Ruskin Square’s first offices are handed over to HMRC

One Ruskin Square at East Croydon, handed over today to HMRC. It's iconic, apparently

The girder-rich One Ruskin Square at East Croydon, which was handed over today to HMRC. The building is iconic, apparently

When the John Gent of their generation comes to write up a passage on the 21st century redevelopment of Croydon, December 13 2016 may warrant more than a footnote in their account, because today is the day that Ruskin Square finally got its first commercial office occupier.

After a two-decade saga over nine-acre the site adjoining East Croydon railway station, involving numerous planning applications, a public enquiry and a global financial meltdown, One Ruskin Square was today handed over by the developers, Schroder and Stanhope, to HM Revenue and Customs.

For Croydon, that will mean thousands of real, properly paid jobs, with civil servants working at the heart of the £500million development.

HMRC now begins its internal fit of the building, with the first tax officers expected to move into their new offices early in 2017.

As was first reported by Inside Croydon more than a year ago, HMRC has a 25-year lease on the building in a deal worth an estimated £200 million for a new tax superhub. The building comprises 183,000 sq ft of office space over nine floors (which vary in size from 15,200 sq ft to 20,940 sq ft). The building also includes a 3,570 sq ft café and reception space, alongside three retail units totalling c.8,000 sq ft.

Croydon will soon have 9 floors of tax officers moving in to One Ruskin Square

Croydon will soon have 9 floors of tax officers moving in to One Ruskin Square

The building is the first of five office blocks planned at Ruskin Square, which will provide 1.25 million sq ft of office space in total. The developers are optimistic that they have already secured a taker for their second office building, possibly also a government department, as the exodus from Whitehall’s costly buildings continues.

While Croydon awaits yet another planning application for the long-promised £1.4billion Hammersfield shopping mall, developments are actually under way on this prestigious gateway to Croydon at Ruskin Square.

Nearby, the first occupants of the Vita residential block – offering lovely views of Platform 1 at East Croydon and the London-Brighton mainline – started to move in a couple of months ago. There will be 625 homes in the building once completed.

Question marks remain, however, on how the council proposes to make use of a £3million grant offered by Stanhope-Schroders provided towards a studio theatre replacement for the Warehouse Theatre, which was once on the site, and which the developers are keen to integrate into their mixed development. For the “New Warehouse Theatre”, they developers need the council to release the grant fund, but the fear is that the money has already been allocated to Jo Negrini’s “Cultural Quarter”, meaning Fairfield Halls.

For the time being, some progress has been made.

“The completion of One Ruskin Square is a significant moment,” said Jason Margrave, Stanhope’s development director. “The decision by HMRC to locate one of its new office hubs here is a further mark of confidence in both the scheme and the continuing regeneration of Croydon.”

And apparently, according to a director of shedkm, the architects of the building, “An exposed steel frame provides an iconic scheme to anchor the new district.”

Yes. Iconic.

Oh, and they also said that the building responds “to both context and occupant needs”. Which is always good.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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5 Responses to Ruskin Square’s first offices are handed over to HMRC

  1. Finally, some good news but….
    If the money meant for the Warehouse revival is allocated instead to the Fairfield Halls that will be a real scandal and something worth really protesting against, not that that will do any good.
    The double act of Negrini and Newman (our very own Morecambe and Wise) will do what they intend anyhow, whatever the electors or citizens think or want.
    If Southern doesn’t get its act together will HMRC and the hundreds of HMRC employees, who will rely on East Croydon services, remain happy bunnies or will there be problems with the lease? A not entirely improbable scenario.
    Fun times ahead, as ever in CR. Sigh.

  2. Jobs coming to Croydon must be good news. Even better news is that these offices etc cost about one third of Fisher’s Folly for much the same specification. Perhaps someone at the Council can explain why?

  3. croydonres says:

    Good that this long derelict hole in the shabby fabric of central Croydon is being filled with some decent buildings and landscape surroundings. Let’s hope that other big companies come in to follow the Tax Man and Woman’s lead.

    Re Cultural facilities, I really wish that some creative brain could come up with a scheme to use the wonderful art deco Segas building and the Victorian Moorish style pumping station in Matthews Yard as arts venues, or as part of Croydon College. (or a combined facility).

  4. veeanne2015 says:

    The theatre money should be returned to Stanhopes to build the new Warehouse Theatre, as previously agreed by them with the theatrical staff with experience of running the theatre, instead of expensive ‘Consultants’ and ‘Experts’.
    The Warehouse put on superb musicals, comedies and plays and more, but was poorly advertised and ‘put-down’ by the former Council. However the new theatre would have attracted the audiences it deserved, had that Council not slapped a compulsive purchase order on the site, stopping all building.

    To put the cultural activities all on the Fairfield site is like putting all the eggs into one basket, with likely breakage.

    Segas building is much more suitable for an Art Gallery than Fairfield underground car park.
    Minerva have put a blight on the Park Place site for many years. Why aren’t the Council putting pressure on them to allow this small corner to be used for something positive instead ?

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