The Brockley commercial property market


With lots of new shops being built around Brockley Cross and the future of the Homeview site still in the balance, we contacted Pavilion, one of the leading local estate agents, to find out how much interest in the area there is from business? Pavilion are currently the letting agents for the new units on Mantle Road [above] and recently negotiated the Degustation deal.

Here's the reply we got:

"We've been in the area for many years and, from a commercial point of view, it is very slowly beginning to take off. There is a belief about the area now and that is critical for business investors.

"In the past, very few of the businesses opening in Brockley were properly resourced, or run by experienced business people. That is beginning to change, although Brockley Cross is still many years behind where it should be. Crofton Park is obviously a much stronger commercial area, with a coherent high street.

"The two delis will be a roaring success - everyone wants one and currently, local people travel far and wide to get fresh food from places like the fishmongers in Nunhead.

"Brockley Road is held back as a commercial centre by the problem of commercial waste, with not enough attention given to this problem by the Council [there is a pattern emerging here] - there are too many large bins on the pavement.

"This is one of the reasons why most new local development has taken place away from the high street. At Mantle Road, we are going to be selective about which types of business we let the units to. The kinds of businesses we think would be right for the site include a sandwich shop, professional services practices such as lawyers or architects, drop-in services, such as delivery dry-cleaning and tailoring or an arts, crafts and stationary shop."

So, while there is interest in the area, it is still relatively low and constrained on the high street by the fact that many businesses simply don't want to locate themselves on a street dominated by run-down, infrequently-open, ugly shops and large-scale commercial waste bins, such as the ones outside the Sorting Office and the Brockley Barge. Without co-ordinated action to improve Brockley Road (officially the heart of Brockley Town Centre) progress on the high street is likely to remain slow and new businesses will locate themselves on side streets.

Thanks to Pavilion for their candour.

136 comments:

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

That is interesting. I understand that the Royal Mail Sorting office is due to be closed down (and relocated to catford) so maybe that site would attract an investor

Kate said...

WAITROSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monkeyboy said...

Waitrose? Lets not walk before we can run. I popped into a Waitrose near where I work for a cheese and ham roll and a bag of crisps. I foolishly went for one of the posh looking ones, only had £4.50 cash on me and when I got to the till I found it didn't cover it! I had to leave it and go to the local Tesco's. I felt the eyes of the yummy mummies boring into my back as I left.

Becky Breakspears said...

Please...no Waitrose! Small local businesses...yes! Big high street cooperate chains...no!

I am not saying there is anything wrong with Waitrose, but in a local neighbourhood, it's exactly those big companies, that will come in and gradually push out the small local businesses, like the new shops that a cropping up on Coulgate Street. I know who I'd rather give my money to!

What would then come after Waitrose...Starbucks, Foxtons?! Bleurgh!

Anonymous said...

At least Pavillion aren't going to give those shops to anyone. I was dreading seeing the word Kebab or Fried Chicken. This makes me feel a little more hopeful.

becky breakspears said...

p/s "corporate"...not "cooperate".

Bea said...

I seriously doubt Waitrose would want to move into Brockley but in its defence in Marlborough, Wiltshire (where I spent much of my childhood) Waitrose sits on the high street very comfortably next to independent retailers (including butchers and bakers) as well as some more familiar high street names i.e. Boots and WHSmith. Its presence isn’t necessarily the death knell of smaller independently run shops.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Yeah, it's interesting. Alot of people are against big companies mostly becuase they dont want to see another london clone in brockley (which i agree would be naaaaasty!).

However, there is benefits to getting established companies in locally.

For one, the PR consequencies of being rated a ZERO in food hygience would be disasterous for a larger company as the negative revenue risks far out way the costs of implementing better standards. To get one or two established companies locally would force smaller establishments to improve in these areas or be forced to exit the market.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

In the above I obviously refer to 'Scores on the Boors' blog.

Hugh said...

The antipathy with Waitrose and its ilk is irrational. Their arrival would, more than anything, give Brockley cachet and attract the sort of independent businesses people here seem so desperately to want.

We all seem agreed that the largest obstacle to the regeneration of Brockley Road is its shabby appearance. Waitrose-type chains not only make a strong statement that things are changing, they also attract a larger number of customers than other businesses, raising awareness of the changes and setting in motion a virtuous and self-fulfilling process of further change.

I realise there's still a sizeable contingent of trendy arty types in the neighbourhood whose mental reflexes demand opposition to 'big business', but the position is intellectually weak, not to say inconsistent, assuming such people run cars, buy computers and take advantage of London's many other opportunities for spending.

leenewham said...

If small independent shops offer what people want, with good service at a reasonable price then I'm sure they will do well. That's how starbucks/the body shop etc started in the first place! If waitrose moved in (they wont) it would not mean that you would suddenly have a starbucks.

People seem to fear Brands, there is nothing wrong with a brand coming to an area (most are franchises anyway and run by independent business people). The main problem is when brands come in at a higher business rate and greedy landlords put the rent up.

