Creatives help the ‘Emperor’ find a new postcode

Do you think it’s true that where artists go property developers follow?

Well this is what our favourite interior designer and property developer Lesley McKenley tells us. So where is the‘Emperor’s New Postcode’?
It’s a great time to be a creative property developer…with cashflow. If you are in with the in-crowd, have your finger on the creative pulse, a head for figures and an eye for an area begging to be gentrified and regenerated then recession doesn’t mean doom and gloom, for you it means ‘opportunities in adversity‘.

Creative industries drive the economy in more ways than one.

No one doubts the economic importance of the creative industries to the UK. At 6.2 per cent of the economy, and growing at twice the rate of other sectors, they are proportionately the largest of any in the world.’ NESTA 2010

The UK has the largest creative sector in Europe, one of the world’s largest music industries and one of its most advanced digital TV and radio markets. If the UK is to rebalance its economy and achieve high growth, the creative sector has a crucial role to play.’ CBI 2010

Genetrification and regeneration are the business buzz words that usually follow discourse on creative hubs and renaissance. If the creative sector is growing at twice the rate of any other sector and governments are now more focused on making people ‘feel’ happy due to the recession – could it be considered commonsense that where the artists go business people and property developers will follow?

At one of our SKZeD conversations Simone of Bresi-Ando Consults talking about her client Eva Caridi‘s up and coming Nude Exhibition at the P3 Exhibition Gallery discussed the emergence of galleries popping up in and around our area – New Cross Gate.

New Cross Gate is one of those places that conjures up different images to different people depending on their emotional (de)attachment to the area, or whether they are trying to rent a property on Gumtree. The location can be described as central London (ahem!), it’s right next to London Bridge (near the city), on the Olympic 2012 train line, the creative birthing place of Goldsmith University alumni such as Damien Hirst, a conservation area or the ghetto…

With the White Cube sealing the deal for Bermondsey as the new ‘shi shi’ venue, pushing property prices up by 40% within less than 6 years, developers eyes are on the look out for the next gentrification hotspots.

Follow the footsteps of the grungiest looking, down and out creative student types and you’re sure to be walking down the ‘yellow brick road’ leading to an area in need of a property makeover and a borough re-brand. Who would have thought, Bermondsey previously synonymous with skinheads is now the mecca of farmer’s markets, boutique hotels, contemporary art, fashion and coffee shop culture? Yes, Dahlin, one of the boutiques even hosted an Afrikan Yoga class there last season.

As Lesley McKenley noted, “It just takes one famous person to put somewhere on the map – a bit like what Alexander McQueen did for Shoreditch and what the legacy of artist Turner and the heritage of Tracy Emin is doing for Margate“.

So with galleries appearing (or being discovered) all over New Cross Gate and pop-up theatres being sponsored by Bloomberg in The Bussey Building, Peckham…SKZeD think ‘the Emperor’s New Postcode’ will be…[Fill in the blank].

Picture taken from