ULI Case Study: King’s Cross—London, United Kingdom

Spanning a 67-acre (27 ha) site of disused railway lands in central London, King’s Cross is being transformed from an area once known for lost industry into a vibrant mixed-use city quarter. Thousands of workers, residents, and students now inhabit King’s Cross, the largest area of city-centre redevelopment in Europe. When it is completed in 2020, 45,000 people a day will benefit from the 3.4 million square feet (316,000 sq m) of office space, 500,000 square feet (46,400 sq m) of retail and leisure space, and close to 2,000 homes.

“We were always struck by how incredible it was that we had 67 acres [27 ha] in one holding so close to the centre of the city,” says partner Robert Evans of Argent, the master developer and asset manager for King’s Cross. “The vision was to create a scheme which would be part of London, a busy place with lots going on, somewhere that could always surprise. It would have all the things that any other successful district of the city would have.”

A fully mixed-use scheme comprising old and new buildings is assembled around 26 acres (10.5 ha) of public space. Ten new public squares and 20 new streets will deliver an accessible, high-quality mixed-use environment with a strong focus on art, culture, and heritage. Overall, one-quarter of the scheme is dedicated to culture and leisure uses, and the first phases are already open to the public.

A new piece of London, with its own brand-new postcode, King’s Cross is a vibrant urban space. Proximity to one of the busiest transport interchanges in the city provides major appeal to global firms and offers a great location for residences.

An environmental exemplar, the development hosts several BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) “Outstanding” buildings. An Energy Centre will provide most of the development’s heat demand, contributing to the developer’s aims to create one of the more sustainable developments in the United Kingdom.

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