I'd much rather have a mix of shops rather than what Brockley Currently offers which is pretty dire in totallity at present. I have no reason to go there at present aside from the Broca. Because of this all those interesting shops we crave are not attracted to the area and we are left with ugly fried chicken shops.

The interview with Pavillion was good, they talk common sense and i agree with what they say. I hope Brockley gets some interesting, nicely designed attractive shops to replace the ugly facards we currently have. And I hope we do something about the ugly recycling bins outside the post office (and the business bins). I still think artmongers can come up with a creative solution to this.

Friends that don't live in Brockley have a poor impression of it because they drive through 'the high street' and it looks run down. It almost put me off before I moved here. It will take a long long time to change.

Anonymous said...

Im all for Waitrose - starbucks etc (but appreciate I'm in for a loooooong) wait

Anonymous said...

Agree totally with Hugh and Leenwham

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I agree. Thinks can take a long time to change and thats another reason why large companies can be good for an area: i.e. they can shoulder the risk if a venture fails, and provide ready capital to invest by way of buildings and such like to improve an area.

The Royal Mail sorting office opposite TM2 has a HUGE space that could easily suit an array of shops and maybe a nice public area too.

I think the success of an area has less to do with the formal business identity (i.e. whether or not dominiated by large brands) but more to do with careful planning 'at the right time' in order to 'tap' into the right business flows that would encourage traders to brockley.

In this area, I am worried because my impression of lewisham council is that they are certainly not dominated by pioneers in this respect and take ages to get anything done.

Headhunter said...

I think any development along that parade of shops would be welcome. Have to say I wouldn't be sad to see any of them go particularly - not really a fan of cheap fried/deep fried take away food which most of the outlets there appear to be (however I haven'ty been along that way for a while). It'd be nice to have independent shops but I have no fear of national retailers like Waitrose - they sell decent food at a price and as someone else said, add a certain cachet! Doubt that the big W will be rushing to Brockers quite yet anyway!

What concerns me more is that the local Royal Mail office is closing - is that for certain? That'll basically mean that I won't be able to collect parcels until the weekend - haven't got time to go to all the way to Catford and then back up to work before 8.30am!

Headhunter said...

If the Royal Mail office genuinely is shutting, I hope it doesn't just lie empty and go derelict/get vandalised - that'll make the street look even worse! Even another betting shop is better than a burnt out, grafitti-ed, ex commercial, concrete block!

Pete said...

The only problem with getting a Waitrose would be that it would be very bad news for the new deli(s).

Waitrose is actually a very good company, they share their profits out amongst the staff in the form of a bonus, have good ethical standards etc. They won't move to Brockley for a long time yet I shouldn't think.

Kate said...

Um, guys, it was a joke based on the recent discussion about getting Waitrose onto Lewisham Way.

Ah never mind, I guess you had to be there ...

ElijahBailey said...

"Waitrose is actually a very good company, they share their profits out amongst the staff in the form of a bonus, have good ethical standards etc. They won't move to Brockley for a long time yet I shouldn't think."

Tell that to the 200 textile workers at Stead McAlpin whose workplace has just been flogged off by John Lewis Partnership with no consultation and warning and who look future now looks pretty bleak.

Anonymous said...

Can people stop talking about Waitrose. It's utterly pointless. They will never, ever, come to Brockers.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

we may get a illuminous waitrose advertising sign if were lucky :o)

leenewham said...

"Tell that to the 200 textile workers at Stead McAlpin whose workplace has just been flogged off by John Lewis Partnership with no consultation and warning and who look future now looks pretty bleak."

Actually it was unprofitable, so John Lewis sold it. The company remains and they sill supply john Lewis. JL is a company that is supposed to make profits, it's not a charity. It is a very ethical company and they are nice to work for (which I have done in the past).

They still won't come to Brockley!

Coop might...perhaps (and they are even more ethical than Waitrose).

Brockley Nick said...

Argh, please not co-op - they make Cost Cutter look hi-tech.

Anyway, although I agree it's unlikely that Waitrose would come (and undesirable in terms of the small shops which are just beginning to open), if a big site became available, there is a good chance that a retailer like Waitrose would be interested. There is an M&S Simply Food on Lee High Road (albeit, as part of a garage) - a comparable stretch of street, with a comparable customer base.

leenewham said...

coop do have a huge image problem, but they are actually good quality and very ethical, the most ethical of all supermarkets. But I know what you mean Nick!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I would like to see a decent greengroccers...!

Hugh said...

Even if Waitrose did arrive I wouldn't shop there, for the same reason as I don't buy food at M&S. But I'd enjoy the impact it would have on the desirability of the area. House prices are in line to fall, you know.

leenewham said...

House prices are already falling and nothing is coming in on the market. I have heard of a lot of first time buyers pulling out due to the northern rock fiasco, people are dropping the prices of their property and first timers are worried about negative equity. I saw one house in Brockley and they had offers for almost the asking price months ago and refused it because they thought they would get the asking price. Months later when I saw it they had dropped the price by 50,000! If it doesn't sell straight away, properties seem to struggle.

leenewham said...

