Mystery over future of Edinburgh House in Hester's Way
MYSTERY surrounds the future of an office block in Hester's Way.
Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) staff will leave Edinburgh House in April when they move into Hester's Way Resource Centre.
But the current site's landlord remained tightlipped over whether a replacement was lined up.
CBH staff currently occupy all three floors of the building in Edinburgh Place, and there are fears the office will become yet another empty unit in Coronation Square when they move out.
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CBRE Property Trust is the current leaseholder of the office block, as well as the rest of Coronation Square. The trust refused to provide any details on whether a new tenant had been found to replace CBH.
James Meredith, from Brandon Hill Communications, which deals with media queries for CBRE, said: "Other than to confirm that they manage the property in question, they have said they are not in a position to offer any further comment."
Around half of the 36 units at Coronation Square are empty at the moment. CBRE has placed the rundown shopping centre on the market. It bought the lease in 2007.
Plans for Coronation Square once included a £10 million transformation with a Tesco store and other shops and cafes, but the development was dropped after an Asda opened in Up Hatherley.
Andy Hayes, the manager of the Hester's Way Partnership, a charity which works to improve the fortunes of the area, said it would be "a real shame" if the CBH office becomes another empty unit.
He said: "With all the empty units, Coronation Square has become an eyesore and badly needs new investment."
The uncertainty over Edinburgh House comes as Cheltenham Borough Council revealed it would include its car park at Coronation Square in any regeneration deal in order to attract a new developer.
Construction work is under way at Hester's Way Resource Centre in Cassin Drive to create a new cash hall and offices for CBH staff.
CBH will pay rent to Hester's Way Partnership, which runs the resource centre. CBH has around 150 staff and is a non-profit company. It was set up in April 2003, and manages around 5,000 properties for Cheltenham Borough Council.
All CBH staff will move to the Cassin Drive centre or the Oakley Community Resource Centre in Clyde Crescent, Cheltenham, by the end of April.
CBRE is an international company involved in a number of different business sectors. It has around 1,500 UK staff.