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Developments in the land between King's Cross & St Pancras stations (including new Google HQ)

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John Webb

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Explanation - in the posts on the work at Kings Cross I asked:
As a slight aside, the wide range of photos and videos of these interesting works show in the background an enormous building going up on the West side of the station throat - what is it, please?

The Moderators have set up this separate thread as the building works are not related to the work at the station, or indeed railways at all!
 
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Bald Rick

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As a slight aside, the wide range of photos and videos of these interesting works show in the background an enormous building going up on the West side of the station throat - what is it, please?

The long delayed Google HQ. It’s been on the blocks for several years.
 

BrianW

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The long delayed Google HQ. It’s been on the blocks for several years.
Interesting that Google decided it needed a building (and still does?) and decided it should be a city centre-ish location adjacent to a significant transport hub ...
 

Bald Rick

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Interesting that Google decided it needed a building (and still does?) and decided it should be a city centre-ish location adjacent to a significant transport hub ...

They had committed to it Pre pandemic.
 

BrianW

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They had committed to it Pre pandemic.
Indeed- an organisation like Google 'selling' the 'online opportunity' recognised that people want to be together, including travel to get there. To my mind this is some counter to the notion that home-working will take over. Planners and politicians need somehow to consider and make decisions related to investment in infrastructure in a context of what travel, including rail, may look like into the future.
 

swt_passenger

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1990's ??

I can just about remember standing on KX Platform 9 and being able to see St Pancras over the road in the late 80's.
I think the new British Library development was the first major result of what became the overall railway lands area?
 

Steve Harris

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I think the new British Library development was the first major result of what became the overall railway lands area?
But that's to the West of St Pancras (ie not between St P and KX).

Me and bramling are specifically talking about the "filling in" of the area between Kings Cross and St Pancras and when building work started.
I think 1990's.
Does anyone know different ?
 

swt_passenger

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But that's to the West of St Pancras (ie not between St P and KX).

Me and bramling are specifically talking about the "filling in" of the area between Kings Cross and St Pancras and when building work started.
I think 1990's.
Does anyone know different ?
I agree it’s a separate bit, but from a strategic planning aim in the 80s and 90s it was all considered as part of an overall “post railway” plan. The original “Kings Cross partnership“ developers included the former Midland goods areas in their remit as well. But we’re probably getting OT for this thread now…
 

stuu

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But that's to the West of St Pancras (ie not between St P and KX).

Me and bramling are specifically talking about the "filling in" of the area between Kings Cross and St Pancras and when building work started.
I think 1990's.
Does anyone know different ?
Later than that, certainly not till work started on St P for Eurostar - 2000 at the earliest I would have thought. I went to the Cross nightclub which is now the Coal Drops shops a bit in the late 90s and it was a wasteland then
 

Steve Harris

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Later than that, certainly not till work started on St P for Eurostar - 2000 at the earliest I would have thought. I went to the Cross nightclub which is now the Coal Drops shops a bit in the late 90s and it was a wasteland then
Thanx for the info.
As I used to arrive in the Cross on Great Northern services (which went into the trainshed more often in the late 90's compared to the 80's) I could/can only remember it as wasteland when I used to look across as my train arrived into the suburban trainshed, hence why I thought late 90's.

Tbh it was wasteland but I don't know which looks more pleasing to the eye. Wasteland or another high rise.

It's hard to think there was once a line there from Moorgate.
 
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johntea

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Interesting that Google decided it needed a building (and still does?) and decided it should be a city centre-ish location adjacent to a significant transport hub ...

I seem to remember having a drink in the outside area of the St Pancras Wetherspoons and there being some sort of YouTube office directly opposite! :D
 

AlbertBeale

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Thanx for the info.
As I used to arrive in the Cross on Great Northern services (which went into the trainshed more often in the late 90's compared to the 80's) I could/can only remember it as wasteland when I used to look across as my train arrived into the suburban trainshed, hence why I thought late 90's.