I vote for a DECENT greengrocers too (that looks nice too). Infact the post office could make a great indoor market/craft/farmers market etc.

Anonymous said...

The impending east london line should protect Brockley to a degree from any horrendous drop that happens across the country.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I agree. when the jubilee line extention was built prices went up by 10% (all other factors taken into consideration).

Anonymous said...

I also think that there will be an accelerated effect as more residents attracts more business, which atttacts more residents, which attracts more business....as the man from pavillion said Brockley is actually behind where it should be. Once this shortfall is met and people realise that for somewhere so close to town with good solid houses and plenty of green spaces, it's going to take off.
That's why things like the station improvements are vital to the regeneration of Brockley. The station is often the first image of any area and first impressions count.

veggiegirl said...

Oh joy - am I supposed to trek all the way to Catford for any parcels I miss? If it really is closing I hope the whole thing gets bulldozed & redone.

I second the vote for a decent greengrocer. This is a relatively poor area and fresh fruit/veg tends to be the first thing to go when people are on a budget. The stuff on offer in Costcutter doesn't tempt even a hardened veggie like me so I have no idea why anyone else would buy it. Lewisham street market's great but you have to get the stuff home and the 484 isn't the best of buses.

In terms of the commercial property question, the last anon probably got it right. We need to get to the tipping point where businesses other than fried chicken see the potential to make a living here.

Anonymous said...

Re Commercial Waste bins if you want evidence of the Council's mindset look what they do at the Borough's premier shopping area.

Outside the main entrance to Lewisham Shopping Centre everyday the council place a large waste crushing machine. Does the council see that as a positive attraction?

So it is the accepted 'norm' and a policy that radiates out across the borough.

Anonymous said...

It should also be noted that Pavilion not only owns a number of side street properties and the site where Degustation - please owner change that name -
is going but that the site was occupied (and is owned) by Pavilion. A conflict of interest that should be noted.

One of the problems is the piecemeal aproach to investment. Degustation is hoping to open today! Why? With what branding in place? A slap of paint and a swing and a prayer is not going to do it!

Anonymous said...

That should have been 'wing' instead of swing.

Regarding people's shock or incredulity with regards to a Waitrose...

M&S were hugely interested in Brockley... unfortunately it could not find the right space for it, 7000sqf. So please don't set Brockley's sights so low.

Torres said...

Not sure I undersatnd the last anon's point. How can you have anything other than piece meal investment unless you want to open a shopping centre in one go like lewisham?
Are you againsy independent businesses opening as opportunities arise? Tell us your solution?

Brockley Nick said...

I believe that today's opening of degustation is just a "soft launch". The name has not only generated more word of mouth than the 2012 logo, it also has the word station in it, so you don't forget where it is - genius!

Headhunter said...

Re property prices in Brockley, I doubt the ELL will necessarily protect from any price falls. Brockley has already seen massive price growth since the ELL extension was announced, I seriously wonder how much more we can rely on the ELL to affect property prices.

On the other hand, personally I doubt anywhere in London is likely to experience large, sustained falls in prices if only due to the fact that there are so many people trying to live in such a limited space with limited housing stock. Also Brockers is one of the few remaining areas of London where a 1st time buyer with average earnings may just about be able to reach the bottom rung of the ladder.

As long as the economy holds up, people will flock to work in London and will need somewhere to live. Prices are always fairly stangant at this time of year anyway aren't they? Spring is the usual time to go house shopping.

Monkeryboy said...

Nick, you're the man in the know. Whens The Dandelion opening? I shuffled past this morning and spoted a large bacon slicer on the floor and bugger all else.

By the way kids, I learnt that vodka & Red Bull, larger, beer and humous have a very unpleasent effect on ones constitution. Mind you it got rid of the limescale in my toilet this morning, so not all bad.

Luke said...

What, on God's green Earth, is wrong with the name Degustation?

Never heard so much blinkered Mail-ite banter in my life...

Hugh said...

One mention of house prices and a rash breaks out all over the thread. I do love a bit of England.

To the person asking what 'branding' Degustation has in place, how about returning to earth? This is a small neighbourhood deli, not a new Nokia handset or the successor to Playstation.

Interesting to hear that M&S fancied a piece of Brockers. What we really need, as previously discussed, is someone to buy out and raze or re-imagine the large MOT centre that sits between Brockley station and the main road.

Of course, those of us nearer St John's are content to see The Talbot being spruced up for early 2008. Life's great over here.

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered how Brockley sustains so many MOT garages. Presumably there are no other ones across South East London.

Monkeyboy said...

Wouldn't mind something a little better than the MOT garage but having said that they've fixed my old banger for the last 3 years and I've always found them honest, helpful and reliable.

Still we'll be all swamped with posh food soon from all the deli's oppening so not all bad.

ElijahBailey said...

Since it doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet, Gulen's kebbaby is lush.

Headhunter said...

