Southampton’s Fruit and Vegetable market starts to bloom

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A ground-breaking project to transform a rundown district of Southampton into a flagship residential and commercial area is taking shape as building work enters a new phase.

The £60m Fruit & Vegetable Market development, in the city’s up-and-coming Queensway district, is being delivered by the Hampshire & Regional Property Group. The project will create 84 one and 195 two-bedroom apartments across three blocks, as well as nearly 900 square metres of flexible commercial space. PMC Construction is the principal contractor, appointed to deliver on a plan to bring new residential and retail opportunities, plus greenspace, to help revitalise this prominent area of the city.

In recent months, construction of the development has gathered pace: on the first of the three blocks (Phase 1) the 7th floor slab has been installed and windows fitted up to the 4th floor. The roof construction has also started and the structure will be watertight by the end of the year. Work has commenced on the internal fittings, while the external cladding offers glimpses of this building’s sympathetic, yet distinctive identity.

The second block’s (Phase 2) basement is now finished as well as the first-floor slab installation. Work can start on the steel frame structure in the new year, at which point Phase 2 will also rapidly take shape.

Phase 3 drainage works and archaeological investigations are progressing well and scheduled to finish by the end of the year. This crucial part of the building preparations has unearthed some fascinating clues into the history of this post-medieval site. The experts have found evidence of pitting and property boundaries including some of the best examples discovered locally of Anglo Saxon defence measures against the threat of Viking attacks.

Significant highway works in Queensway are now complete, with the additional on-street parking enhancing the accessibility of this landmark development.

Allan Gordon, managing director of Hampshire & Regional Property Group, said: “I am delighted with how the project is taking shape and with the feedback we have received as work gathers pace. Through the significant progress of Phase 1 we can appreciate how the project will have a visual and practical impact on helping to transform this part of the city.”

He continued: “Through the provision of much-needed housing and commercial space, we are confident that the Fruit and Vegetable market will further revitalise Queensway. Added to this the number of jobs already created and it’s clear the project is making its mark on local life.”

Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, added: “The Fruit & Vegetable market is one of seven Very Important Projects (VIP’s) that are underway as part of the City Centre Masterplan. As the development continues to take shape, it’s clear it is destined to make a real impact on the ongoing improvement of our city.

“This new build generates jobs, homes, retail and green spaces, and reinforces the general spirit of community. Projects such as this help us to deliver our pledge to make Southampton a ‘city of opportunity, where everyone thrives.”

As a tribute to Queensway’s historic past and prosperous future, talented local artist Dan Rawlings has provided concepts for a sculptural installation to be included on the site. Rawlings is keen to reflect the ancient and modern-day significance of Southampton’s ancient walls in his work and envisages marrying ancient techniques with modern-day materials to create a striking and visionary piece that will resonate with all who have links to the city.

Watch as this project continues to bear fruit in the latest time-lapse video on Hampshire & Regional Property Group’s website at www.hrpg.co.uk