I wrote this short piece for our June newsletter:
‘One sure sign of regeneration?
Walking along Northfield Avenue the other day it struck me that a sure sign of an area changing is when estate agents come in to or leave a high street. Northfield Ave has loads of estate agents with new ones moving in regularly. Will a sign that West Ealing is on the up be when a new estate agent opens on the high street? Anyone willing to say when this will happen in West Ealing?’
Crossrail is already having a significant effect on house prices. You’ve only to look at the estate agents’ adverts in the Ealing Gazette to see the regular mention of Crossrail. Then someone recently said to me ‘we’re being gentrified’ referring to the nearly refurbished Grosvenor pub (which I like). Change is a slow process but it’s happening in West Ealing.
What are the other signs of regeneration – an artisan baker, new restaurants, improved schools, more affordable housing? I’m curious what others think or whether I’m imagining change is in the air.
Then I read an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times ( 15th June) about spotting the signs of gentrification. Apparently, if there’s already a Waitrose and Carluccio’s you’re being gentrified. The signs it’s starting to happen include:
1. ‘When the local boozer suddenly gets rebranded as a gastropub’
2. Cupcake stands
3. Organic food outlets
4. Shops billed as ethical or sustainable open up
5. Companies that trade on being cool or hitting a zeitgeist
6. Charity shops moving out to make way for higher-value occupiers
7. Solicitors and accountants noving from the ground floor to the upper floors as rents rise
I can think of two such signs in West Ealing recently. The tired old boozer The Grosvenor being bought up and refurbished and offering decent food. The Warren Evans ‘green’ bed and furniture store opening in the last space on the ground floor of the old Daniels site. What next?