John Lewis Chelmsford Topping Out ceremony at Bond Street Chelmsford
John Lewis Chelmsford Celebrates the city’s bright future at the Bond Street Chelmsford Topping Out Ceremony which took place on Thursday.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to the ceremony
The event started with two local year six children who joined the Mayor of Chelmsford in celebrating the topping out ceremony for John Lewis Chelmsford at the new Bond Street development which is due to open in Autumn 2016.
Louis Sylvester and Erin Handley from Chelmsford Cathedral School created a time capsule which was placed atop the three-storey department store, alongside the final rooftop coping stone.
They were joined at the ceremony by Mayor Paul Hutchinson, as well as Tim Harrison, Director of Store Development at John Lewis, and Tony Chambers, Chairman of Bond Street developer Aquila.
Louis and Erin will start secondary school in Autumn 2016, at around the same time that the 300,000 sq ft Bond Street development will open to the public.
The shopping complex will provide Essex with its first ever John Lewis, alongside a vibrant new retail and leisure destination featuring open-air shopping, riverside restaurants, an Everyman boutique cinema as well as landscaped public spaces.
The scheme is designed to function as a traditional shopping street, integrated with the rest of central Chelmsford and its High Street.
John Lewis Chelmsford represents a £18 million investment in the city and is set to transform the city’s retail offer and create approximately 300 new jobs.
Since construction started in January 2015, the John Lewis Chelmsford building has:
● Grown to cover a floor area of 33,400m2 - the same space as four Premier League football pitches.
● Acquired 1,805 tonnes of steel - equivalent to 300 adult African elephants (apparently. Personally I didn’t realise that African elephants had any steel in them at all!)
● Been ‘dressed’ with 4,427m of stone and steel cladding panels - stacked vertically end to end, these panels would reach over 5 times higher than the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
As well as offering more than 65,000 fashion, beauty, home and electrical products, John Lewis Chelmsford will present a selection of the retailer’s best services, including an opticians, a beauty treatment room, a Foreign Exchange bureau and a Nursery Advice Service.
The shop will also feature a Home Hub, an area within the Home department that brings together all of John Lewis’ interior design services around a series of inspirational room sets.
Tim Harrison, Director of Store Development at John Lewis, said: “This will be John Lewis’ first site in Essex and is set to be one of the most modern shops in our portfolio, bringing together the very best of our services.
Bond Street will play a central role in Chelmsford’s future and with that in mind it’s fitting to welcome Louis and Erin to leave their mark on the site. Twelve months ago we celebrated work beginning on the shop and we’re excited to come back one year on to celebrate this milestone. 2016 is set to be a landmark year for everybody here today.”
Tony Chambers, Chairman of Aquila, said: “We are delighted to have John Lewis at Chelmsford’s Bond Street scheme, bringing its wide product offering to this thriving and vibrant city. We are very proud that such an established brand is the anchor of the development.
It’s a very positive endorsement of the city and a clear testament to the strength and quality of the new destination we are creating. It’s fantastic to see the store construction progressing and what better way to celebrate than by bringing local children on site to mark the occasion.”
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I captured the opening speeches live when I Periscoped the event. Unfortunately, it has resulted in a loss of quality on the video, but you can see it here:
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