Tbh it was wastleand but I don't know which looks more pleasing to the eye. Wasteland or another high rise.

It's hard to think there was once a line there from Moorgate.

It wasn't all wastelands on the Railway Lands site - for example, there were a few old buildings with not-at-all-rich people living in them. But they - like some of the people who were in the now tarted-up areas immediately outside the periphery of the site - are no longer around of course. The development plans for the Railway Lands and surrounds prepared by and for local people (with the aid of experienced architects and planners) weren't pursued of course (despite meeting the needs, which still exist, of the residents of the area), because they wouldn't have made rich people even richer.
 

Steve Harris

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It wasn't all wastelands on the Railway Lands site - for example, there were a few old buildings with not-at-all-rich people living in them. But they - like some of the people who were in the now tarted-up areas immediately outside the periphery of the site - are no longer around of course. The development plans for the Railway Lands and surrounds prepared by and for local people (with the aid of experienced architects and planners) weren't pursued of course (despite meeting the needs, which still exist, of the residents of the area), because they wouldn't have made rich people even richer.
Indeed, they probably got persuaded to move to Jaywick!
As you say, the rich just get richer and gentrification of London goes on.
 

greyman42

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I seem to remember having a drink in the outside area of the St Pancras Wetherspoons and there being some sort of YouTube office directly opposite! :D
Google currently have a large office in Pancras Square. Perhaps that is what you are thinking off.
 

GatwickDepress

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I seem to remember having a drink in the outside area of the St Pancras Wetherspoons and there being some sort of YouTube office directly opposite! :D
That would be the YouTube Space. It had a bunch of studios and editing suites for content creators to use along with areas for workshops and that. I think it's also one of the spaces that YouTube decided to permanently close. I think the rest of the building is office space for Google which owns YouTube.
 

Busaholic

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Is this a HQ for all the business that Google doesn't do in the U.K. no sirree, don't ask us to pay your taxes when we're allowed to book it all elsewhere. Just to show we're playing ball, we'll allow a janitor to be a U.K. employee and pay Employer's N.I. for him/her. Isn't that big of us?<D
 

JamesT

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Is this a HQ for all the business that Google doesn't do in the U.K. no sirree, don't ask us to pay your taxes when we're allowed to book it all elsewhere. Just to show we're playing ball, we'll allow a janitor to be a U.K. employee and pay Employer's N.I. for him/her. Isn't that big of us?<D
Those are some very well paid janitors. Apparently Google booked £1.6bn of revenue last year in the UK, but against that is £1bn in pay and bonuses to their 4,400 staff (who would then pay tax at a higher rate than corporation tax), plus other spending resulting in relatively low profits to tax.
 

Busaholic

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Those are some very well paid janitors. Apparently Google booked £1.6bn of revenue last year in the UK, but against that is £1bn in pay and bonuses to their 4,400 staff (who would then pay tax at a higher rate than corporation tax), plus other spending resulting in relatively low profits to tax.
When you start an equation with the answer you want fixed, you arrange your workings to align. I just simplified the process.
 

Hadders

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ISTR that building work has been on-going in that area since the 1990s.

Back in the day it used to be a complete dive around there, at night you'd fear for your safety. What a difference 20+ years makes.
 

ChiefPlanner

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ISTR that building work has been on-going in that area since the 1990s.

Back in the day it used to be a complete dive around there, at night you'd fear for your safety. What a difference 20+ years makes.

Very much so - bodies found in the canal and a buoyant trade in various services to all classes ! Remarkable transformation over the years. Possibly caused by a railway revolution that made it possible.

(nostalgists might miss the brief period when 24 hour raves etc and various clubs were extant - much like Berlin some years back , using the dead lands and empty warehouses etc !)
 

eMeS

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Here's a shot taken around 18 months ago on a rainy Saturday. Hopefully I'll be able to get a more up-to-date shot in the next few months.
 

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