Yes, you heard us correctly – Croydon is sexy, according to Russell Lynch’s recent Evening Standard article on the South London town. He even goes so far as to state that the late, great Croydonite, David Bowie, may have had a change of heart for the much maligned borough if he could see the rapid changes taking place in Croydon right now.
Certainly some of the UK’s largest organisations and employers are recognising the virtue of the borough and moving their business there. And when you see what is in the pipeline, such as Westfield Hammerson’s bold huge overhaul of the Whitgift shopping centre, what at first could seem like a gamble begins to make a lot of sense.
It’s not all pie in the sky thinking either. Schroder’s UK Real Estate Fund has already invested £200 million into Ruskin Square, a mixed-use development adjacent to East Croydon scheme, which will be home to one of HMRC’s regional hubs, with employees moving in to the first completed office building in the coming months.
Sexy, perhaps not, but the government has recognised that the borough offers occupiers far more for their money than boroughs north of the river. This is not news to the many tech companies that proliferate around the town centre, where rents are about half of those in Shoreditch, making Croydon not only sexy but also London’s latest answer to Silicon Valley.
Destinations like Boxpark Croydon, with its eighty food concessions and live music, are helping people to recognise the driving ambition of London’s largest borough. Croydon will need to maintain this momentum to shrug off its previous less positive tags and its vocal doubters, but with positive press like this, it is certainly making a good show of it!