Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

New Dawn on Morning Lane

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

New Dawn on Morning Lane

Article excerpt

Two years after the riots, a tsunami-sized wall of cash is heading towards Morning Lane, a shabby thoroughfare in Hackney.

The local council secured [pounds sterling]5m from the Greater London Authority's regeneration fund for areas affected by the riots and it is being spent on a project costing tens of millions and called the "Hackney Fashion Hub". Fashion outlets, a cafe and design studios will be housed in two new seven-and five-storey buildings and 12 railway arches located opposite and adjacent to the old Burberry factory, which has attracted busloads of Japanese tourists since it opened as an outlet store in the 1990s.

The developers are the Manhattan Loft Corporation, "the company who brought loft living to London" and whose recent projects include "67 of the most unique apartments in London, on the top floors of the Grade Misted St Pancras Renaissance Hotel". The architect is the trendy David Adjaye and work starts in 2014.

As well as big-brand fashion salesrooms, the development will include design studios "where locals can show their work". The stress is on the word "local" and the council is keen to persuade us that this project is not just to attract tourists and investment from the Far East.

So we, the locals, should be over the moon about it, shouldn't we? I spoke to Lia, who lives in Hackney and works at a vegan, volunteer-run cafe on Clarence Road, a focus of the London riots. She knew nothing about the development. But some local people do know and are into their designer brands--as the discerning young men who looted the Carhartt outlet near London Fields showed in 2011. …

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