McDonald's could have opened on Southend seafront

Echo: The inside of the cafe The inside of the cafe

A NEW McDonald’s could have opened opposite Southend Pier, a businessman has claimed.

Peter Woolf, who holds the lease to two outlets built during a £6million revamp of Pier Hill, has revealed the fast food chain was heavily interested in the ground-floor site 18 months ago.

He claims the deal fell through because council chiefs miscalculated the size of the outlet, which is actually three times bigger than he thought, and McDonald’s needed more room.

Mr Woolf said: “It was a very good chance to let it, but when I told them it was 650sq ft, because that’s what I’d been told, they said they needed a minimum of 1,000sq ft.

“Now I find out it’s actually about 2,200sq ft. It is ridiculous.”

Southend Council used European grant money to fund the revamp of Pier Hill, which included the Sky Tower observation platform, its lifts and the two empty outlets.

It was finished in 2005 and an agreement was reached with Mr Woolf to lease the shops, but problems with leaking water meant the deal was not finalised until last summer. When council bosses advertised the outlets in 2005, the ground-floor was listed as 650sq ft and the first-floor as 325sq ft.

Mr Woolf claims his surveyors have now revised that figure to 2,200sq ft and 440sq ft respectively.

He believes the bigger outlets would have been more attractive and could have been let by now, if he had known their true size.

He said: “It’s easy to say: ‘Why didn’t you notice they were bigger?’, but I’m not a builder.

“It’s a big space, but estimating the size is not easy if you don’t do that kind of thing regularly.

“It could have made a big difference.”

Comments (23)

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5:06pm Fri 23 Nov 12

j-w says...

so are you paying to lease 650sq ft or 2200 sq ft. you might have a bargain! get back on to McDonalds as they dont appear to have opened anywhere else yet. Though I don't understand why they closed the Kursaal branch if they are thinking of opening another seafront branch. Also try KFC they seem to be trying to spring up everywhere.
so are you paying to lease 650sq ft or 2200 sq ft. you might have a bargain! get back on to McDonalds as they dont appear to have opened anywhere else yet. Though I don't understand why they closed the Kursaal branch if they are thinking of opening another seafront branch. Also try KFC they seem to be trying to spring up everywhere. j-w
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

build three maccy doos in there then mate - sorted
build three maccy doos in there then mate - sorted Eric Whim
  • Score: -1

5:21pm Fri 23 Nov 12

GentleGiant says...

surely he measured the space?!

Is this the unit that has come up for auction and failed to attract a buyer?
surely he measured the space?! Is this the unit that has come up for auction and failed to attract a buyer? GentleGiant
  • Score: 1

5:23pm Fri 23 Nov 12

marshman says...

Big enough for a museum.
Big enough for a museum. marshman
  • Score: 5

5:38pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

do they do McCockles and McWinkles and Jellied McEels
do they do McCockles and McWinkles and Jellied McEels Eric Whim
  • Score: 5

6:05pm Fri 23 Nov 12

largo1 says...

oh great another place for the local scum to hang out!
oh great another place for the local scum to hang out! largo1
  • Score: 7

6:15pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Brunning999 says...

We need a good Scottish restaurant in the area all these junk food places are bad for your health.
We need a good Scottish restaurant in the area all these junk food places are bad for your health. Brunning999
  • Score: -5

6:45pm Fri 23 Nov 12

wagger says...

Exactly what southend does not need ! McD's are smelly, greasy, food outlets
that exude rubbish. There are already two too many in the High Street. Try to bring some quality to the town and attract a better quality of visitror !!
Exactly what southend does not need ! McD's are smelly, greasy, food outlets that exude rubbish. There are already two too many in the High Street. Try to bring some quality to the town and attract a better quality of visitror !! wagger
  • Score: 10

6:58pm Fri 23 Nov 12

AnotherSister says...

I still don't understand what was wrong with The Old Sausage Shop, but it vanished, along with many other of Southend's more redeeming features.
I still don't understand what was wrong with The Old Sausage Shop, but it vanished, along with many other of Southend's more redeeming features. AnotherSister
  • Score: 5

7:05pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Joe Wildman says...

What about a temporary icerink, or do a basic fit and have a mini indoor charity market.

Never go off the plans or what you are told, always messure it for yourself.
What about a temporary icerink, or do a basic fit and have a mini indoor charity market. Never go off the plans or what you are told, always messure it for yourself. Joe Wildman
  • Score: -1

8:38pm Fri 23 Nov 12

jolllyboy says...

Come on this is southend - you can't expect them to get anything right though of course we pay good money to get the best people..............
.........our money.
Come on this is southend - you can't expect them to get anything right though of course we pay good money to get the best people.............. .........our money. jolllyboy
  • Score: 2

8:40pm Fri 23 Nov 12

echoforum says...

