Broad Street Mall

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OneGorman
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by OneGorman »

I like the designs BUT have felt for a long time that the Mall just bleeds money and needs to either be knocked down, or it needs to be converted into something social where the town is lacking, i.e. Bowling alley, Ice rink, Call of Duty laser thingy that kids love today, etc. A multi entertainment complex. But as a Mall it’s always going to struggle. I can’t remember the last time I bought anything in there!

Broad St is dying as well. A Mall isn’t needed with The Oracle dominating in that area.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Or we could be REALLY radical and convert the Mall into a leisure complex, with a decent theatre and, gasp, even have a space for a decent swimming pool!
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thegoodmrbrodie!
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by thegoodmrbrodie! »

i think there are plans for a cinema, so that is a step in the right direction and would hopefully add an extra reason for people to venture that way.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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There's is no way that you could convert the BSM into a theatre.
I am not in there enough to remember the frequency of pillars in the mall, but obviously they need to be worked around if creating a large open space.
The outside can easily (?) be upgraded by curtain walling. The structure is basically a load of vertical supports holding floors apart. Some external walls may be structural but there are ways of either temporary removal and replacement, or covering.
Many much older buildings in days gone by were upgraded by having more fashionable facings added, hiding the older facade.

The problem still arises where any bowling/skating or other entertainment company invests with a view to turning a profit. You have to ask yourself why nobody has done it before?
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Indeed. With the height of the proposed buildings, my worry would be the total weight on the original foundations/bearing down on the older lower floors and structure. Best to start afresh, with modern building regs and safety codes.
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piwacket
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 02 Mar 2019 12:57 Indeed. With the height of the proposed buildings, my worry would be the total weight on the original foundations/bearing down on the older lower floors and structure. Best to start afresh, with modern building regs and safety codes.
I agree.
As for 'that end of town' historically it always was the 'poor relation'with regards to shopping, and as said, the Oracle has really compounded that now.
Shopping really ended with Woolworths and Littlewoods - only if one couldn't find what you wanted from Woolworths to Marks - did one go to the Co-op.
So surely comon-sense(?) previails that a much better use of the site would be sensible.
As said, we don't have much in the way of Leisure activity space - a theatre or multi-complex Arts venue for the whole site, complete with on-site car-parking would surely be the better option..... and surely there are enough flats in the town centre already with precious little support network of doctors, schools etc..... or do people who liv in flats not need these things, let alone a car to use at weekends :? There seems to be a mind-set that people who rent flats in a town-centre don't have a ''weekend life'', they just walk or catch a bus or train everywhere :shrug1:
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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BSM might put the frighteners up some of the middle class types on here, but the footfall for Wilkos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the incoming Iceland will keep the place ticking over quite happily.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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I know several people who live in the town centre who don't have a car. One in particular who sold her car when she moved. Some use a car club where you effectively pay an hour/day rate with no parking or maintanence issues

The flats in the borough aren't really open to debate. It is a government mandated number.

I don't think that the shopping mall is intended to support the new flats, the structure wouldn't be strong enough but punching through to stable ground would be easy (relatively)

Afaik the council are pursuing the idea of a hexagon replacement on the prison site in maybe 10 years time. Obviously money is an issue and getting the MoJ to play ball.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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bluemondayuk wrote: 02 Mar 2019 14:06 BSM might put the frighteners up some of the middle class types on here, but the footfall for Wilkos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the incoming Iceland will keep the place ticking over quite happily.
Quite who might those ‘types’ on here be, then bluemondayuk? Afaik, business needs to do more than tick over, and certainly can’t rely on four or five units on a site as large as BSM, to sustain it.

And again, I don’t know anything about building, but surely ‘punching through’ costs more than knocking down and starting again? Just wouldn’t feel safe in a flat 15 stories up built on being ‘punched through’ a structure itself standing on 50 year old foundations , which were originally designed to bear the weight of less than 4 or 5 stories.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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It's relatively easy to core drill a metre wide hole through a floor and cast an entirely new column from stable ground if you wish.Or thread steels through the structure. I haven't been under the BSM in a while and can't remember what's under that area but there was a garage for the mayor's limo- later used as storage by the hexagon, and a service road outwards midway along. Once you get to where the market starts, the old target is still under there

You don't need much in the way of columns /piles to hold a very big building up as the loading is in compression
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Maybe. Still looks out of proportion though and even with cladding (we all know how well that’s gone in the past) hiding the ugly concerted exterior of the car park in some areas, it seems a big effort to do half a job? I’d rather build it from the ground up.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Demolishing the existing building would be hugely expensive - it would take months to take down the building safely, and then there's the considerable cost of trucking it away and disposing of it, which is a lot more than it used to be. And that's without the elephant in the room: BSM was built in the early 70s; as far as I'm aware there was absolutely no legal ban on any form of asbestos in the UK until 1985. If there's any asbestos currently safely encased in the structure of BSM, demolishing it will increase in price massively.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Good point about the asbestos Poo. That would clearly have an impact on any thoughts of running pilings, or whatever, through the existing building then, to support any new floors above?

