The first Corn Exchange built on this site in 1837 was designed by Richard Lane. This was demolished in 1897 and replaced in two sections between 1897 and 1903. Each section was designed by a different architect Before 1837 it traded from Hanging Ditch. In its heyday, 'The Corn & Produce Exchange', was the gathering spot for thousands of traders from all over the region. This continued until the economic depression of the 1920s and 1930s. Following the Second World War, trade gradually declined and the trading floor fell into disuse.
From approximately this period until 1996 it became a gathering place for alternative communities and contained a large market with small stallholders selling clothes, jewellery and piercing paraphernalia, and second hand record shops. Many of the shops were temporary structures on the trading floor of the exchange, with other shops operated from permanent units and offices around the perimeter. One of the most well known shops was Golden Dawn Books, ran by Barry Bender, who was injured in the IRA bomb. There was also a small café in a basement area to the northeast of the ground floor. The exterior of the building also housed many shops in a basement area, including Harry Hall Cycles.
After being heavily damaged by the 1996 bomb many of these businesses were forced to move to new premises, mostly in the north of the city, where many foundered. The Corn Exchange was renovated and reopened as the Triangle Shopping Centre (because of its shape). Most of the Edwardian interior was replaced by high-class retail outlets including MUJI, a flagship Adidas store, O'Neill and Jigsaw, all of which have now closed.
In 2005, The Norwich Property Trust, the largest authorised commercial property unit trust in the UK, acquired the Triangle for £67m from American property company the Blackstone Group and its UK-based partners Milligan.