The Other Bidder for Hornsey Town Hall
HTHAS welcomes the news that we are nearing the restoration of this much loved but neglected building and that it will soon be taken off the Historic England At Risk register, but there are substantial unanswered questions about the process and the choice of bidder.
Haringey plan to sell a 125 year lease to Coplan Estates and the Far East Consortium (FEC), the owners of Dorsett Hotels. FEC are a Hong Kong based company registered in the Cayman Islands, a highly leveraged business with a track record of fast asset turnover, quickly disposing of completed projects.
The other bidder in the running was a consortium led by Tishman Speyer, BioRegional, and Ethical Property Company. We were invited to meet with them during the bid development stage to convey and clarify the community’s aspirations for community use and access in any future for Hornsey Town Hall.
Here is the summary of their proposal to Council:
The consortium is made up of Tishman Speyer, Bioregional and Ethical Property Company, with award-winning Fielden Clegg Bradley as architects.
Tishman Speyer is an experienced developer and manager of premier residential real estate assets around the world, having developed more than 5,000 residential units worldwide, and with 7,800 more units in the pipeline. Tishman Speyer has has extensive experience redeveloping historically significant sites, including the Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Center in New York; and The Economist Plaza and Tower Place (adjacent to the Tower of London) in London.
Bioregional is an award-winning social enterprise with over 20 years’ experience of delivering exemplary built environment projects around the world. Bioregional works with public and private sector partners to create places which enable people to live, work and do business within the natural limits of the planet. Bioregional has endorsed 11 ‘One Planet Communities’ globally, including two in the UK and is best known for the iconic BedZED eco-village in South-West London.
The Ethical Property Company is a unique social business, managing commercial property that supports the work of some of the UK’s most dynamic and influential charities and not-for-profit organisations. Ethical Property own and/or manage a total of 24 centres across England, Scotland and Wales, providing office, event and retail space and IT support to over 1,000 organisations each year. The Ethical Property Company is committed to using their buildings for the benefits of their communities and ensuring their buildings are financially and environmentally sustainable.
Tishman Speyer, Bioregional and Ethical Property Company will position Hornsey Town Hall as the epicentre of social and economic life in Crouch End by developing the building into a centre for arts, local business, a restaurant & cafe, and continuing community use. We will ensure the building becomes financially self-sufficient and no longer requires ongoing subsidy from Haringey Council.
In the town hall the proposal will offer community and commercial space. Ethical Property Co will run 20,000sqft of workspace for local SMEs, start-ups, social enterprises, charities and third-sector organisations. The proposal will offer two cafes/restaurants at ground level. Ethical Property Co. will manage an Arts Centre Partner – preferred solution would be a collaboration between Alexandra Palace and ANA. It will offer a permanent exhibition and heritage tours. Most spaces in the Town Hall will be available for hire – for weddings, rehearsals, talks, films, parties, conferences and meetings. As well as ticketed, private events, the building will continue to be available to host large, free community events, such as the Crouch End Festival and Christmas celebrations.
The proposal is for a faithful restoration of both Hornsey Town Hall and Broadway Annexe to emphasise their original civic importance, return them to their former architectural glory and ensure their removal from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register through beneficial use. It will fund restoration and refurbishment through development of a One Planet Community to the rear of the town hall. We propose development to similar scale and massing of the consented scheme, designed, built and operated using the ten principles of One Planet Living. The homes will be truly zero carbon with space for food growing, and built using low-impact materials like timber. At One Hornsey, it will nurture high-quality, low-impact, community-oriented lifestyles.