Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gasworks Chic at Euro Hub; Commercial: At Last King's Cross Comes of Age: The Busiest Transport Link in Europe with 58 Acres of Homes and Offices, Says David Spittles

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gasworks Chic at Euro Hub; Commercial: At Last King's Cross Comes of Age: The Busiest Transport Link in Europe with 58 Acres of Homes and Offices, Says David Spittles

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SPITTLES

IF YOU believe improved transport links drive property markets, then King's Cross is the area to watch. Regeneration has been so long coming that it's hard to believe that change is finally within sight.

By 2007, King's Cross will be the largest transport hub in Europe.

A new Eurostar terminus will put Paris a tantalising two hours and 20 minutes away. The high-speed link will also open up commuter areas in north Kent. Up to eight trains an hour will connect King's Cross with Ashford and Folkestone, reducing journey times by more than half.

With six Tube lines, three mainline stations and Thameslink, a projected 25 million people a year will pass through the area. King's Cross will be like an inland port woven through with bus, taxi and cycle routes.

And on the back of these transport changes will come a spectacular transformation of a vast tract of railway land - the creation of a giant commercial district to rival Canary Wharf.

The blueprint for the 58-acre site has just been unveiled by developer Argent St George: 50 new streets, revitalised canal banks and more than eight million sq ft of new office, retail, leisure and residential space.

The scheme's centrepiece is the old listed goods yard. Historic buildings are to be retained and will surround a new piazza. Three gasholders will be dismantled and moved, though one proposal is to turn them into flats.

P&O Developments has already started work on Regent Quarter, next to the station. This six-acre site is a smaller-scale mix of commercial and residential, and likely to be completed within three or so years. The aim is to establish an enclave of mainly small businesses.

Much of the existing Victorian architecture will be kept, with new courtyards formed. Newly built offices will range from 20,000sq ft to 65,000sq ft.

In terms of refurbishment opportunities, the former Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras is seen as the jewel in the crown. …

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