Would there be much less disruption trucking new materials onto site if you kept the lower parts? Still need months of work, tonnes of materials, people, vehicles, cranes etc etc. I don’t know the answer, was just an interesting thought. It seems a bit amateur to build new on top of old, is all.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by ash »

I don’t see the Broad Street Mall as a competitor in any way to the Oracle. It has a completely different range of shops, and some of them are really pretty big high street names. It is well used, remains quite popular, and has a prime location to anchor that end of Broad Street.

A few other members have suggested demolishing the existing mall and starting fresh. Most situations I would agree with this, especially because it allows for a coherent, purpose-built structure to be built in its place.

However, the main concern I would have with this, is that from current trends, I would predict the land would end up being used for residential apartment blocks, in its entirety. No services, no leisure, and no parking. Look at what’s planned for the civic centre site.

With the current proposals, at least we are going to keep a relatively popular shopping centre with a good range of shops on the ground levels.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 02 Mar 2019 16:19 Good point about the asbestos Poo. That would clearly have an impact on any thoughts of running pilings, or whatever, through the existing building then, to support any new floors above?
True, but drilling a hole a metre or so in diameter through ceilings and floors will expose much less asbestos at any time than ripping the entire structure apart, and should be easier to contain.
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 02 Mar 2019 16:19Would there be much less disruption trucking new materials onto site if you kept the lower parts? Still need months of work, tonnes of materials, people, vehicles, cranes etc etc. I don’t know the answer, was just an interesting thought. It seems a bit amateur to build new on top of old, is all.
In terms of bringing new materials in, it's probably not that much different. I was thinking of the weeks and probably months of disruption beforehand when you take the old building down.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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True, true. Just strikes me as ugly, tho.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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I don't find it particularly ugly, but I don't much care for it either.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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That’s the thing, isn’t it. It’s kind of meh. Yet another tall oblong building. No flair to it.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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bluemondayuk wrote: 02 Mar 2019 14:06 BSM might put the frighteners up some of the middle class types on here, but the footfall for Wilkos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the incoming Iceland will keep the place ticking over quite happily.
You could find space for those four shops elsewhere in the town centre.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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jonbryce wrote: 03 Mar 2019 15:47
bluemondayuk wrote: 02 Mar 2019 14:06 BSM might put the frighteners up some of the middle class types on here, but the footfall for Wilkos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the incoming Iceland will keep the place ticking over quite happily.
You could find space for those four shops elsewhere in the town centre.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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bluemondayuk wrote: 02 Mar 2019 14:06 BSM might put the frighteners up some of the middle class types on here, but the footfall for Wilkos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the incoming Iceland will keep the place ticking over quite happily.
Yep, I agree. Also - The Works, Greggs, Boswells, Superdrug, Holland and Barrett etc. It's not as glossy as The Oracle, but as well as those pretty popular stores, it has a gym, NHS walk in centre and a post office. I pop into town 2 or 3 times a week and I usually spend more time in the BSM than in the Oracle.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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I though the last bit of ‘more leisure facilities’ was already being considered / discussed with the extra space utilised in where Argos went from?

Part of that is to become a new Iceland but the rest is supposedly for anything else – and I know a bowling alley was mentioned
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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I think the Iceland project involves a cinema.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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dave m wrote: 04 Mar 2019 09:09 I think the Iceland project involves a cinema.
Handy for buying an ice cream before the film starts. :-)
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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I’m just wondering what the obsession with bowling is. It often gets mentioned. Was the old bowling place over by what is now Ikea, that well used? Is Reading a secret coven of bowling demons?
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Well as a regular league bowler I can answer: at the moment I bowl once a week with an odd week off, but at one time was bowling 3 times per week (had to reduce it due to the arthritis in my knees)
Most bowling centres have regular leagues that bowl some afternoons and most nights of the week which is their core business

However, bowling has a very high aspect as a good family orientated time so quite popular

And that’s where some bowling centres go wrong - Calcot had 2 problems, one was they had leagues, then got rid of them in favour of ‘open’ bowling, but then lost that due to location
It was only those going for the p***-up discos or use eth night club that had a bowl whilst there that kept it going

Basingstoke did the same but resealed so went back to leagues plus open and is still going

Maidenhead got rid of leagues completely, refused to re-instate them…………then died a death
It didn’t help that they put their prices up to try and cover it all!

Any other centres within a decent radius are still going strong
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 04 Mar 2019 15:38 I’m just wondering what the obsession with bowling is. It often gets mentioned. Was the old bowling place over by what is now Ikea, that well used? Is Reading a secret coven of bowling demons?
Hehe, I always think the same. From reading the comments sections on ‘Get Reading’ Facebook posts, the town would transform into a utopia if only we had a bowling alley and an ice rink.

