Progress may have appeared slow from the outside but a housing developer has confirmed that the first flats at the city's former Mercy nightclub will soon be on sale.

Plans were approved in 2020 for the prominent Prince of Wales Road club to be converted into 49 flats, a coffee shop and two new floors with penthouse apartments.

Norwich Evening News: The former Mercy nightclubThe former Mercy nightclub (Image: Eastern Daily Press © 2003)

Scaffolding has covered the historic building, which was a cinema between the 1920s and late 1990s, since work on the flats began in 2022

Now, the developer Estateducation has revealed the project is due to be completed by February 2025. 

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A spokeswoman for the company told this newspaper: "The office space and coffee shop are due to be handed over in April 2024.

"Phase one of the development, which consists of 24 flats, is due for completion in June 2024 and the apartments will go on sale in January next year. 

Norwich Evening News: Plans for the schemePlans for the scheme (Image: Archant)

"Phase two, which consists of 25 flats including the four penthouses, is due for completion in February 2025."

Mercy nightclub became one of the city's most popular late-night venues after it opened in 2003.

But the building has remained empty since it closed down in March 2018 after the company behind it went into liquidation.

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The new housing project, which will be known as Regents Place, will include the construction of fourth and fifth floors for penthouses known as Alexandra Mansions Penthouses - names which the applicant and Estateducation said celebrated the building’s history.

Norwich Evening News: The space has stood empty since 2018The space has stood empty since 2018 (Image: Archant 2021)

The plans also include a gym, cinema room, pool table room, storage and parking for residents, along with the shared office space and a coffee shop on the ground floor.

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Businesses in the area have been supportive of the project, with many welcoming the prospect of new tenants. 

Nilanie Tennakoon, who owns Mallie News opposite and has been at the site for 20 years, previously said: "I am looking forward to people living opposite my shop. It will be good for my business.

"We get a lot of evening trade, so people living opposite will keep us busy during the day, too."

Norwich Evening News: Nilanie Tennakoon, owner of Mallie News in Prince of Wales RoadNilanie Tennakoon, owner of Mallie News in Prince of Wales Road (Image: Maya Derrick)