Yuppy Shopping Centre being built at Stratford, Olympic City
Next to the Olympic Stadium will be a monumental 'capitalist eyesore': the Westfield - Stratford city Shopping Centre, boasting 300 brand (or bland) names within its ugly, institutionalised concrete blocks.
Building has now been underway for several months and nearby roads have been churned up with roadworks for weeks.
Promotional boarding surrounding this 'concrete hell' has just gone up, like a sprawl of corporate graffiti. As you can see from the architect's'abstract' plans, the river has been painted sky blue so you'd think it's a swimming pool. In reality, the water here is brown and murky with lots of green gunk floating round in it, with lots of rubbish thrown in for good measure.
Predictably the ubiquitous chains who can afford the rent are turning up like greedy vultures: Waitrose, John Lewis and the controversial Marks and Spencers, although many people in Stratford are Muslim.
Residents will no doubt get low paid jobs to serve the new rich city yuppies who want to live in 'the new Stratford' or they will 'make their money from their property and leave Stratford for good. Tenants will face increasing rents and perhaps they too will leave.
Opposite, is the small and friendly Stratford Shopping Centre which has inexpensive clothes, a fruit market, a bookshop, jam-packed pound shops, banks and a jewellers. There are also many good value supermarkets nearby anyway.
There is also a cheap cinema five minutes away from the building site (often free or just £2 to members). Why does Stratford need yet another cinema, and a massively overpriced one at that, when it already has got one? It's 'a show' for the Olympics.
As the recession bites and there are many empty shops, people buying online, just how long will these shops remain open anyway?
I am not looking forward to the souless expanse of yet another ugly, windowless, seasonless shopping centre with acres of grim 'thief riddled' car parks. I would rather have a nice green park instead.
The media will have a field day when it is open, and so I will I. Perhaps I will attend the opening...
"At 1.9 million sq ft Westfield Stratford City will be the largest urban shopping centre in Europe and the prestigious gateway to London’s Olympic Park. An innovative fusion of different brands, experiences and formats will grace the magnificent three-level mall and a beautifully designed lifestyle street. Art and culture will be integral to the experience; from the striking architecture of individual retail districts, to new retail concepts, cultural collaborations, events and installations that will enhance this next generation of retail space. Westfield Stratford City is set to transform London’s retail landscape and provides the ultimate opportunity for the world’s most stimulating and interesting brands"