Can IKEA Sell Urban Design? | Design Decoded
September 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Jimmy Stamp’s post is the latest in a slew of commentaries on the Strand East, the London development proposed by LandProp, the development arm of Ikea. Read it, and read this one, and then let’s talk. What I think is interesting is that no one really seems to be talking about whether or not the design itself is any good. From what I can see, I like it. It is pretty car-lite and pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use, and has a variety of housing units so that families of various sizes and incomes can live there, although if you look at the website it is fairly hipster-oriented. What everyone is talking about, however, is the ownership structure: Ikea is not only the developer, they will also be the landlord of all the rental units in the development. A lot of people seem to have a problem with it, but it doesn’t really bother me. Ikea has already been involved in a lot of building projects from low-income housing to boutique hotels, and they’ve got development credentials. As far as property management, I don’t know how different Ikea ownership is from a property company that owns a lot of apartment buildings, or even a business improvement district. If they keep the sidewalks clean, is it worth it? I think so. But hey, I could be wrong, let me know what I’m missing.