Langton investigates…King’s Cross development:
- You might’ve noticed King’s Cross is changing.
- The buzz was unmistakable when we visited the nearby food market last Friday, on our way to check out the new Drake & Morgan site which has opened close to the German Gymnasium.
- A 67-acre King’s Cross estate is the largest of its kind being redeveloped in Europe, and should house 2,000 new homes, 20 new streets, 10 new public squares, 26 acres of open space, and 30,000 people by 2016. Commentators assert that it is likely to be worth more than £5bn ‘when it is completed in five years’ time.’
- Taking a walk around the area, it is easy to see how far King’s Cross has come. Gone are the tottering drunks and insalubrious night life elements, replaced by calming water fountains and a quirky swing set within a human-sized birdcage. One man with flecks of grey in his hair was having a go as we walked past, briefcase off to the side, surrounded by a vibrant mix of students, backpackers and businesspeople.
- When the University of the Arts London moved in to the Granary Complex in September 2011, a variety of trendy restaurants, hipster bars and artisanal coffee shops followed. Even now some of the City’s sharpest operators are moving in to an area that is only set to get bigger with the imminent construction of Google’s new UK headquarters. Drake & Morgan has just opened a new Refinery site just up the road from Vinoteca and Notes, with Caravan and Camino short walks away. It looks like a canny opening. Other operators must surely be contemplating the move.