Spot­light on Croy­don

With über-cool Box­park for food and gigs, thou­sands of new flats and West­field on the way, this town’s shapeshift­ing again. By

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Property Searching -

REIN­VEN­TION is the name of the game in the south Lon­don town of Croy­don. The Six­ties saw a high­way lined with of­fice blocks run through the town cen­tre, the ar­rival of the Whit­gift Cen­tre shop­ping mall and the open­ing of a ma­jor cul­tural cen­tre, the Fairfield Halls.

Tram­link, opened in the Sev­en­ties, re­mains the only tram ser­vice in the South-East. Now Croy­don is shapeshift­ing again, with a £5.25 bil­lion re­gen­er­a­tion bring­ing thou­sands of new flats in­clud­ing some of the coun­try’s tallest res­i­den­tial towers — the 43-storey sparkling pink-and-pur­ple Saf­fron Square tower is now a new lo­cal land­mark.

As the town awaits its long-promised £1.4 bil­lion West­field mall, which will even­tu­ally trans­form the Whit­gift and Cen­trale shop­ping cen­tres, the food, drinks and events des­ti­na­tion that is Box­park Croy­don has ar­rived to en­liven the town. One of the most ex­cit­ing Box­park, right, the ex­cit­ing new des­ti­na­tion close to East Croy­don sta­tion

pop­u­lar Sur­rey Street Market opens daily, with the Sun­day em­pha­sis on arts & crafts, ar­ti­san prod­ucts, and vin­tage

Kevin Zu­chowskiMor­ri­son owns RISE­gallery, spe­cial­ists in Pop art and ur­ban con­tem­po­rary works, in­clud­ing Warhol and Banksy de­vel­op­ments Croy­don has seen in years, it opened in Oc­to­ber last year next door to East Croy­don sta­tion with its su­perb fast central Lon­don trains.

Housed in 80 re­fash­ioned ship­ping con­tain­ers and mod­elled on Box­park Shored­itch, Box­park Croy­don is home to restau­rants, bars and gigs in a pop-up that will even­tu­ally be de­mol­ished for the huge Ruskin Square re­gen­er­a­tion scheme. Un­til then, the res­i­dents of south Lon­don are able to eat their way around the world with food from Mex­ico, Tai­wan, Brazil, Spain and the Caribbean, while they sit just nine miles south of central Lon­don.

Es­tate agent Ash­ley White­house, from the lo­cal branch of Fox­tons, admits the town got a bad name af­ter the ri­ots of 2011, when one of the defin­ing mo­ments of those tense days was the sight of a woman leap­ing from her burn­ing flat close to the blaz­ing House of Reeves fur­ni­ture store in West Croy­don.

How­ever, he stresses there is no doubt that th­ese are days of ex­cit­ing change. “Box­park has trans­formed the town’s nightlife and with the even­tual ar­rival of West­field, res­i­dents are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing one of the best shop­ping cen­tres in the South-East.

“At the same time house hunters are get­ting over their pho­bia of the town and re­al­is­ing it has a great fu­ture and rep­re­sents value for money, with many first-time buy­ers giv­ing Croy­don the thumbs up.”

Food, drink and en­ter­tain­ment: Far left: Left:

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