Goodbye Matalan building, Hello new pedestrian alleyway
* Update: In 2016 Criterion presented a plan for the Kingsland Centre car park but later withdrew it
BIG MONEY is about to make its next move in the heart of Dalston. The Kingsland Centre car park will become a hive of offices and shops, along with the flats that are already built on a site whose transport links and City proximity has long had developers drooling.
Criterion Capital, a family investment company, owns the shopping centre and most of the rest of the rectangle of land bounded by Kingsland High Street to the west, the cross-London railway to the north, and Dalston Lane to the east and southeast.
Hackney council and Criterion have been exploring the site’s potential for several years.
The council has produced an area action plan, the latest form of which was unveiled at a public meeting in Stoke Newington this month. This specifies what the council would like to see in the Dalston rectangle. Whether or not it happens depends on many factors, including the state of the property market and the availability of property-development funds. But it starts with the wishes of the landowner.
That part has come together. Mike Hughes, Criterion’s head of development, told Loving Dalston: “We’ve been working with Hackney about what we can do with the site, talking to the mayor’s office and the like. We now have a consensus on what we can do with the shopping centre and the car-park — the whole site.
“We’ve instructed the architect Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton.” This a major coup for the Clerkenwell firm, which designed the wind-turbine Kinetica and the controversial Martel Place E8 2LX flat block.
Hughes said: “We have a 12 to 15 month game plan to have a master scheme, phase 1, detailed application for the car park and the ‘Eastern Curve’ — that part which has no tenants in it.” The final scheme would “introduce alternative public amenity space elsewhere”.
The present long leases of Kingsland Centre retail tenants preclude Criterion’s knocking down bits of the shopping centre “for a while”, said Hughes, adding: “That will be the second phase.”
David Altheer 180711
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