Open weekend at Bullshit Mansions, Deptford

If you’ve ever wondered about the rotten-looking developments springing up around the Laban Centre in Deptford, now’s your chance to take a look, as the Theatro development opens its doors to potential purchasers this weekend.

That’s right, that’s Theatro, Creek Road, er…

Er… did Union Developments ever notice the socking great expanse of water and change of postcode between its shiny new development and Greenwich? Of course not. Reading further into the Theatro website, it’s clear that we’re not so much rebranding Deptford as “west Greenwich”, but denying it ever existed in the first place. Because the site of an old Deptford school building is now “the heart of Greenwich’s cultural quarter”.

The heart of Greenwich’s cultural quarter? Somehow, I don’t think so. Especially when it’s in bloody Deptford. (Where would Greenwich’s “cultural quarter” be, anyway? Is it the council not cleaning out the gutters again?)

Still, PR firm Wriglesworth has been spouting crap on Twitter all day on behalf of its client – unfortunately, it deleted its attempts to inform news organisations in Greenwich, Connecticut (but not Deptford, New Jersey) about its shiny new London development before I could get a screen grab of them.

But it’s probably not a good idea to bother a hyperlocal news site which knows the patch better than you do. Or a local newspaper which doesn’t cover Greenwich. Or something called “What’s On Bexley”.



I thought I’d point out some of this crap on Twitter, and got this reply from Wriglesworth. I think they were trying to have a laugh.

Joking aside, as I mentioned last year in the case of International House in Woolwich – hilariously billed as “the heart of Greenwich SE18″ – you don’t regenerate anywhere by trampling all over its identity. The moment you cross Deptford Creek, the area has a specific identity all of its own.

Opposite this development was the huge Deptford Power Station, behind is where the area’s artistic community lives, side by side with the Crossfields estate. This is somewhere which nobody who isn’t a liar could mistake for Greenwich.

Interestingly, the blurb for Union Developments’ other place, The Atrium, on the New Cross Road, is fairly honest about where it is, waxing lyrical about how hip New Cross and Deptford are – “most recently New Cross was noted as the birth place of New Rave and is fast gaining ground with London’s fashionistas and music journalists as a hip destination”. So it can talk up the area if it wants to. So why is it turning its latest development into Bullshit Mansions?

(See also: Theatro’s neighbours at Crosswhatfields would like to have a word…)

9 comments

  1. marmoset

    In fact, the grey-green monstrosity which dwarfs the Laban is not Theatro. Theatro is even further away from Greenwich. It gets its name presumably from the Rose Bruford Drama College, further west along Creek Road, and is built at the western extremes of where the college ended. The nearest junction, about 50 metres away, is Deptford Church Street and Creek Road. I think the Deptford bit might give the game away a little.

  2. Marcelo

    Very funny! Elverson rd in the border of Greenwich was rebranded as ‘blackheath rise’ by the developers. Isn’t this false advertising?

  3. Darryl

    Thanks Marmoset – that’s even cheekier of them. I’ve amended the entry.

    Marcelo – Elverson Road’s on the border of Deptford and Lewisham; but there’s a street called Blackheath Rise nearby. Unfortunately, I don’t think the ASA’s remit stretches to property advertising.

  4. Caroline

    Funnily enough, I used to live in Lower Highgate (Archway) some years ago. To think I’ve now made it to West Greenwich!

  5. valley_girl

    According to the blurb on their website, Greenwich has recently become a World Heritage Site (I think it was 1997), the Laban is a famous music venue, and Convoy’s Wharf is a handy transport link. Can’t wait to move there!

  6. ughsome

    I should love to see a developer for once sell an area without using the words ‘cultural’, ‘vibrant’ or ‘hip’. Like how about ‘half a mile from a tube station with three tube lines- walking distance, not as the crow flies, low crime rate, and within the delivery zone for at least 30 eateries across 9 cuisines’. Now THAT would be something.

  7. Kat

    Im glad I am not the only one who sees the rediculously imposing and rather depressing glass monstrosity for what it really is. I pity the fool who is sucked in by the crap spewed from developers mouthes about it being Greenwich, fashionable, artistic blah blah. So theres a dance school nearby…theres also an industrial estate on the doorstep! Maybe they could use that to advertise it as surrounded by Greenwich’s maritime/industrial history too?

    The oppressive minute balconies are just dire! Who would want to live there is beyond me! Every time I go past it I wonder how something that stands out like a sore thumb and looks so cheap and nasty would be given the go-ahead in the first place.

  8. Pingback: Deptford round-up | GreenFeed (beta2)
  9. Pingback: Great developer rebrandings, number 2: ‘Greenwich Creekside’ « 853

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