diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 21, 2023

After I left Sutton House I walked round the corner and noticed that the Nike outlet store on Morning Lane had closed. I blogged about the house and tweeted about the shops. I may have got these the wrong way round.



diamond geezer @diamondgeezer · Feb 19
Now Nike's gone, every single outlet at
Hackney Walk (the doomed fashion hub paid
for with £1.5m of public money) is now empty
🗨️68 🔁354 ❤️1749

This has become my third most popular tweet of all time, which is going some in 24 hours.

I'm not sure if that's because it was edgy urban commentary, because people despair about wasted public money or just because the photo was good. It may also be because I didn't add any wider context so people were free to add their own or perhaps jump to all sorts of conclusions.

For the record I've written about Hackney Walk twice before, once in 2017 when it was new and quiet and once in 2020 when it was failed and moribund. Also, as pointed out in certain replies, other parties have written about the scandal of Hackney Walk in far more accurate detail.

So today I thought I'd crowdsource a post out of responses to my tweet, because that's probably more illuminating than me writing all the same stuff again.

This is the reply that got the most likes.
It’s been empty 70% since 2013, the money was given to help restore hackney after the riots but went to waste. So many locals in that area could’ve used that space but it was sat dormant for the last 7 years. Pathetic. ❤️235
Hackney Walk wasn't open in 2013, indeed I'd say the "70% empty" threshold was probably only reached in 2019. But the riot funding bit is true.

Here are three other tweets based on incorrect information.
• Other side of the road is well-occupied. Why can’t they put together a use for the empty space?
• There is just no footfall, great pre existing infrastructure, terrible location.
• Hackney Walk was supposed to be a blended outlet, maker centre and hang out spot. Now it's likely to be replaced with new homes, with locals very unhappy about how this unfolded and concerned about future plans.
In contrast, these tweets offered excellent background information.
• Council used three quarters of the funding given by Mayor of London to build an overpriced "global fashion hub" but tried to make the commercial rent so high that brands couldn't/didn't want to pay. A complete & utter balls up.
• We pitched to do their advertising years ago and they were totally confused by everything. Aiming at the kinds of tourists that go to Bicester, but not with the brands that would bring them or the parking for them.
• I used to work near here and would often go for a mooch round at lunch. Often I'd go into Aquascutum and be the only customer in there and the streets were almost deserted. I have no idea why but the footfall was woeful. This place was always baffling
• I worked at that Nike. The space opposite has been empty since it opened in 2016… it’s now 2023
• Not only is it all empty, but they employ security guards with angry dogs to sit about all day and night near here so nobody breaks in to the empty unused space.
See also these exchanges...
• I grew up in Hackney lived there for 30 years but haven’t been back for a while. Is this where all the old car repair garages used to be?
• Yes. They were kicked out for this development which has been an epic fail.

