The start of February saw the first stage of The Walnuts upgrade begin with the demolition of the former Orpington Job Centre at Crown House. Crown House which was bought along with The Walnuts Centre in October 2011 by Ellandi, Miller Developments and Metropolitan Estates, was granted planning permission for the £10 million scheme in autumn 2012.
The works will see the 15,500 sq ft building pulled down and replaced with a new 50,000 sq ft development comprising of a seven-screen multiplex cinema, four large retail units and three restaurants.
The external market stalls are also being consolidated within College Square and in addition Walnut Square is being reconfigured and upgraded.
Mark Hewett, Director, Miller Developments, said: “The commencement of demolition is an important stage in the implementation of our vision for Orpington. We believe that the development, through the combination of providing a new leisure core to the town and modern-style retail units, will lead to increased activity throughout The Walnuts.”
Mike Wimble of Ellandi (Asset Manager to Garden Property CH Limited) said: “The demolition of the existing Crown House confirms our on-going commitment to rejuvenate Orpington town centre. Since taking ownership of the Walnuts, we have completed new lettings to Love Coffee and All Bags and refurbished a number of units ready for new tenants to occupy. We have also recently launched a free Wi-Fi service in partnership with The Cloud.”
The development is programmed to be completed early 2014.