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Is Croydon becoming cool?

(17 Posts)
BuildingThings Mon 23-Oct-17 11:18:24

Hello all,

I am a new user/long time lurker, so please bear with me and my lack of acronyms.

Background: So, as the prices are falling, me and my partner are looking to buy our first home in London. We have rented for years and years, slowly being pushed out of Hackney, then Shadwell, then New Cross. Now we are living in the middle of nowhere in Kidbrooke, Zone 3. As architects we really miss living in the city, surrounded by great places to eat, drink & most importantly great coffee! I really miss living somewhere you actually want to spend your free time, rather than always going somewhere else.

When we moved to London in 2009, we went to IKEA in Croydon and I haven't been since. But through my (digital) search for a new, nice place to live I've kind of re-discovered Croydon.

What I want to know:

1. Is this true or pure rumors fueled by the developers? Is Croydon cool?

2. If so, where are the nicest parts to live for someone who is addicted to good coffee and an urban way of life?

3. If you live in Croydon, please tell me what it's like?

mumblechum0 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:23:18

Depends what you're into/how old you are/whether you're young hipsters or a family.

Personally I'd rather have Kidbrook and all that open space/Georgian crescents of Blackheath etc than a load of graffiti, but I am ancient.

And don't drink coffee grin

PigletWasPoohsFriend Mon 23-Oct-17 11:26:17

Croydon is a big place. Like everywhere it has good and bad points and areas.

SoupDragon Mon 23-Oct-17 11:32:44

I don't think Croydon is "cool", no.

I am perhaps about as far from an urban loving coffee drinking architect as it's possible to be though smile South Croydon has lots of restaurants... maybe it has cafes with good coffee too (there are certainly independent coffee shops scattered around). I would look at the edges rather than the centre of Croydon ( but not the
West Croydon area which is perhaps the more deprived area) as I don't think central Croydon is somewhere I would want to live.

There's no doubt they are trying hard to improve the town centre though so perhaps it is on the way up the "cool" ladder. Who knows what the Westfield development will bring.

Whatthefoxgoingon Mon 23-Oct-17 11:33:46

I don’t think living in croydon is living in the city confused

SoupDragon Mon 23-Oct-17 11:33:59

all that open space

I think Croydon is supposed to be one of the greener London boroughs.

BuildingThings Mon 23-Oct-17 11:34:07

Oh sorry, forgot to say that we are a couple in our late twenties/early thirties with no children, but we are planning to start in 2-3 years from now, but in no rush. smile

Yes, there are a few nice although very expensive Georgian houses near Blackheath, but we live on the other side of the motorway, think endless suburbia made of 1950s semi detached houses, no local shops, no local pub and everyone has a car. I wake up every morning to the sound of a scary dog barking next door.

Whatthefoxgoingon Mon 23-Oct-17 11:35:10

Most of croydon is exactly like what you’ve described.

mumblechum0 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:39:45

Ah, fair enough. My ds and his girlfriend live in one of the beautiful Georgian houses (in the servants quarters grin) so I'm

BuildingThings Mon 23-Oct-17 12:10:09

Thank you all for your replies!

What I find really interesting about Croydon, which separates it from my area is that it has its own town center, full of high density 60s modernist buildings, which I think have a lot of potential.

It all looks very promising if you read about it online, but then again, I don't want to be seduced by developer propaganda!

I wonder if I should go on a field trip and explore smile

CrabappleCake Mon 23-Oct-17 12:15:09

I find Croydon very hard to love. does have incredible access to London and the South Downs and Gatwick. So very easy to get away from!

Definitely do a field trip and have an explore. I never found it green - but it's near to green stuff.

Crystal palace sounds more like what you are looking for....perhaps. But it's not far from Croydon.

Whatthefoxgoingon Mon 23-Oct-17 12:19:13

Very few people apart from architects will have any appreciation for 60s high density housing. Hence I doubt that croydon will suddenly become cool, there’s not a lot of demand for this type of housing. It’s not really London so has its own town centre. Crystal Palace is miles cooler but again it is quite suburban and more expensive.

Whatthefoxgoingon Mon 23-Oct-17 12:22:40

Crystal Palace is zone 3 while I believe croydon stations are zone 5 so considerably further out as reflected by house prices.

parkview094 Mon 23-Oct-17 12:23:33

Croydon has applied many times to become a City in it's own right. And that's the problem. Central Croydon feels like a bit city lacking personality. It's still going through it's growing pains and had reached the stage where every chain imaginable is present to the detriment of local independents.
If you head out the center, you're in text book suburbia.
West Croydon has the most potential IMHO, but you'd be taking a punt well ahead of the curve.
The 60s architecture has been underappreciated in Croydon. The Whitgift center was revamped into another soulless shopping center. Taberner House has been demolished and replaced, so I suspect many of the buildings will go. That said, it's encouraging to see the Fairfield halls project has been given the go-ahead for a revamp rather than demolish and replace.

SoupDragon Mon 23-Oct-17 12:30:32

The 60s architecture has been underappreciated in Croydon. The Whitgift center was revamped into another soulless shopping center. Taberner House has been demolished and replaced, so I suspect many of the buildings will go.

I agree. I think this is a "problem” everywhere though. Very very few people appreciate it (including me!)

I'm not sure Taberner House had many redeeming features, although I did like the Christmas tree they used to do with their office lighting!

whiskyowl Mon 23-Oct-17 12:30:53

I haven't been to Croyden in years, so I can't be much help, but just piping up to say I DO like modernist high density housing, and I suspect this might be increasingly A Thing with a broader and younger demographic than has perhaps appreciated it previously. There's a Modernist Society that's relatively active in my area and many of the people who go are actually 10-15 years younger than me, in their early 20s. You often get a better trade-off of space/light against price than in much later housing by mass house builders.

All that said, I think you're right to be cautious about what developers say of an area versus how it actually is doing.

Definitely go on a field trip! These blogs might be a handy guide!

Dozer Mon 23-Oct-17 12:35:30

Developer hype. But as PPs say, great transport links.

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