House prices, yes sorry, a bit of jaded subject, but you have to love a quick bit of house price gossip. It's all part of living in London

Anonymous said...

It does always make me laugh when people say 'oh no, not Waitrose, not starbucks - horror of horrors!' As people have already pointed out, what's the current sole option along Brockley high street? Erm FRIED CHICKEN!!

leenewham said...

Gulens Kebbaby?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anything 'other' than piecemeal should not fall between the two points, Torres.

Even small business should have a plan and brand - otherwise it's doomed. However, I find it laughable that you should ask if I am 'againsy' independent businesses opening as opportunities 'arise'.

Good business doesn't just exploit opportunity arising it creates it too - even if it is 'just a local'. (The reason why we may see many of the old Brockley establishments fail.)

To reiterate... You can't just slap a tin of paint on a former estate agency and present is as something new - a different though individual 'brand' - change of use to entertainment etc needs some effort. It takes graft and a design to make it sustainable - something the council will point out.

I do read the Mail and many other newpsaper titles for that matter. What's wrong with Degustation is that it's a "degustingly" daft name. But that's just my blinkered opinion, gained over many decades of not attaching my opinions to any one newspaper I should confess.

Hugh's position seems scatty to say the least.

He loves a bit of England, but smirks at talk of house prices (which will increase in Brockley quite soon, you heard it here). Howver, to the person (me) asking what 'branding' Degustation has in place he says, 'how about returning to earth', whilst setting his own (presumably) down-to earth Guardian-ite (often confused)'limits' from a terra that is not so firm.

The neighbourhood is not, he asserts, "a new Nokia handset" or "the successor to Playstation" -never. (Maybe that should be Tabloid-ite.) So what is it then?

He doesn't know - none of us do - which is why he contradicts the requirements he seems so sure of.

He looks down at the above brands (presumambly uses the red phone box at Wickham Road, but again I'm being presumptious) whilst axiomatically content that M&S 'fancied' a bit of it (Brockley) too. To add further contradiction, he then lobbies to 'raze or re-imagine' the large MOT centre.

The name "Degustation" is a brand. It belongs to the person(s) due to open a business in a former estate agency.

For the record...Nokia does not own the concept of brand just its own brand, the one Hugh hates, which is why he uses a red phone box, and reads better newspapers than the rest of us.

But is it so off planet to expect the new owner(s) to put a degree of effort into the design - if not the name?

ElijahBailey said...

Hmmm my last comment was meant to under food places god dangit.

Hugh said...

In response to the baggy, wind-filled posting from Anon above:

Your prose is so mannered and effortful I strained to keep track of what point you were making (if any) and stopped caring.

Try again, using fewer words and better sentences.

Throw the ingenue media studies student lingo in the bin and try to say what you're thinking.

Then we'll chat further.

Torres said...

To the Anon,
I used to think that everyone was entitled to their opinion but you're taking the piss out of that rule.

It's a shame that in 'many decades of not attaching your opinions to any one newspaper' you never came across the word 'degustation'. My advice is broaden your reading horizons...

Bea said...

Having read my way through the blarney of Anon three times in an attempt to work out the argument – I assume it is:

- “Degustation” is a bad choice of name (an entitled opinion – but not that of everyone)

- the company needs a business plan and better branding in order to succeed (How do we know they don’t have a business plan? Have they been asked? And as they haven’t actually opened yet how can one be so sure they will fail?)

And finally but not linked in any way to the above:

- Anon likes to read a variety of newspapers; and

- Hugh uses the red phone box on Wickham Road

Still not sure if anything of quality has been added to a rather lame debate.

Hugh said...

Anon's reaction to the proposed name shows s/he didn't really get French at school. Perhaps reading newspapers will make up for it, although it seems unlikely.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Yes, rather confusing - i thought I had a brain on my shoulders but after reading the above I think the men in white coats should pay a vist to my house as i have no idea what it means...

In fact.. who are we really? Do we really live in Brockley? What is the meaning of life?? Argh!!!

[andy bangs his head against the wall]

Ed said...

I have thus far enjoyed the absence of such sententious guff on BC... ;)

P.S. Has anyone set up planning alerts (see earlier post regarding this useful website) for the Brockley Cross area? Surely that would provide the most up to date information regarding proposals for local properties? Bueller? Anyone?

Brockley Jon said...

Phew! Bloody hell you lot, I go away for one week, and I get an entire lunchtime's worth of comments to digest.

Anyway, I refuse to get into any debate (hype?) about property prices, or the ethicalness of Waitrose, but for those people who are crying out for a greengrocers, get yourselves up to Hilly Fields for the Farmer's Market, every second Saturday of the month. Last time I bought some wicked organic veg at very reasonable prices. I think he might do Telegraph Hill as well.

leenewham said...

Anon is right in many respects about the branding. They need to know what they stand for. How they do business, how they look and ther logo and name will communicate that. It is as applicable for small business as it is large business.

If The Broca had poor service, had a perspex sign and the same seats as the noodle place would we all love it so much?

