The Royal Borough has taken an important step forward in creating a new enlarged car park at the Nicholsons Centre by acquiring full ownership of Central House.
The deal will make it easier to increase the capacity of town centre parking to complement the wider regeneration of Maidenhead, in line with the recently adopted parking strategy.
The 37,980 sq ft office block which sits atop the shopping centre was formerly home to engineering firm Costain but has been empty for more than five years.
London & Aberdeen has also been appointed as the council’s development manager for the site, the same developer as on the adjacent The Landing regeneration scheme.
This will help ensure that the future, larger multi-storey town centre car park will be integrated and designed to connect the shopping centre and The Landing.
Cllr Jack Rankin, cabinet member for economic development and property, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to acquire this key property as it sits right in the centre of some of the bold regeneration plans.
“Having full ownership of Central House opens up more possibilities for us to increase our parking capacity in the town centre which is a vital part of building a better Maidenhead for everyone.”
Cllr Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for environmental services (inc. parking), said: “Parking is a key piece in the regeneration puzzle and although we are already investing in short-term measures this is an important step in providing enough spaces in the long-term.
“Now we own Central House and have a development manager we can move forward with our plans to create a larger, more modern car park at the Nicholsons Centre to ensure our residents and visitors will have easier access to our rejuvenated town centre.”
The Royal Borough already owned the freehold of Central House but was unable to progress with its ambitions due an outstanding long-lease agreement.
Doug Higgins, chief executive at London & Aberdeen, said: “We hope that with our appointment it will help reduce the inevitable disruption as much as possible during the demolition and construction of a new car park in 2018 due to the potential to offer temporary car parking and contractor’s facilities opposite the site as a contribution, alongside the council’s commitment to provide further temporary car parking on a number of other sites during this period.
“It is essential that we maintain public access and parking during the construction period and that all parties can work smoothly together.
“We will help the council work up an appropriate design for the efficient delivery of this much-needed facility.”