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With the nature of the built environment changing as a result of the global economic recession, pop-up businesses and venues have become a common sight. However, real estate developers Hammerson and Ballymore, along with Boxfresh and Brands Incorporated founder Roger Wade are hoping to take this to another level with their east London development.
Boxpark will be made from refitted shipping containers and located in Shoreditch – an area of London synonymous with fashion and creativity. This ‘retail revolution’ -as its creators are calling it – will be home to specially selected traders and will make use of a stretch of land running alongside London’s new overground line. Unused both during the construction of the line and in the months since its opening, a pop-up shopping centre seems like a logical addition to the streetscape until a more permanent offering emerges from the recession.
There will also be no high street retailers within the space, something which no doubt forms part of the developer’s plans to integrate the project within the fabric of the local community. The ‘edgy’ character of this part of east London will complement Boxpark well. Whilst some of the city’s regions might shudder at the thought of a shipping container shopping centre, such an idea seems to fit right in with Shoreditch.
The two real estate developers involved in the Boxpark project have plans to eventually turn this patch of land into a mixed-use development, with up to 2,000 houses built alongside retail and office developments. However, if Londoners feel a real affinity to this development they may struggle to achieve this goal. As seen with the London Eye, temporary urban developments in this city can sometimes stick around a bit longer than intended.