This is all part of their 'brand', whether by luck or design. All brands start somewhere. J Sainsburys syarted with one shop, The Body Shop started as a kitchen table business.

All Anon is saying is that the owners need to think about how they present themselves. Hopefully they will go down the same hand painted sign feel as The Broca (or the Ginger pig, Borough market La Formargerie, Monmouth market) and NOT a gaudy "LOOK AT ME" perspex sign.

Whatever you think of branding, it works. We live in a society of perceptions (Brockley Nick has the perception that the Coop is horrible, infact it's VERY ethical and has high quality produce, most supermarkets get a lot of their products from the same suppliers). Branding is about managing and communicating the perception of a product, place or service to it's intended audience.

Bea said...

leenewham what you say about branding and perception is true but I think what Anon is saying (and it is not entirely clear in the post due to its “stream of consciousness” nature) is that as “Degustation” is in his/her opinion an awful name the company has therefore failed to consider a business plan or address the issue of design and branding.

However, having had a brief wiz round their website degustation.co.uk they have been in business for two years already and the site comes across as sophisticated and tasteful. As they specialise in champagne I hardly think they will be going for the “City Noodles” look. (I, as a regular at the popular “City Noodles”, enjoy the food there despite its blue and yellow front and inside neon lighting – so branding isn’t obviously the “make or break” of a business).

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bea, I checked their website site and it's looks very established and decent quality. Anon was implying that somehow they didn't know what they were doing (no idea why). It seems they do, but the image of a small independant shop is nowhere near as difficult to get right as 'a Brand' of a larger company which needs to translate beyond the bounderies of a community. Degustation could be called 'rats piss' but if they serve the right products 'rats piss' will suddenly sound like decent name.
Simon J.

Kate said...

If it was 'rats' piss' in French, I'm sure it'd sound just as alluring anyway ...

leenewham said...

Brand names are a bit like pasta, not much on their own, put a sauce with them and they change flavour. When you rally think about names, on their own a lot of them are awful (Pizza Express sounds like a cheap take away pizza joint, Starbucks is memorable, but who knows why it comes from the story Moby Dick) As for the Asian noodles place, the look of it puts me off, so how place looks...the branding...does matter. I agree it is far easier to get the branding of a small business right than a large corporation. I don't have a problems with the name Degustation now, but when I first heard it I couldn't remember it so I didn't think it was good. But it got people talking so has been a good choice. People wont stop shopping there because of the name but they might not go in the shop if it doesn't look like somewhere they want to be.

Kate said...

Well, I walked past Degustation last night on my way home from work, and it looked very tempting. They were setting out stock and generally making the place look purty. A very quick set-up! (Hope the owner of the building Dandelion is opening in gets the message, and speeds things up there ... though they are now painted a fetching blue shade, which is encouraging).

Bea said...

Degustation was open yesterday! I bought some really tasty bread (not a white toast loaf in sight), fig jam and small cakes. Augustine was very friendly and apologised for not having everything in place yet - but even so - I munched my jam sandwich with glee when I got home.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

That sounds very encouraging Bea, was it expensive?

Bea said...

Well, the loaf was more at £2.50 than your standard stuff at Cost Cutters but it was delicious. Unfortunately, they had just sold their last sour dough loaf (which is what I wanted) so I bought a sunflower seed and dried apricot one instead. It was worth every penny!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

If it's similar quality to what you get at Bourgh Mkt then I think that is very good value.

I went through a stage of buying walnut loafs at £4!

Anonymous said...

Think I'll stick to crack. Cheaper and supports local business

Anonymous said...

Went to Degustation today and bought a few items. The shop is still a little bare but Augustine told us that it would gradually take shape over the next few weeks. I thought the produce he did have was great though, and what a relief - very nice bread! I will definitely be going back and hope that many other 'Brockites' do too. With the new deli opening soon as well Brockley will soon become the deli destination for people of South East London. Bring it on!!

Anonymous said...

It's me, Anon, with another baggy, wind-filled posting.

Sorry I've been off the waves but some one did for my laptop what others' have been trying to do for years. And every time I tried to respond to my critics (Hugh, Torres etc) my Net collapsed.

I've now shopped at Degustation and all of my comments remain, with one additional. It's expensive... Paid three quid for a loaf of bread.

Monkeyboy said...

It's me Monkeyboy with another smart arse comment....

If you don't like it don't shop there, let the market decide whether or not it's a success.

Bought some wild boar pate and a baguette tonight - £2.70. Very nice, I've voted with my stomach so far and the old fella says bring it on...!

Anonymous said...

NICK, do you know if anything is happening with the empty shops on the corner of Mantle and St Asaph road, they have been empty for a while now but would make a great space?

Does anyone even know what they used to be?
Paul.

Brockley Nick said...

@Paul - no but I will try and find out.

Anonymous said...

