First ever pop-up mall coming to East End

THE world’s first ever pop-up mall is coming to Bethnal Green.

Using a site that has been disused for decades, Boxpark - founded by the man behind clothing label Boxfresh – should open in August, providing space for 60 shops at the old Bishopsgate Goods Yard.

Located between Shoreditch High Street station and Bethnal Green Road, the area is currently disused and the planners behind the innovative new mall are hoping it will become a Mecca for independent shop owners.

It will offer out 60 units for rent.

Andrew Waugh, whose firm Waugh and Thistleton Architects are designing the mall, said: “There’ll be 60 container units all packed full of buzzing, exciting, interesting things.

“In architecture, things take long. I’ll draw something and I won’t see the building for five years, so this is fantastic.”

Roger Wade, founder and managing director of Boxpark, said: “There’s never been a situation where multiple containers have been put together on a temporary site to form a mall.”

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Many are hoping that the now ubiquitous pop-up shop - which has become a regular, rotating feature on East End high streets - will have a hub.

Artist Charles Edwards said: “It’s going to completely centralise the whole thing.

“Within a week it will just be there and everyone is going to be amazed.”

Though described as a pop-up mall, Boxpark is likely to exist for five years.

The site itself has provoked controversy in recent years though.

Developers Hammerson and Ballymore are planning to build a retail and residential park to replace the old Goodsyard.

Their masterplan would provide 2,000 homes and offices, including a 25 storey skyscraper.

Community group Open Shoreditch has rallied against the block, arguing it would not fit in with the area and would divide rather than unite communities.