10 January, 2019
Dane's Yard - a space for creative industries
We asked Michael, Commercial Manager at Vastint UK, to explain the thinking behind Dane’s Yard, and why this area has been selected to attract creative organisations.
"When Vastint UK bought the eight parcels of land which now make up Sugar House Island, the old buildings and near-derelict warehouses had already attracted a number of up-and-coming creative companies. We wanted to find a way of preserving this creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit in the masterplan.
When we began working with the planning authority to develop the site’s masterplan, they were keen to find ways of strengthening east London’s identity as a place of innovation and entrepreneurship. Sugar House Island’s proximity to the International Quarter, and Hackney Wick with its many creative enterprises, made it logical for us to look at how we could provide the southern point of this emerging east-London innovation district surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
We were set a target of delivering 624,000 ft² (58,000m²) of work spaces, bringing 2,500 jobs to the area which means 40% of the development in Sugar House Island is targeted at enterprise, business and employment.
We have been encouraged to try and retain some of the existing creative companies to stay at Sugar House Island as they grow and develop, and so we designed the buildings to include a range of floor plate sizes and building types. Dane’s Yard was the natural place to design what we hope will be a vibrant quarter for smaller creative companies.
There are eight buildings in Dane’s Yard, including the existing Printhouse at 135 High Street. The seven buildings currently under construction include two Victorian buildings undergoing comprehensive refurbishment and extension, and five new buildings. The network of alleys and yards reflect the historic layout of this conservation area which was the site of ink and paint manufacturing for many years.
The Print House Bar and Restaurant will re-open in the summer and a gym is planned in another building along with a new bar offer as part of this phase of delivery. All of these will add to the amenity offer not just for our site but for the benefit of the immediate local community.
The buildings each have relatively small footprints and are capable of being sub-divided to allow for the flexibility we know creative occupiers need. They will be completed to CAT A specification including air conditioning, raised floors, LED lighting and high-speed fibre-optic internet connectivity. All the buildings have generous floor-to-ceiling heights and large windows maximising the daylight penetration deep into the floorplates.
Vastint has employed a fit-out design contractor to support the delivery of Dane’s Yard. Their knowledge of the buildings will make it simpler for tenants to plan the use of the space, reducing the time and cost of moving in, which we know will be important for the creative industries."
Dane’s Yard will begin to complete in early summer 2019.
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