Nick, Thanks - I've seen movement with (what look like) workmen going in and out for the last few days and I'm hoping (and have a feeling) that there could be a WestSide Story breaking soon.....
Paul.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

lol Yes, but is it a cafe hero??? (joke)

I spoke to Pavillion about a mth ago, who told me one of them was let out and was supposed to be opening immentently. They also said that about the development and that was only started 6 months later so don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

Andy Pandy,
I think you're getting confused with the Pavilion let property next to the maypole. The one I'm talking about is by the dry cleaners on the corner of st asaph road - it's managed by Naylor Friend. From the outside it looks big and would make a great restaurant space. It's been shuttered up for ages but recently there has been movement....

Ed said...

All the lovely sunshine has reminded me of the suggestion to paint the high level bridge. Does anyone know anything about how to go about arranging this and would any decision on the colour be as divisive as the trees/cameras episode?

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS......

WESTSIDE TO GET A NEW (Largeish) 'COFFEE SHOP'

In response to Pauls queries about the double fronted shop on the corner of Mantle and St Asaph roads I've made some enquiries. I called Naylor Friend this morning and asked if the shop was still available to rent. They said it had recently gone and when I asked what it was going to be they said, a 'coffee shop'.

Whoever has taken this on I say well done. I've always thought it was a great location with potential for tables and chairs out the front. It will make a huge difference to the perception of new people moving to the west if done in the same style as say the Broca.

It seems that Westside's regeneration gathers pace....

Dixie

Brockley Nick said...

Good work Dixie, I will see if I can find anything else out and then i think this deserves its own article. Is Andy going to be vindicated?!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

That would mean someone owes me a coffee.... yay!

I'll be surprised if its one of those, 'that' company has only mentioned that they would only commit one coffee machine/bar thingy due to insufficient demand for anything substantial. They would go for a minimum settting, not tables etc.. just a takeaway place.

Anonymous said...

Nick - Mmm, I don't think so in terms of 'Cafe Hero' taking it on. I actually might know a little more than I'm letting on too - so - I do think it will be worth it's own article because I THINK I know who will be running it, and that makes it potentially exciting. I can't say who that is yet but a 'contact' has told me who he believes it is (and the source is pretty good). What I will say that if my source is correct - is that it won't be a chain - it will be an independent.
Dixie

Anonymous said...

The return of Cafe Neu?!

Anonymous said...

Looking on the A to Z to check out where this new cafe is going to be, my initial thought is how close it is to the train station. Once again a new business chooses to open around this area. In the last year, Broca, Dandelion Blue, Degustation, and Shop On the Hill have all opened a stones throw from the station. How many cafes, or new even new businesses have opened down the Moonbow Jakes end or Croften Park in the same time period?

Is this further evidence that 'New Brockley' is gradually being centered around the 'new' train station. Is this a coincidence or an inevitable response to people reacting to the East London Line Extension.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Maybe abit of everything!

The economics are sound. - 2 main entrances to the station, one east, one west. East catered for by Broca, now the new cafe will cater for the West side. In terms of economics, people will opt to the closest if they offer similar products.

Potentially a good venue to help promote the neighbourhood watch scheme!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

you think i'll be able to bring my cats? o)

Anonymous said...

The demographic on the West side will change a little too when the new Mantle Road developments get their city based tenants. I think the cafe is a shrewd move, to get in there early - the west side has nothing like that yet. The Wild West? There's gold in them tha hills...

Anonymous said...

Nick, any more news about the west side cafe??

Anonymous said...

Nick, are you any closer to learning the identity of the west side cafe owners/article??
Dixie

Anonymous said...

Nick, you haven't commented on this west side cafe yet/ Is that because
a - you are too busy.
b -you don't know anything about it yet.
c - you know about it but haven't conducted the interview, yet to write an article.
d - you are biding your time to release the article in conjunction with another article entitled Eternal Jerk to go Global.

What do you/ don't you know?

Brockley Nick said...

A bit of all of them, plus being in an airport.

Anonymous said...

WEST-SIDE TO GET NEW RUNWAY?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I found out something! I spoke to the agent (number quoted above). The units (both 3 & 4) are going to be turned into a 'wholefoods shop' i think this means healthfood. The new tennant already has a cafe up and running so it sounds as if its going to be a joint healthfood shop/coffee place (and that would explain the size being abit too large for a coffeeshop on its own!).

Supposed to be opening in about 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

The owner already has a cafe up and running - in Brockley? who could that be then? TM2? Broca?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Not neccessarily in Brockley, however.. i did happen to see the owner of the broca displaying rather proudly a new van to her friends? Unless i'm mistaken of course..!

Anonymous said...

A van? What do you mean? Did it say Brockley Whole Foods on the side?

Anonymous said...

I was told it was going to be a coffee shop - but I guess if it's both that's fine. I wonder how many wholefood shops Brockley can sustain though.
Dixie

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

No, the van was blank. it was a smallish van, and could easily be used for anything so dont read anything into it. It may of even been her friends. But it was new, and exactly the type of vechicle used to pop down the wholesalers.

Anonymous said...

