They promised so much and yet…

In a little over a week, a new shopping centre opens in my town. This has been the subject of much discussion, speculation and even excitement over the last few years and today I got a little curious about it.

I saw the plans for it when they started the work and it all looked great. Big, lots of new stuff, residential stuff included for the workers, facilities that we’ve never had before: basically, it looked like the town was finally going to have something worth using.

I just took a look at the store directory that they put out a month ago. I’ve been suspecting for a while that the construction might be a little smaller than the plans originally detailed, but it’s hard to tell when so much of it is hidden behind hoardings.

*sigh* Turns out that I was right. A decent section of the development has been lost, the supermarket that the lost section was supposed to be built on is staying and it’s all looking a little less ambitious than it was three years ago. The directory/floorplans look good unless you already know the town: half of the stuff on that floorplan covers the shopping centre we already had! So when you take that section off the plans, it doesn’t look quite as cool as it was supposed to.

They have kept the new cinema and bowling alley and the new library looks a reasonable size. They’ve obviously had to make some fairly significant changes to accommodate the supermarket that isn’t moving and sadly that means the biggest eye-sores aren’t being demolished, merely converted (although I cannot work out how they’re converting the old bus station into anything pleasant). There are some new restaurants that we’ve not previously had, which is nice, and the big new department store will be great, but it’s just not as exciting as I’d hoped it would be and it’s largely because that supermarket (naming no names but most of you can guess which chain it is) somehow persuaded the developers to make some radical changes to the plans when they found that they’d stuffed up their chances of moving elsewhere in the town.

Ah, well, I should have expected this. Ambitious plans always end up being downgraded 😦

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