#TransformingSpaces — C159

CMDN Collective
Jul 11 · 3 min read

In November 2014, we opened C/159, a 3,000 sq. ft marketplace created by design build team, Build is Everything, that could support up to 14 retailers at one time and combined retail space with co-working space on the upper floors. The shop supported over 100 different pop up occupants during the year it was used by Collective. This was all part of tackling unemployment, declining commercial occupancy and the overall image of the area as a place to live and work. During our occupancy, Camden Collective were also announced winners of the TimeOut Love London ‘Best Local Shop’ award!

In this space, our tenants were offered the opportunity to showcase their products in a prime location on Camden High Street, alongside major retail chains such as Marks & Spencer, Pret A Manger, Costa, Boots and more.

The retail unit was renovated using reclaimed and sustainable materials and it had 10 stalls, made of moveable, handcrafted structures, varying in size from 200–600 sq ft — that could be tailored to the size and scale of the retailer.

With Camden being a cultural haven, with an internationally-known market and various music venues, attracting an overwhelming influx of 200,000 tourists each week, C/159 was a highly sought after retail opportunity.

Some of the retailers included:

  • Anathema Designs
  • St Gerth
  • Black Sheep Coffee
  • Zekaryas Solomon
  • Portamento Store

Alice Howard, the owner of ‘In With the Old’ vintage gift shop, one of the businesses taking advantage of retail space in C/159, said:

“It was a one-of-a-kind retail space bustling with creative and entrepreneurial energy. Being a small business, I’d never be able to afford rent in such a busy high street, so it’s great to have this opportunity.”

East End Prints and Garite recently occupied an area of the market and described by Emily of East End Prints as “one of the easiest places to work with.” She also said;

“The energy between each stall was amazing! We could really feed off each others’ sales. It was great to be surrounded by people who do the same thing as you in order to share ideas and help out when needed. We all had the same objective — which made the atmosphere of the space welcoming and warm for the customers.

The hustle and bustle of Camden really helped with sales and connecting with our customers. We were able to reach a group of people that we had never come across before!”

Watch our video to see how we transformed the C/159 space:

The project was funded using part of a £700,000 grant from the Mayor of London and match funding from Camden Council and Camden Town Unlimited.

Thanks for reading!

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