What has been a long time coming is set to occur very soon. Homebase has been a staple of the community for a long long time. It is conveniently found near Sainsbury’s and the car park is actually used as overflow when Sainsbury’s is busy.
With the massive development of flats and houses nearby at Bath Riverside the land used by Homebase has been seen as ready for redevelopment for many years. It was only a matter of time before the doors were due to close but that time is here.
What will take its place?
The 4.5 acre site will be turned into over 300 flats and have space for a restaurant, physiotherapy gym and pool. There is also a nursery planned and place for retail stores. This will dramatically change the area for the better although having a garden centre type store in central Bath was particularly helpful.
One thing on my mind is that we already have a vacant retail/restaurant space at Bath Riverside in Royal View. Royal view is one of the large buildings containing flats with views of the entire city. It was rumoured to have been in discussion with a chain restaurant however that did not appear to lead to anything even before the COVID lock down.
In my opinion retail was dying and is practically dead. For years purchases have been moving online. Amazon had a locker in Homebase where you could get your items delivered for collection at your convenience.
Will new stores actually open and fill these new shops? I would find it unlikely right now when so many other stores throughout the City are empty. COVID is making shopping a more harrowing experience than it was before.
It takes longer to get into a store and you can’t touch anything when you do get in. Places have a range of different numbers of people allowed inside. Body shop for example is 6, although that appeared to include the 4 staff members. Pret a Manger had a limit of 8 although that now appears to have gone and you can also dine in but you need to use their app and QR code to use a table.
The redevelopment of the area will most likely take at least two years. That gives plenty of time for us to get past COVID whilst creating jobs in construction. At the very least it’s going to improve the area whilst providing more housing, hopefully for people that will start businesses in the city. The clock is ticking down on Homebase but a fresh new area is set to rise.