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New hotel to open in Crouch End - and some other stuff

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, tax haven

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Here's a particular highlight - guest waste products - from a similar development at County Hall

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS The major challenge facing the development was how to route guest room drainage through the Grade II listed interiors located directly below the main hotel’s bedroom floors. Sweco investigated the existing building constraints and overcame the problem by making full use of existing structural features to accommodate drainage runs. The result was a drainage system that allowed the two hotels and the leisure centre to be installed above the listed floors with no disruption to the listed areas.

The unsigned community use agreement is on the website under 'proposals'.  Odd, I thought it was a done deal. The parties to the agreement are

1) The Mayor and Burgesses of Haringey


2 ) HORNSEY TH (FEC) LIMITED a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (Registration Number 1927195) whose address is PO Box 957, Offshore Incorporation Centre, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and whose address for service in the United Kingdom is at Ground Floor, 12 Stanhope Gate, London W1K 1AW (“the Company”)

The CUA is an annex to the main lease, so it only becomes effective when the lease is signed - on 10th Jan 2018.

It's a hotel alright. But whether there's an arts centre alongside I'm not so sure.

The big question is still sustainability. Arts centres and the ilk usually rely on public funding - and this would appear to be private operation. That, and the fact that it has limited space make it very risky. However with the constraints as detailed in the Community Use Agreement, it now faces further difficulties.

Indeed the CUA has produced a shocker. A 60% of hours rule for community use...

This represents -
a) a victory for those who prioritised community use above all seeming to lock in such use for the duration of the lease
b) a completely unviable proposition for the operation of the public halls

Take your pick.

The uses defined in the CUA include arts and community, but do not encompass much of the stuff done by ANA. If ANA loses the office rents and the film shoots, and has to constrain the discos, comedy nights and sporting events, how much do they bring in?

As comparison the arts programme at Shoreditch Town Hall only produces 12% of necessary revenue, with 40% having to come from grants and donations - Jacksons Lane on Archway Road relies on 50% of its income from grants (and pays no rent). I can't help but think the best intentions have made things riskier... bloody municipal do-gooders.

And the longer term outlook?

With a hotel desperate for custom and a struggling community centre alongside, the temptation to become wedding venue will be great. We wanted to bring Berlin to Crouch End, and we get the burbs... think of it as one of those bloated pubs out on the ring road running wedding events with extra guestrooms and a wedding venue in the annex. Boring uncles, grab a granny and sporting events on the big screen.

And in the square? Many of these schemes feature corporate branded food courts - and with 4 cafes around the TH square planned, and 10 f&b spaces in the development, things could get very bland very quickly.

My remaining hope is that the needs of a 4 star boutique hotel will demand something better than a Nandos food court and a dodgy, unviable community centre. The development needs branding - we really need to see a vision for this development that is something more than anytown, anywhere and gives me hope that there's something 'Crouch End' about any of it.

But, is a Silent Disco not (and I quote from Community Use) " . . . . . music  . . . . intended for the use and enjoyment of the local community and the wider general public . . . . . . " and a comedy night one of the performing arts to the same end. So ANA could run those within the 60%, but perhaps not bingo nights or whist drives (are they cultural?) nor the 6 Nations screenings  - no mention of anything sporting. 

Is it the decadence of Weimar Republic Berlin we're looking for, or did you mean Irving.

Ps I feel uncomfortable with the word 'unviable' - the concept of there being life in something doesn't deserve offhand implicit negation. Nor does feasibility. I know it doesn't worry anyone else.

My reading is that the types of usage defined in the definition of Community Use are examples, not an exclusive list.

The 60% is a minimum, not a cap. Presumably the other (up to) 40% usage will be for private functions, including film shoots, which will also generate revenue for the operator.


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