Hammersmith town centre is riding high on a ‘wave of investment’ as high-profile regeneration projects take shape all across town.
Developers are pumping millions of pounds into Hammersmith town centre with The Lyric currently building a two-storey extension behind the theatre to house state-of-the-art facilities.
The Kings Mall shopping centre is enjoying a renaissance as high-profile new shops open and a modern new look entrance is built and aluminium cladding fitted.
Hammersmith Grove’s nine-storey office block is set to open shortly and its 11-storey counterpart, to create new student accommodation on the site of the former Hammersmith Palais, is starting to take shape.
St George has permission to build 418 new homes, offices, shops and restaurants on the site of the current Kings Mall car park and the West 45 office building, in Glenthorne Road.
Meanwhile, further along King Street, the updated designs for a new look civic square and new homes , office space and a cinema around the historic old town hall have evolved, following extensive public consultation, with a planning application expected to be submitted later in the summer.
In the longer term there are even moves to bury Hammersmith’s long despised Flyover with a ‘flyunder’ to reconnect the town centre with the River Thames.
Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council Leader, says: “There is a wave of investment pouring into Hammersmith. The town centre is riding high on this wave and is being well and truly revitalised. Hammersmith is being reborn before our eyes and these major investments in our town centre show that we remain open for business.”
But what does all this development mean for the town?
Hammersmith has long been a haven for multinational companies looking for office space in west London, but with these latest investments could the town finally become a retail and cultural hub?
Executive director at the Lyric, Jessica Hepburn, thinks so. She said: “The regeneration of Kings Mall and 10 Hammersmith Grove, along with the Lyric’s redevelopment will ensure that Hammersmith is destined for a new lease of life as a cultural hub for west London.
“We’re excited to be contributing to such a bright future for the area which will undoubtedly attract a much higher profile and many more visitors to W6.”
While the two blocks in Hammersmith Grove will be for office use, the bottom of the development will house a public courtyard, equal in size to Lyric Square, as well as two new restaurants with the hope of increasing the area’s evening trade.
This shift in attitude can already be seen with the arrival of popular Portuguese restaurant Nando’s on the Broadway and Japanese chain Wasabi in Kings Mall. Leading the way in this renaissance is MP Kings Retail, the developers behind the Kings Mall and Lyric extension, who attracted an upmarket sushi restaurant and fashion store H&M to the new-look centre.
Arun Sondhi, Executive Director of HammersmithLondon – the organisation which represents businesses in Hammersmith, says: “The continued selection of Hammersmith as a place to build upon and improve is a wonderful testament to the overall vibrancy and increasing competitiveness of the area.”
Meanwhile, further along King Street, the proposals to regenerate the rundown area around Hammersmith Town Hall include the creation of a new public square; opening up the historic northern façade of the Grade II listed old Town Hall, while improving access, and building new homes and retail/restaurant space.
The updated designs from King Street Developments Ltd also include a new cinema and the creation of a £1million regeneration fund for Hammersmith. The proposals will be presented at another set of public exhibitions next week.
Cllr Botterill continues: “New jobs, homes and retail and leisure facilities are being created and this is vital for the health of our town centre and the local economy. But regeneration must be right for an area. We constantly need to engage with local people and listen to their views so that we get the best schemes coming forward from developers.”
The exhibitions, displaying the proposed development for the area around Hammersmith Town Hall, will be held at Hammersmith Town Hall on:
Friday July 5, 3pm-7pm
and Saturday July 6, 10am-2pm