Predictions for 2012

Before we get to what will happen in 2012, here's what we said would happen in 2011:

1. Construction work on a permanent cafe for Hilly Fields will get underway. The logic is compelling, there's an interested bidder and it will cost the Council nothing. 

The designs for the cafe, which will replace the toilet block at the top of Hilly Fields, were revealed at the recent winter fair and the building should be open in Spring 2012.

2. A new restaurant will open in Brockley. Or at least, a new place you can pay to sit and eat. 

More than one in fact. Mo Pho was not a surprise, Brockley's Rock was. Both are excellent and have enjoyed successful first years, suggesting there will be more to come in 2012.

3. A new local supermarket will open in the area, near Brockley Station, joining the likes of Tesco, Budgens, Costcutter and Co-Op. The world will continue to revolve on its axis. 

Nisa opened right next to Brockley Station and as if to prove the point that supermarkets are not necessarily business killers, both units opposite were taken up by London Print Shop shortly afterwards.

4. Martin's Yard construction will start. 

Construction began earlier in the year and is proceeding at a blistering pace, with work due to finish in the by the middle of next year.

5. Double or quits: Both empty units on Harefield Road will be full by the end of the year.

Phew! In the dying days of the year, an estate agent grabbed the last unit, moving next door to the architecture practice that arrived in the summer.

So five out of five. Again. The child-centric business we predicted for 2010 also arrived a year late, in the form of Tea Dance for Little People. In retrospect, however, our predictions were a little cautious, given the storming year Brockley had in 2011, and we completely failed to anticipate the most exciting story of the year - Brockley Market.

Now, here are our predictions for 2012, all based on the same fundamental driver we saw in 2011, which is the influx of new people, talent and energy in to the area:
  1. The Wickham Arms will finally find an owner with the resources and nous to make a success of this magnificent pub. Away from the area's main thoroughfares, it will have to find a unique recipe to become a destination in its own right.
  2. A developer will come forward with a plan for a significant piece of Brockley's centre. It will be as controversial at it is bold.
  3. Brockley Market will expand. It's already a fantastic local market that attracts people from nearby neighbourhoods but the the word of mouth it will continue to generate, married with an influx of new residents to Lewisham, will mean that it develops in to a destination for savvy south east Londoners.
  4. Two predictions in one: the obvious opportunities in the area will be seized. Masons will reopen under new owners while someone will do something with the corner unit on Cranfield Road.
  5. Aside from Masons' successor, the Hilly Fields Cafe and the Toads Mouth replacement, Brockley will get another place to eat. It will be the brainchild of one of the area's many foodie entrepreneurs, perhaps one who's cut their teeth at Brockley Market. It will be closer to #Meateasy than a formal restaurant.
So there we go. It sounds optimistic, given that the UK is teetering on the verge of recession, but we thought we going out on a limb for 2011 and proved to have underestimated Brockley's animal spirits.

What do you think?