Digital Quarter: Here East
Here East is the digital quarter in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for innovative businesses. The new £1 billion development project will help continue East London's growth as a creative hub. It will be home to new start-ups as well as established technology and digital firms, as well as independent retailers, creative industries, education programmes, and more. Here East will complement other developments in the area, particularly new campuses and facilities under development for Loughborough University and Hackney Community College.
About Here East
Here East is being developed on the site of the former Olympic Press and Broadcast Centre, which operated during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The development builds on the data and connectivity infrastructure left behind by the Games and will feature up to 1.2 million square feet of retail and commercial space once the project is completed in 2016. Incorporating three buildings and six public spaces, the site is being developed by iCity along the Lee Canal. iCity is a joint venture involving real estate investment and asset management firm Delancey and data centre operator Infinity SDC.
Here East is situated north of the Olympic Stadium and next to the East Village development within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The site is found on the edge of Hackey Wick and is connected to the neigbourhood by a footbridge. It is also located opposite the Lee Valley VeloPark, which is home to world class track, road and BMX cycling facilities. The site is within walking distance of Stratford and Stratford International stations, which have direct public transport links to Central London. With the arrival of Crossrail, Here East will be about an hour away and London City Airport will be just a 13-minute journey.
Facilities and Office Space
The Press Centre will provide approximately 198,000 square feet of flexible office and work space for businesses and start-ups in innovation and creative industries. There will also be smaller units on the ground floor for independent retailers, including bakers, shops and cafes. The building's rooftop terrace will offer panoramic views of the surrounding area and the Park, including the Stadium. Available in July 2015, the Press Centre will also house the Innovation Centre with co-working spaces and managed incubation services for promising business ideas. Situated in the lower ground floor, Canalside opens in July 2015 with up to 18,000 square feet of retail space. It will face a waterway and boast landscaped gardens, offering an idyllic base for independent retailers as well as cafes, bars and restaurants along the Lee Canal.
In January 2016, the Broadcast Centre will welcome the first tenants. The facility will boast up to 213,000 square feet of office space ranging from flexible workspaces to large studios. The Broadcast Centre will also offer retail space and be home to the Infinity Data Centre. The state-of-the-art data centre will be operated by InfinitySDC and will be one of London's most connected and advanced facilities. The Boadcast Centre is also the home of television studios for BT Sport, and will be the home of innovation-related Masters programmes offered by Loughborough University. Along the eastern edge of the Broadcast Centre will be the Gantry. This creative space will be available from March 2016 with up to 12,000 square feet of office space. It will include a range of specialist studios and feature a stunning gridded structure that resembles a cabinet of curiosities. SPACE, a visual arts organisation, will provide workspace and support for artists as well as managed studio spaces at the Gantry.
Nestled between the Press Centre and the Broadcast Centre is the Theatre. Opening in September 2015, the facility will incorporate a 950-seat auditorium and cultural event space. It will also provide up to 28,000 square feet of retail space. The Theatre as well as the Press and Broadcast Centres will border The Yard, an open gathering place with unique public art and architectural features. Expected to be completed by March 2016, the Yard will serve as an open air venue for events and include up to 58,000 square feet of retail space. It will also be a meeting place for the growing community of workers and residents as well as visitors to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.