive trying to do it around an operating shopping mall?. Will any retailers stay for several years whilst contractors are driving piles through their stores?.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by MickEdge »

I presume developers would have considered whether knocking down and rebuilding is more profitable, but maybe the payback is too long, although these kind of developers can usually afford to take a long term view.

Does the BSM really have a limited shelf life? It doesn’t have the riverside location of the Oracle and it looks dated now, but it’s the first bit of the town centre reached by a great many people from west Reading, many within walking distance and it’s also on a frequent bus service.

I reckon the inside can be smartened up a lot and if they attract the right shops, it should succeed. It always seems reasonably busy now and although the outside isn’t great I like what Metro Bank have done.

I guess the big question is, will the town centre need that many retail outlets in the future? If there was enough public money available, could it be converted into several arts and performance spaces? Is there room for a mini Hexagon?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by ash »

Nice plans, looks like a much more efficient use of space. I feel that The positioning of the towers mean daytime shadows are primarily limited to the roof car park.

Speaking of the car park:
  • Are they adding more floors onto the multi storey to compensate for the loss of spaces as a result of the new buildings
  • I wonder why they have decided to leave the 70s concrete exterior of the car park within the new proposals, almost looking as if they are framing a picture? Are they making this a feature wall? It might look strange to have all these modern new apartment buildings, and glass-fronted shops on the ground-level, but sandwiching a narrow slice of old concrete between them!
Finally, I think the mall owners have missed an opportunity to add more leisure to the scheme. With all these major alterations to the building structure, they could have quite easily added a single-storey deck above the multi-storey car park (from the aerial view, you really appreciate how big the car park is).

This space could be dedicated for use as a bowling alley or other associated leisure facility. I believe that with the previous comments on this thread comparing The Oracle to The Broad Street Mall, a leisure facility like this would really set this shopping centre apart from other town-centre establishments. I don't go bowling myself, but can see that the only such facility in a town the size of Reading may prove popular. Especially in such a central location. It would also add footfall to the south side of the mall, and ensure an active frontage for a longer part of the day (helping any new restaurants that set up in the new units along Dusseldorf Way, as well as economic benefits to the mall with income from parking charges).
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