It would kind of make sense if it was them. The Broca is often rammed with people and I have been put off going in because of nowhere to sit. Economically it would be better if they had a bigger place. The owners have got the magic ingredients to make a nice cafe so they could fill a bigger venue.
Paul

Graeme said...

It was a sad day when Freddie's Deli (on the Cafe Neu parade) shut down 3 years ago, presumably through financial problems. An absolute treasure trove of strange and interesting ethnic fayre; a fantastic range of cheeses, chorizos, and salami; delicious breads baked 3 times a day, and a small counter selling fresh, homemade pasta dishes. It was all that a great, local, reasonably priced, and unpretentious deli should be, yet he couldn't sustain a business in the area. Location? maybe. Lack of big-spending punters definately.

Miss my chats about eastern mystics with him too!

Anonymous said...

If this is true it's great news for us on the dark side. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Nick.........I'm in meltdown.
Dixie

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

So am i, please please please, is it a cafe hero or the west broca cafe.... place your bets!

Anonymous said...

IF I was a betting man I'd say West Broca, deffo not Hero but my initial enthusiasm has been dampened by this Wholefoods things that you were told - and I was only told 'coffee shop' which I took to mean cafe, but now think it means another wholefoods shop which sells coffee.
Dixie

Anonymous said...

"It was a sad day when Freddie's Deli (on the Cafe Neu parade) shut down 3 years ago, presumably through financial problems. .... It was all that a great, local, reasonably priced, and unpretentious deli should be, yet he couldn't sustain a business in the area. Location? maybe. "

Maybe it was also due to out of date products on the shelves, and mouldy cheese (but not in a good way). The concept of his shop was good but there was far too many products for the customer base. After buying several out of date products, customers stop returning...

Torres said...

Does anyone have any more information about this cafe on the west of the station??

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

RE: West Side Cafe - just spoke to the landlord again. They reassured me things are still going ahead - apparently the new tennants have a rather long lease which is being going through at the Solicitors...

They told me expect end of May for any phyiscal signs of change.

They are confirmed that it will be mostly a wholefoods shop with a coffee bit on the side. Having looked at their planning applicatiion, they also mention A3 as well as A1. Not sure how significant that is, but A3 refers to restaurants.

Danja said...

As I said a while back, cuing loads of blah about internet cafes: A coffee shop would be A3, unless it is the sort that just sells beans. They would need A1/A3 permission to mix retail and the normal type of coffee shop. That wouldn't be hard to get (unlike A5 takeway), but from what is said, they aren't seeking it (yet).

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Yeah I take your point Danja, I understand that there are a number of 'bolt ons' that within an application can be implicitly given.

They mention A3 in part of the application although not explicitly in the main application. This is what i presently do not understand. I.e., is this an implied bolt on or simply a reference to a future application (which i guess is the stance you are coming from??).

It's interesting anyway, either way - they wouldn't mention A3 at all unless it has something positive to do with the idea of becoming a coffee shop.

I'm just happy to have a wholefoods shop. Sounds like it could be a nice thing for west brockers!

Anonymous said...

It will be good for ALL of Brockley Andy.

Danja said...

Can you point me to the application, Andy?

Anonymous said...

Nice one APPP, I like the sound of this. If west side gets a wholefood store though I wonder how many westsiders will go to shop on the hill and vice versa. Is this one wholefood shop too many or an early prospector at the start of a major west side ELL goldrush?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Its on the lewisham planning website. From www.lewisham.gov.uk, click on Planning. You need to perform a search of all data, and insert the term 'Mantle' as the location name. That should bring you to it.

Anonymous said...

Nick - any chance of an article on this - a new wholefood shop is big news- no? Being Westside then surely it's a double whammy - a sign of real change in Brockley? I mean who'd have thunk it? a whole food store in heart of the darkside, whatever next?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know about the other units by the west entrance to the station - any takers yet?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Pavillion mentioned that one unit was taken, but I havnt spoken to them recently. The last I heard was that one of them was supposed to be opening shortly, but that was a couple of months ago.

I personally do not think that we will see much opening on that part of the road until the developments are finished in a couple of years. Dont forget, the site next to it is going up now, and both the sites opposite are due to knocked down and developed. I dont think businesses would want to locate until this is finished.

lb said...

Aren't there already about 6000 'wholefood shops' or boutique-type food places in Brockley? Just how much quinoa can one population consume?

Danja said...

If you are talking about the comment on p4, section 12 of this:
http://www4.lewisham.gov.uk/acolnet/ACOLLATEDOCS/32676_1.pdf

then it is about the sewers, and says "as extg" i.e. as existing, not "A3 extra". Otherwise, I don't see anything which could be (mis)read at hinting at A3.

I may have missed something... I'll take another look if you can be more specific.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Yes thats it. I think it says A3 existing then by your abbreviation!

Thats even more odd, there was never an A3 premise there. Accordingly to lewisham planning, the whole side (all units) used to be one big Co-op.

Headhunter said...

LB - 6000 wholefood shops? Where?! I don't even know of 1!

Anonymous said...

LB - "Just how much quinoa can one population consume?"