In all seriousness, I take my kids to the bowling alley in Wokingham sometimes and I do wish there was something similar in Reading (it has bowling, an arcade, laser quest and food/drinks). I think in the right location, it could be successful.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 04 Mar 2019 15:38 I’m just wondering what the obsession with bowling is. It often gets mentioned. Was the old bowling place over by what is now Ikea, that well used? Is Reading a secret coven of bowling demons?
It was by the Thames VOT, Excell Bowling, presumably it wasn't a big success as it didn't last too long? We have none locally in this area, but then we have very little in the way of leisure facilities anyway, apart from the usual pair of wellies and rope outside the village social clubs of course. :wink:

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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Lol. I’m just concerned it might be a white elephant and should cover more leisure interests. Indoor golf, something different, certainly a theatre or music venue, something like that maybe. Laser quest seems a bit of the moment and won’t last, but who knows.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 04 Mar 2019 19:11Laser quest seems a bit of the moment and won’t last, but who knows.
Seems to come and go - I remember it being quite a big deal when we went on my brother's stag night which would be 26 or 27 years ago. I also remember there being one on London Street about 20+ years ago.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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thegoodmrbrodie! wrote: 02 Mar 2019 10:20 i think there are plans for a cinema, so that is a step in the right direction and would hopefully add an extra reason for people to venture that way.
Why would another cinema encourage anyone to go into the town centre? It has a decent on in the Oracle with adaquate parking. Another in the town won’t make any difference. Going into RTC is a ball ache for most, hence the high street dyeing a slow and painful death.

The Broad St Mall should be converted into a multi social venue, with bowling alley, ice rink etc inside, with restaurants etc. As a Mall it makes a loss. As a social venue it would add things the town is missing and that many would be attracted into the town to take advantage of.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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windrush wrote: 04 Mar 2019 19:03
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 04 Mar 2019 15:38 I’m just wondering what the obsession with bowling is. It often gets mentioned. Was the old bowling place over by what is now Ikea, that well used? Is Reading a secret coven of bowling demons?
It was by the Thames VOT, Excell Bowling, presumably it wasn't a big success as it didn't last too long? We have none locally in this area, but then we have very little in the way of leisure facilities anyway, apart from the usual pair of wellies and rope outside the village social clubs of course. :wink:

Pete.
Ah, I think some mild confusion here

VoT is on about Utopia nightclub and the Megabowl which was over Calcot / Theale in the 90’s, and where the new Ikea is now

You are talking about the Excel Bowling Centre down Caversham Rd, not far from the bridge which was about in the 60’s (closed in 69) and had been there for quite a few years – my father used to go there, and often took us as kids

It did have some trouble with fights (Mods etc) but the main reason for closing was lack of revenue, except it was found to be making money after the manager left – turned out he had been raking off the profits!

The building stayed and became a laundry for a while
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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OneGorman wrote: 04 Mar 2019 23:20
thegoodmrbrodie! wrote: 02 Mar 2019 10:20 i think there are plans for a cinema, so that is a step in the right direction and would hopefully add an extra reason for people to venture that way.
Why would another cinema encourage anyone to go into the town centre? It has a decent on in the Oracle with adaquate parking. Another in the town won’t make any difference. Going into RTC is a ball ache for most, hence the high street dyeing a slow and painful death.
I think I read that the proposed cinema would be an arthouse/independent cinema, so would offer something different to the Vue multiplex. Whether that's enough to bring folk that way is another question. If done well (like the Picturehouse chain for example), it could work.
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Re: Broad Street Mall

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TBH I can’t remember the last time I went to a cinema, it’s certainly over 20 or more years ago and it’s never been something that I’ve gone mad about
So a new one, no matter what style would have no real appeal to me

I last went ice-skating about 12yrs ago, only stopped due to loss of interest form friends, distances to travel and OH only went for the beer (she doesn’t skate that well )
But would happily go again

I’ve quite enjoyed Laser Quest (and indoor paint ball etc) when I’ve gone but not something I feel many wood regularly (although I’ve met some people who do!)

Bowling obviously yes for me – I have bowled in all over either in leagues, tournaments, for leisure and often if we find a centre on holiday (for leisure) which we have done so in many places around the world!
So I would go to one in town a. for leisure and b. for leagues if they started them
And I know many others who would do the same

As for other ‘leisure’ or whatever facilities it would all depend on what they are
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: Broad Street Mall

Post by jonbryce »

bert wrote: 03 Mar 2019 23:14
bluemondayuk wrote: 02 Mar 2019 14:06 BSM might put the frighteners up some of the middle class types on here, but the footfall for Wilkos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the incoming Iceland will keep the place ticking over quite happily.
Yep, I agree. Also - The Works, Greggs, Boswells, Superdrug, Holland and Barrett etc. It's not as glossy as The Oracle, but as well as those pretty popular stores, it has a gym, NHS walk in centre and a post office. I pop into town 2 or 3 times a week and I usually spend more time in the BSM than in the Oracle.
Greggs, Superdrug, and Holland & Barrett already have branches elsewhere.
Nobody uses the Butts Centre Superdrug, everyone goes to Broad Street. It's a lot bigger and has more stock lines.

Holland & Barrett are also in Smelly Alley & Oracle. I think most people use the Oracle shop.
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