House of Reeves will not redevelop arson destroyed Croydon site
House of Reeves furniture store has announced it will not rebuild anything on the derelict site of the building which was burned down in the August riots.
The Reeves family had planned to redevelop the land but this morning chairman Maurice Reeves said they were 'not able to build anything viable on our portion of the site' which is jointly owned by the furniture store and the Whitgift Foundation.
He said: "Following a review of our position we are unable to commit to reoccupy the Whitgift Foundation part of the island site."
Gordon Thompson from Waddon Road, was jailed for eleven and a half years in April, after causing millions worth of damage to the store in an arson attack.
Mr Reeves, whose business was named Business Champion of the Year at the Croydon Champions awards, said the Whitgift Foundation had agreed to accept an early surrender on their lease of the eastern part of the island site at Reeves Corner.
He said: "The site that was destroyed in the fire on 8 August 2011 was an amalgamation of two sets of buildings evolved over many years into one. The fire ended that historical association.
"We are of the opinion that while we will not be building on our land, that land should be available for us to assist in development, with the Whitgift Foundation or any other party, within the Old Town Master Plan to make an iconic gateway into Reeves Corner and Old Town that Croydon and the community can be proud of."
Mr Reeves did reveal that hard work by staff had saved the business.
He said: "We are happy to say that the hard work, investment and especially the support from the community for our remaining store at Reeves Corner has meant we now have a viable business and we will continue to serve Croydon for many years as we have done for the last 145 years."
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