Ask the Incas - when the Spanish invaded South America they banned the growth of quinoa because they believed the locals got too strong from eating it. I personally feel that this Westside wholefood shop will ultimately lead to an uprising - I'm worried.

Anonymous said...

Wholefoods shops? Brockley? Oh yeah we've got loads - I can name at least........er.........one. Shop On The Hill.

Danja said...

So the sewers have existing A3 permission, Andy? Does that sound likely?

Anonymous said...

Andy - you say Pavillion mentioned one unit was taken or about to be taken - what as????

Monkeyboy said...

On the subject of 'whole food'....

As an Italian can I just state that brown pasta is wrong and would make any self respecting kinsman weep. If they start selling it I shall chain myself to the shelves and howl!!!

Other than that it sounds interesting.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I just spoke to Pavillion again (thanks for the prompt earlier!).

They are now saying that they have nothing concrete taken. The guy who told me that today was the same guy I spoke to before which is odd (esp as if you look on findaproperty.co.uk, one of the units has already been let).

so i'm afraid its back to square one on that front!

Danja, I have no idea why it says that on the form. When I spoke to the case officer Jan... someone... he said he has been dealing with mantle court for a very long time.

The landlord mentioned that the new leasee did own a coffee shop already, so maybe they put in a comment to make it known it existed for any future application. could be a technicality needed to get A3 permission? It could also be something that is overlooked now, but accepted as a fact in a future application? but i'm just speculating!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I quite like Brown pasta, but i'm not italian....

lb said...

Wholemeal pasta is an abomination.

OK, OK, we've only got one wholefood shop, strictly speaking, but there are already several boutique-type places (I include the Shop on the Hill in that, in the sense it's tear-inducingly expensive). I was just wondering how many shops like this the area could reasonably support, given that there's not a huge amount of profit to be made from selling artisan bread and the like, and given that a) Waitrose deliver, b) Borough Market is eight minutes away, and c) Tescos is infinitely cheaper.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

It doesnt say the sewers have 'existing A3 permission', it simply says 'A3 existing' next to the sewage box. I interpret this to mean the seweage facilaties are suitbale for a A3 establishment in relation to my comments above.

Anonymous said...

@lb If you build they will come...perhaps?

Anonymous said...

LB -
"I was just wondering how many shops like this the area could reasonably support-

It's what I was thinking too. It seems to me that it's an early pre-emptive strike in response to the ELL coming. I really don't see that the two delis, the SOTH and now this would ever be in the offing without the ELL. I guess at some stage someone has to dive in and go for it. The west side cafe is in a potentially prime spot so better get it now than wait. As APPP says once the new developments are finished the area will be more attractive to businesses, because suddenly there will be more young professionals (probably) living west side out of nowhere. Saying that the ELL and the new developments are still 2 years away - can these businesses wait that long?

tyrwhitt michael said...

If my interpretation of the Architect's writing is correct and I read a lot of it, I think you'll find that the sewers are to be "as existing" in other words they intend to reuse the current drains.

I can't see any mention of A3 use so we are back to just selling the Beans. Although I understand an Internet Cafe is included in the A1 use category............

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Ah, so the 'A3' bit is actually 'as'.
God - why can't architects write properly? I'm a numbers guy but I know how to write clearly at least!

Headhunter said...

I like whole meal pasta. Monkeyboy's comments remind me of the Japanese and their rice. My flatmate pays a fortune for the best rice known to mankind and thinks that the long grain easy cook rubbish from Tesco is an abomination. He even buys specific types of rice which are better at certain times of the year. I must admit, I agree with him to a certain extent, having lived in Japan for a while and become accustomed to their rice, nothing else is a patch on it. The only thing is that it's soooo expensive because the Japanese government artificially protects Japanese rice farmers from market forces, so prices are maintained at an unrealistically high level.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm actually not as much of an obsessive as my old flat mate Lorenzo. He was a great cook but wouldn't use tinned tomatoes but couldn't cope with supermarket fresh ones for cooking. His mum (i kid you not) used to send him the occasional box of tomatoes from Italy!

He also wouldn't believe that you could get spaghetti in a tin. I thought he gonna weep when he saw the luminous red gloop pour out of the tin!

And sorry, wholemeal pasta should be driven from the shelves!! Although bizarrely I have fond memories of the tinned stuff when i was a kid. I truley have a foot in both countries and am happy to have a Italy as my second team in the international footy competitions.

Headhunter said...

Phillistine that I am I like wholemeal pasta, but I can't stand the tinned stuff - ghastly sweet stuff. BTW has anyone seen this? Makes me laugh!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-MghZBMuQ

max said...

Wow, that Youtube video, quite groovy but not singing for gentrification really.
The conservation area needs to immediately retaliate with a selection of Thomas Tallis from St. Andrew's Church.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Lol. I thought it was quite funny, the way everyone was swinging from side to side... we have our own 'in da house ghetto-style' rap song! nice!

question, what are they saying immediately after the words streets of brockley?

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