It is currently Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:17 am


Old Queens West Shopping Centre

if it's about Cardiff.. Sport, Entertainment, Transportation, Business, Development Projects, Leisure, Eating, Drinking, Nightlife, Shopping, Train Spotting! etc.. then we want it here!
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Glenn

  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:16 pm

Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 9:35 am

Strange question, but does anyone in the know have any info on the old Queens West shopping centre?

Was walking down the Friary yesterday and looking at the old glass atrium felt a bit nostalgic and wondered what its like inside/how it's being used/old photos etc. Tried to find some photos or information on it but came up completely empty strangely. No photos. No news articles. Nothing.

All the ground floor units seem to do pretty well (Superdrug, Waitrose, Burton, Mission Burrito, Live Lounge, Wedding shop), but then looking up at this glass atrium on the Friary, probably 3 or 4 floors, seems crazy to have all that space unused and mothballed. Even from google earth, building takes up half the block of the Friary and just under half a block on Queen Street with multiple floors. Just seems like there's a tonne of unused space there that someone is sitting on in a prime city centre location. Just seems weird.

Vaguely remember somebody saying that when the centre failed they rushed to get JJB to occupy space on the first (or 2nd) floor, not giving much thought to the configuration. Seems the ground floor units are double height (Burton on 1st floor, Miss Selfridge on Ground etc.) So I imagine the space inside is very oddly divided. I'm sure there's probably a lot of remnants of the old shopping centre gathering dust in there too.

You'd think with the demand for office space in the area someone would have maybe turned some of the upstairs into office space, put that glass front to use!

Would be interested in any info. Just curious really.
Offline

Ben In London

  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:01 am

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 1:12 pm

When I think of Queens West I still think of the original food court. I want to say there was the back half of a pink muscle car that was converted into a table for one bit.
Offline

Glenn

  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:16 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 2:04 pm

I think the pink car is the only thing people remember.
Offline

RandomComment

  • Posts: 766
  • Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:50 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 5:11 pm

For a while with JJB and Matalan it was reasonably well let. Now is there DW sports on the "first" (actually probably the 2nd given the length of escalator) floor? So an empty "second" (again probably 3rd or 4th in reality) floor?

I think there have been plans to turn the empty higher floors in to hotel or residential space at various times but nothing came of it. Main problem is the wide open floor plates - with nothing like an atrium or courtyard to break it up. Noone wants hotel rooms without windows. And people prefer offices with some natural light, even if they want big wide floor plates.
Offline

Karl

  • Posts: 425
  • Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:35 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 5:20 pm

I thought there was a planning app for a gym on one of the floors? Or did I dream that?
Offline

jonnywill25

  • Posts: 183
  • Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:40 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 6:08 pm

Karl wrote:I thought there was a planning app for a gym on one of the floors? Or did I dream that?


You are right Karl, there is an app for a gym! Think it may be a JD Gym if my memory serves me correct...
Offline

Glenn

  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:16 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostSat Oct 01, 2016 12:44 am

Ah so there is another big unit on the second floor. I only ever remember JJB being there on the first floor. Don't know what retailer would want to take a second floor unit with no shop windows on Queen Street or visible street presence other than a sign above the escalator next to Superdrug, so I guess something like a gym would work there. Looking at JD Gym I imagine they would work well there if the application were approved. For 20 quid I don't think people would be bothered about the lack of any natural light. Imagine access for the gym users could be a problem though if they're having to share access with DW Sports. JD Gyms seem to run from 6am - 10pm, so maybe they would work in their own entrance on the Friary where the glass front for Queens West used to be?

Definitely a weird one. So difficult understanding the space and how they changed the layout, and even what the layout was originally!

As you said, I think office space or a hotel would only work if the big glass atrium area was still in tact and not part of the units on the 1st and 2nd floor (which I doubt it is). Add a big skylight and use the atrium as the main source of light, similar to the way the Hilton next door has rooms with views into the atrium area rather than street facing. Same with office space, just use the atrium as the main light source. Could be interesting but pie in the sky.

Seems like they're happy with how it's running. Stable tenants and someone maybe taking that second floor unit so I guess theres no real incentive to spend money remodelling to find use for that empty space, which is a shame since it feels like that side of the Friary from Live Lounge to Superdrug lets the street down a bit.
Offline

Davew

  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:06 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 11:17 am

This is really amazing shopping center. Just here from Australia.
Offline

Bishop84

  • Posts: 34
  • Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 3:52 pm

RandomComment wrote:For a while with JJB and Matalan it was reasonably well let. Now is there DW sports on the "first" (actually probably the 2nd given the length of escalator) floor? So an empty "second" (again probably 3rd or 4th in reality) floor?


IIRC it was TK Max who had the upper unit until they moved to the old David Morgan site in The Hayes.
Offline

Simon_SW17

  • Posts: 383
  • Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: Old Queens West Shopping Centre

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 8:03 pm

Yes it was T K Maxx before it moved to David Morgan.

I'm trying to imagine what's left of Queen's West inside the building. I imagine most of the space has been used in the conversion to shop units but I'd love to have a nose around.

I remember the opening of the centre, it was very modern with glass lifts and the longest escalator in Europe, much excitement. Roy Castle was the celebrity who did the opening! There was an Athena, Hudson + Hudson and the food court on the 2nd floor but I'm struggling to recall what else was in there. It was 29 years ago scarily :shock:
Next

Return to Cardiff Wales Map forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests