A joke that has gone on for too long
The so-called Blue Tower has dominated Leicester's skyline for the past five years – and not in a good way. Now, it seems, there might be some movement on bringing the sorry saga of this building's bizarre redecoration to an end.
As we reported yesterday, a "serious bid" has been made to buy the tower, which is officially named St George's Central. Although the bid has stalled, it is hoped that a deal can still be ironed out.
This raises the prospect of a new owner who will hopefully repaint the tower and remove the coloured panels which have given it the nickname of the Connect 4 building.
To recap, this all started back in 2005 when its then owner, Magnet Property Investments, fell out with city regeneration officials after they called for it to be demolished. Magnet painted it blue in 2007.
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It was promptly nominated for a "Carbuncle Cup" in Building Design magazine, which said it had "suffered a shocking blue makeover".
The owners, however, were defiant in the face of the barrage of criticism the colour scheme received. "You can't please everyone," they said.
The building was effectively repossessed by the Anglo Irish Bank in 2009 and a new owner sought.
Currently, about a quarter of the site, which also comprises a grey office block at the base of the tower, is currently occupied, with a Premier Inn hotel, more than 20 apartments and a shisha cafe.
If fully occupied, the building could accommodate more than 1,500 jobs. So, the prospect of a new owner who would develop the site is seriously good news for the city.
And one imagines that one of the first things that any new owner would want to do is redecorate the tower and remove the multi-coloured panels, which would also be good news.
We say this knowing that some people have actually become quite fond of the Blue Tower, and, its mention, at the very least, generally raises a smile.
However, the joke has gone on for too long and it is really not doing Leicester any favours with the impression it gives to visitors to the city. We would be glad to see the back of the Blue Tower and hope a deal can be struck which gives it a fresh future and a fresh colour.