Third Wave Entrepreneurs needed

For the last couple of years, a big problem for people aspiring to start a high street business in Brockley has been a lack of space. Most units were full, derelict or in limbo - occupied by dormant incumbent businesses.

But suddenly, there are options. Some spaces have been refurbished, while in other cases local businesses have decided to call it quits, freeing up the space. The list of opportunities in the area includes:

- The Broca Food Market - a prime site on the West Side, on the market now

- Degustation - a ready-made business with a long-term lease, for sale to new owners to take on and grow

- Birds Dress Agency - still on the market in Brockley Cross, as is the largest unit in The Tea Factory, a potential cafe next to Green Tea Architects.

- 61 Loampit Hill - a small handsome shop on the corner with Tyrwhitt Road that lies empty following its recent renovation. A new tenant could capitalise on its proximity to The Talbot, Brockley Market, Lewisham College and thousands of new flats down the hill in Lewisham

- El's Kitchen - a prime retail spot in Ladywell, where a popular deli stood until the owner chose to sell-up for health reasons.

- Smiles - a restaurant space in Brockley is a rare opportunity. However, it's on the market in a pretty sorry state - not a project for the faint-hearted.

- Albertine's is an even rarer beast, a bone fide pub. It needs significant investment and has been on the market for a long time, but until recently, pitched as a going concern. However, its recent closure means that any incoming landlord would enjoy a clean break with its past.

- And finally, Network Rail is at last renovating its derelict unit on Brockey Road, creating a new space next to the station.

To fill these spaces, we need a new generation of entrepreneurs to give Brockley a shot - a Third Wave.

Obviously, Brockley's timeline divides neatly into two periods with 2007 the pivotal year: Before Brockley Central (BBC) and Anno Bloggerati (AB) thereafter. The First Wave of Brockley businesses therefore, were all those which came before Brockley Central's birth - from Mr Lawrence, Le Querce and Jam Circus to The Barge, Fishy Business, Cinnamon and Sounds Around. The Second Wave began with Degustation and The Broca cafe - the first new businesses that we got to get excited about. The Third Wave starts now, with the departure of Degustation and the arrival of Sodo Pizza in Honor Oak.

The First Wave consisted mostly of businesses that opened in the just because Brockely was there. The Second Wave was characterised by businesses that opened with a stronger sense of possibility about what Brockley could be - The Orchard, The Gantry, El's, Arlo & Moe, Gently Elephant, Geddes and Brockley Market - all sought to raise the bar for the area.

The Third Wave looks like it might be very different again. Sodo is a first: An established restaurant that's built a fanbase elsewhere in London but looked this way to expand - an indicator of the area's growing profile. The imminent opening of a traditional barber station in Midtown suggests that hipsters will also play an important role in the Third Wave. Whoever else comes, they will be met by previously untapped demand.