It was during Christmas drinks at Shoreditch House that a rather merry observer started a debate with the Shoreditch Office Space team whether or not an office south of Great Eastern Street can be classed as Shoreditch? It was only when the dust settled that the facts as to whether this was true or not were considered.
The area in question is bounded by Great Eastern Street (north), Worship Street (south), Norton Folgate (East) and City Road (west). This area spans three different local authorities Hackney, City of London and Islington and all offices share more or less share an EC2 postcode.
History tells us that Shoreditch fell outside the City Walls and was once fields and woodland with several notable houses and churches. As the industrial revolution took place Shoreditch became industrialised and soon became overpolulated with warehouses and factories. At the beginning of the last century Shoreditch had become a slum and its fate up until the 1990s looked bad. It was during this period that the artists and bohemiams moved in. They were able to find huge open spaces and former lofts as their studios and workspaces. The opportunity to convert buildings into modern use was initially spotted by residential developers but over time the area became known for cheap office rents.
There is plenty of buzz surrounding the area south of Great Eastern Street but the streets are quieter and many commercial estate agents class it as “City fringe”.
One of the most popular buildings is Zetland House and certainly the building has the credability to claim a top ten spot in most tenants hearts when it comes to a creative community. The building is one of the largest in the area and is well liked by tenants wanting to be part of a community. It is however not for everyone with some likening it to a prison or instituional school in terms of it`s look and feel. Internally the units are full of character with orginal wood floors and exposed pipes and brick work. It seen popular with media and digital companies.
As to the question of whether Shoreditch is really to be found south of Great Eastern Street the answer geography wise is probably no. Whether the area has any of Shoreditch’s feel, creativity and spirit the answer is yes.