WORK to develop the ‘eyesore’ former Mansfield Shoe Company factory into flats and retail units could resume by the end of the year.
The factory, on Stockwell Gate, closed its doors in 2004 with the loss of around 50 jobs and the building was knocked down in 2006.
Developers Highgrange Homes Ltd began transforming the site in 2008, building nearly 100 apartments with 20,000sqft of office and retail space below.
Work stopped suddenly on the development more than a year ago and Highgrange Homes have now gone into liquidation.
However, the site has recently been bought by Worksop businessman David Mee and Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton says he is optimistic work could resume in the coming weeks.
“It is good news there is a new owner,” he said. “I spoke to him two weeks ago and it seems all the finance is in place to get on the site by the end of the month.
“From then onwards he’s looking at a 13 month completion time.”
Mr Mee said: “We have purchased the site and have been making steady progress. We’re about two months away from starting work on it.”
All the apartments appear to be nearly finished but nothing has been done to the ground level space.
The site is on a main gateway into Mansfield and is opposite the town’s bus station.
Fears had been raised at the length of time the building was to going to remain an eyesore.
Resident Andy Sissions said: “It really looks in a bad state. Everyone goes on about the old hospital site being an eyesore but that is hidden by other buildings.
“This is on a main gateway to Mansfield and we can’t have it looking like this for the next 19 years like the hospital.”
Coun Kate Allsop, portfolio holder for economic regeneration at the district council, back the views of the mayor, Mr Egginton.
She said: “We are determined to see the development on the former Shoe Company site brought back into action and therefore we are currently seeking to work with and support the owner with a view to completing the development at the earliest opportunity.”