Shopping Centers Today

NOV 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 29 of 63

30 S C T / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 A former coal depot in London's King's Cross area has become a place to live, work, shop and eat By Bennett Voyles F or two decades the Coal Drops Yard, near King's Cross railway station, stood largely vacant, a relic of a grittier time in London's history. In the 1850s and '60s, much of London's coal was brought to this yard by rail and then transported by barge and by horse cart to •re up the city's furnaces and •replaces. e three landmark buildings making up the yard later found alternative use as warehouse space and then, in the 1980s and '90s, as venues for dance clubs seeking a post- industrial ambience. Now the Coal Drops Yard is being reborn yet again, this time as a glitzy, 9,200-square-meter (about 99,000 square feet) shopping center that is part of a 64-acre project transforming the King's Cross area from a blighted transportation center to a lively city within a city — comprising oŒces, Project fit for kings apartments and retail. At press time the Coal Drops Yard was set for an Oct. 26 opening and on track with a roughly 90 percent retail leasing rate. Among the committed tenants for the 56 retail spaces were apparel brand Paul Smith; furniture, lighting and accessories brand Tom Dixon; fashion and jewelry seller Wolf & Badger; and Samsung. Great as it all might look now, mak- ing the Coal Drops Yard suitable for retail use was far from easy, according to Morwenna Hall, senior projects director at U.K.-based Argent, the project's developer. To be sure, the two largest buildings were well-suited to house small retailers. But the slate- roofed, brick buildings were originally designed for supporting trains, not for receiving shoppers, and this meant that they had more internal support D E V E L O P M E N T D I G E S T F R O M R E N D E R I N G TO G R A N D O P E N I N G

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