Diggers start work at derelict riverside pub
- Credit: Archant
Diggers have moved onto the site of a former music-lovers' pub which will be turned into homes.
The Ferry Boat on King Street has not been a pub for more than a decade and remained derelict after a brief stint as a backpackers' hostel.
Norwich-based homebuilder Estateducation Ltd paid more than £1.2m for the riverside plot in in October 2019 and is going to build 41 homes on it - costing £7m.
The main former pub building will remain and will be home to two properties on the new development.
Work to clear the site started in November last year and the diggers have now arrived to begin revitalising the plot which was described as a blot on the landscape by the developer.
Speaking last November to this paper, Ben James Smith, Estateducation’s chief investor, said: “Our hope is that once we are finished it will really complete the riverside area of the city.
"You look along the street and it is all fairly new and gentrified... This would be like the last piece of the jigsaw.”
He added: “The place is completely run down at the moment and lots of developers would probably see it as too much of a job, but I see these places and I see an opportunity.
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“I don’t see it as a gamble. Norwich has a shortage of housing and even with the economy on pause at the moment, we’re looking at 18 months time.”
Once complete the development will include a five-storey tower built on the former pub car park consisting of 39 properties, ranging from studio apartments to four-bedroom townhouses.
It is hoped construction would be complete by early next year, with properties appearing on the market in around a year.
Historic features will remain as part of the development including a medieval arch, which will be incorporated into the building’s courtyard.
The Ferry Boat pub can be traced as far back as 1822 when it was called the Horse Packet.
Its name was changed to the Steam Barge by 1830, and in 1867 it changed again to the Steam Packet.
The pub became the Ferry Boat in 1925 and from the mid 1970s it hosted live music in a converted boat shed behind the pub.
From the 1990s it was popular with local up and coming groups.