Don't get this story.
Not sure what the point is!
So an investor buys the lease...so what!
No one has a tape measure!
End of the day there's an empty unit in Southend...because no one wants it.
So it's a bad investment ...hardly newsworthy.
PLUS lets not forget Maccie D pulled out from the Kursal because business is too seasonal ...so I doubt that this unit 15 mins walk away would get their hearts racing.
Don't get this story. Not sure what the point is! So an investor buys the lease...so what! No one has a tape measure! End of the day there's an empty unit in Southend...because no one wants it. So it's a bad investment ...hardly newsworthy. PLUS lets not forget Maccie D pulled out from the Kursal because business is too seasonal ...so I doubt that this unit 15 mins walk away would get their hearts racing. echoforum
  • Score: 2

9:04pm Fri 23 Nov 12

DogsMessInLeigh says...

is this the chap that sells ice cream further up the road near the arches....maybe he could open a sit down ice cream parlour...with real fancy offerings,but fancy leaving it empty all that time,, not really surprised theres no takers on it a very seasonal area.
is this the chap that sells ice cream further up the road near the arches....maybe he could open a sit down ice cream parlour...with real fancy offerings,but fancy leaving it empty all that time,, not really surprised theres no takers on it a very seasonal area. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 1

11:15pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Broadwaywatch says...

Most people who have lived in this town all their lives know that water seeps through in that area. It always has and always will due to underground springs that at one time also fed the Never Never Land.
Most people who have lived in this town all their lives know that water seeps through in that area. It always has and always will due to underground springs that at one time also fed the Never Never Land. Broadwaywatch
  • Score: 4

1:43am Sat 24 Nov 12

pendulum says...

So the developer didn't know what he was buying and the council didn't know what they were selling?

How reassuring.

And we wonder why things always go wrong when it comes to spending taxpayers money?
So the developer didn't know what he was buying and the council didn't know what they were selling? How reassuring. And we wonder why things always go wrong when it comes to spending taxpayers money? pendulum
  • Score: 5

8:02am Sat 24 Nov 12

A Dermot says...

echoforum wrote:
Don't get this story.
Not sure what the point is!
So an investor buys the lease...so what!
No one has a tape measure!
End of the day there's an empty unit in Southend...because no one wants it.
So it's a bad investment ...hardly newsworthy.
PLUS lets not forget Maccie D pulled out from the Kursal because business is too seasonal ...so I doubt that this unit 15 mins walk away would get their hearts racing.
Free publicity for the leaseholder who wants to sublet his investment and has run to the Echo who have obliged running a non story.
[quote][p][bold]echoforum[/bold] wrote: Don't get this story. Not sure what the point is! So an investor buys the lease...so what! No one has a tape measure! End of the day there's an empty unit in Southend...because no one wants it. So it's a bad investment ...hardly newsworthy. PLUS lets not forget Maccie D pulled out from the Kursal because business is too seasonal ...so I doubt that this unit 15 mins walk away would get their hearts racing.[/p][/quote]Free publicity for the leaseholder who wants to sublet his investment and has run to the Echo who have obliged running a non story. A Dermot
  • Score: 2

10:39am Sat 24 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

I wish they had opened at least that eyesore would not be there ...
I wish they had opened at least that eyesore would not be there ... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Keptquiettillnow says...

Probably the worst site for a fast food outlet in the town. Imagine the lazy people driving there and the parking problems it would cause. Pleased it never happened
Probably the worst site for a fast food outlet in the town. Imagine the lazy people driving there and the parking problems it would cause. Pleased it never happened Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Sat 24 Nov 12

rouliere says...

Why does Southend need another fast food outlet of any description ! There must be something better than that.
Why does Southend need another fast food outlet of any description ! There must be something better than that. rouliere
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Sat 24 Nov 12

DogsMessInLeigh says...

shops selling second/third/forth hand furniture, cookers, fridges,washing machines,clothes and hats etc are all the rage now...would be a great spot too.
shops selling second/third/forth hand furniture, cookers, fridges,washing machines,clothes and hats etc are all the rage now...would be a great spot too. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 1

11:54am Sun 25 Nov 12

echoforum says...

A Dermot wrote:
echoforum wrote:
Don't get this story.
Not sure what the point is!
So an investor buys the lease...so what!
No one has a tape measure!
End of the day there's an empty unit in Southend...because no one wants it.
So it's a bad investment ...hardly newsworthy.
PLUS lets not forget Maccie D pulled out from the Kursal because business is too seasonal ...so I doubt that this unit 15 mins walk away would get their hearts racing.
Free publicity for the leaseholder who wants to sublet his investment and has run to the Echo who have obliged running a non story.
Couldn't have put it better myself
[quote][p][bold]A Dermot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]echoforum[/bold] wrote: Don't get this story. Not sure what the point is! So an investor buys the lease...so what! No one has a tape measure! End of the day there's an empty unit in Southend...because no one wants it. So it's a bad investment ...hardly newsworthy. PLUS lets not forget Maccie D pulled out from the Kursal because business is too seasonal ...so I doubt that this unit 15 mins walk away would get their hearts racing.[/p][/quote]Free publicity for the leaseholder who wants to sublet his investment and has run to the Echo who have obliged running a non story.[/p][/quote]Couldn't have put it better myself echoforum
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Shoebury_Cyclist says...

Another burger joint, yeah that's just what the town needs, another obesity dealer.
Another burger joint, yeah that's just what the town needs, another obesity dealer. Shoebury_Cyclist
  • Score: 3

5:15pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

Have Little Havens been to have a look at this prime seafront site yet?
Have Little Havens been to have a look at this prime seafront site yet? Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

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