Boxpark — that of the shipping container restaurant, bar, and shop — could open shipping container offices and shipping container halls as it seeks to make shipping containers the real estate du jour in the 21st century urban landscape of the U.K.
Plans reported by Big Hospitality cover two new enterprises: Boxoffice and Boxhall. Boxoffice is offices, made out of boxes, a means of diversifying income streams, and also adding near-permanent footfall for adjacent restaurants and coffee shops at these new, four-to-six floor operations that also promise cinemas, crazy golf, and karaoke.
Boxhall, meanwhile, is a food hall — possibly made of boxes, or shipping containers — with the chain’s usual roster of street food operators and the occasional spin-off from bricks-and-mortar restaurants. Some operators have used the shipping container complex as a viable testing ground: game-changing vegan restaurant Cook Daily built its following there before expanding to London Fields, and now Market Halls Victoria. Rohit Ghai — a chef with Michelin star-earning pedigree — has found success at Boxpark Wembley, but by diversifying from the shipping container model.
While Boxpark Shoreditch remains fiercely popular and Boxpark Wembley is likely to grow as the regeneration, gentrification, and razing of the area continues with the growth of Olympic Way and Wembley Park, Boxpark Croydon appears to be struggling. An initial £500,000 loss after a £3 million start-up loan from Croydon Council has been followed by tenants seeking legal advice over “persistent WiFi issues, EPOS failures, and issues with the owners which translate to “deep and prolonged dissatisfaction concerning the operation of the Croydon Boxpark.”
There are no plans for where these developments might happen, but bets on London as a testing ground would likely return well.