• Burberry, the seed for the whole idea, are still around the corner.
• Agreed. Burberry has been there for ever & we young ‘uns back in the day got tons of bargains from there when it was just a factory shop with sample clothes all over the floor stacked in big brown boxes!
Some people were surprised Hackney Walk had imploded.
• rah they got rid of Nike wow
• no way they closed hackney nike outlet?????
• Not even a vape shop, or a phone covers trader? Sheeesh
• It’s got cycle infrastructure. No more than 15 minutes active travel for >0.5 million people. How on Earth has it failed?
But most weren't.
• I never understood the architecture and the cheap ass gold and the whole thing really - it looks lame and no-one ever went there
• What happens when you frame regeneration and placemaking around the property sector rather than people.
• These sides were in desperate need of youth clubs and community projects esp after the riots but noooOooOOo let's do up bicester village under the railway, pricks
• It was always empty, think they were only marketing it to visitors going to Burberry? Mostly Chinese or Japanese etc. locals were not the target and it was unsustainable
• Have you tried to drive and park in Hackney? Businesses are doomed due to the ridiculous traffic schemes
• With Westfield Stratford not too far Hackney Walk had no chance.
• An instructive omnishambles for just how bad "regeneration" can get.
• Its what they deserve for catering to yuppies
Some people were keen to point out they'd never have allowed this to happen.
• I thought that this was going to be an utter disaster when it was built 10 years ago and I’ve been proven correct. So typical of a totally discredited approach to regeneration.
• Every time I walk past this failed gentrification project it confirms everything I thought about it at the start. A colossal waste of money
• An absolute waste. When they were building this I remember those of us actually from the area were very vocal about how much of a bad idea this was. Gentrification sucks.
• This was an utter waste of money from the start. Locals told them it'd flop but they wouldn't listen. This is what happens when you disregard the community and try force something without doing any proper leg work
• The tragic Bronze Elephant. I remember the petition requesting the GLA money to go to youth clubs and to businesses damaged by the riots instead. So then its a given that this is what happens; when regeneration is done *to* the community rather than *for*.
Several people applied their business acumen to propose businesses that would have done better in this location.
• Put the right thing there and they will come. I used to work in the area and remember Dark Arts coffee roasters, just around the corner, being packed every weekend. It seems a stretch to expect a cluster of shops alone to be a strong enough draw to an area with low footfall.
• Just a bit further up from there are a bunch of great brewery taprooms and a vegan market. So much potential to make this a food/drinks space as well. Outlet stores always seemed so weird there.
• Local councils should start offering 6 month free rent to start ups or community organisations. Invest in the local community to see if they can make a success.
• Perfect example of underutilised, well located + connected space that could be offered at low-rent to cargo bike firms.
• My votes on turning it into a community hub with free arts programmes, cheap hot good food, reading spaces etc.
• So many amazing small British clothes makers that would probably love a space there if the rent was cheap!
• Maybe @hackneycouncil should give free rent to local marginalised businesses
• How about letting @vagina_museum into one? Much better use than no use
• open some decent queer late-night venues there for the love of god
• They should turn these spaces into youth clubs
• Time for an American candy store
• We should squat it
A few people were tediously snarky.
• Browsing boutique clothing shops while inhaling idling car fumes always makes for an enjoyable shopping experience. I’ve no idea how this could have ever failed
• I wonder what the fancy bike stands cost compared to normal ones
• Put an LTN in, that will drive business back.
Some people are always over-happy to sneer at politicians.
• Labour party stronghold Hackney a bit like Newham. I am not surprised at all that it is Empty.
• Another of Boris Johnson’s vanity projects alongside that eyesore outside West Hams ground.
• Wonder if it got a mention at the shindig the Council hosted on urban regeneration!
• Hackney Council gave us fruit statues rather than actually helping our community
• Councils shouldn’t run shops
• I hate our council jesus
• Labour cllrs to blame
• more govvy fraud?
Some people paraded their prejudices.
• #ActiveTravel cycle lane anti-trade anti-bus user devastation by @tfl cycle Bloomberg puppet @MayorofLondon funded by @transportgovuk and backed by @RishiSunak and central government. Dystopia and destruction of cities at thw behest of lycra clad lunatics. Bravo.
• from 2012 onwards Hackney has just been violently sacrificing its Working Class to appease the whyte middle class residents flooding in. The amount of working class families that got shifted for this is unsettling but this is where Ldns famously working class towns are heading
This being Twitter there were some short sharp responses.
• “You’ll see no-one…, doing the Hackney Walk.”
• Those plants in the foreground tell a story.
• Can’t polish a turd
And ultimately the Mayor of Hackney chipped in with some truth.
• These are all really gd ideas, but sadly the Council don't own the Arches nor manage them, @thearchcompany are in process of resolving ownership, & through @hackneycouncil's successful Levelling Up bid we're exploring how we can bring them back into use in an inclusive way.
It's just a shame hardly anyone who left a comment will have seen it.

Whatever the underlying reasons and potential mitigations, Hackney Walk is plainly a regeneration disaster area. Let's hope the council can ultimately sort the mess out.

And I'd like to apologise to the 150 people who followed me on Twitter yesterday because they will not be enjoying an exclusive stream of #Hackney-based content.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan24  Feb24  Mar24  Apr24  May24
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23  Apr23  May23  Jun23  Jul23  Aug23  Sep23  Oct23  Nov23  Dec23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
broken tv
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
the greenwich wire
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
London's waymarked walks
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain
London's most...

read the archive
May24
Apr24  Mar24  Feb24  Jan24
Dec23  Nov23  Oct23  Sep23
Aug23  Jul23  Jun23  May23
Apr23  Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2023 2022
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv