Media hub expert Danny Meaney has backed the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s proposal to turn the broadcast and press centres in Hackney into a district for the creative industries after the 2012 games – but has warned that it will need to be patient.
Meaney, managing director of New Media Partners, the consultancy that provided assistance to the BBC on its BBC North project and the Pacific Quay development in Glasgow, told Broadcast that super-speed internet connectivity and catering for high-level power requirements are essential for long-term success, but the location and building have potential.
He said: “The creative industries are moving east, driven by cost of occupation. If the rentals and overall cost of occupation is competitive then it has a chance. It needs time to build the industry cluster though, and this is very often is at odds with the ROI timescale demanded by the real estate model. This tension must be addressed upfront.”
Once the games are completed, the reconfigurable broadcast centre will offer 8,800 sq m of office and 53,300 sq m of commercial or studio space.
Based on the current specification, it is perceived that available ceiling heights of up to 10.5m could lend themselves to the creation of small and medium sized TV studios.
“I think the basic construction envelope of the buildings is very suitable for such TV studios,” continued Meaney. “But in the main studios don’t make lots of money. There are of course exceptions. And the studios would need time to develop a client base and will need flexible design to cope with today’s market. Maximizing utilization is key.”
Expressions of interest can be registered at www.legacycompany.co.uk
The deadline for initial responses is 26 November 2010.
The OPLC hopes to get anchor tenants signed up before the games begin in 2012.