ROOFING work is finally set to begin on the building on Beach Green, despite the large number of setbacks facing the developers.
The former Mermaid Café has long been seen as an eyesore by many, but its transformation is now underway.
Developer Alex Hole said: “Following a busy summer, we are finally getting closer to the next stages for the building in Lancing. Progress is on track. It’s very important to get it right. We want this to work really well as a huge amount of effort has gone in so far.
“The things we have learned in the last year will definitely make this a better project.
“We have learned an awful lot about the build in the last six to seven months which, if we hadn’t known, would have made it a much bigger challenge.”
The development will house a café, watersports centre, kitesurfing shop, hotel accommodation and gym.
The developers are going ahead with the build, despite initial fears the project would cost more than the finished building was worth.
“We have learnt a massive amount about this building going through this technical process. I feel now the scheme we are designing is significantly better that the ideas we had earlier in the year,” said Alex.
Alex said he hoped that once the roofing was completed, the rest of the work could begin early next year. The build is expected to take another four to five months to finish, depending on the weather.
“The nature of this site is such that it surprises the team with the issues that it throws out. I have seen such a number of issues and problems arise with this project that it is truly difficult to give a date when the building will be open to the public. What we can confirm are the things that we have said all along, we do want to see this completed, we are working towards getting this done, said Alex.”
Frances Smith, of Lancing Regeneration, said: “We have given it so much support and the Lancing community got behind it at planning because we were promised by the developers it would be finished in April this year.
“The whole of the community wanted it finished by April. We are just so fed up with it. We are trying to get Lancing regenerated and it’s such an eyesore. And of course we have had another summer with no facilities down there.”
Frances said most people now wanted the building pulled down, but a poll of 366 people on the developers website showed 97 per cent wanted to see it finished.
“If it is finished that would be absolutely spot on,” said Frances. “We don’t want any more promises.”