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Fish Island might just be London’s latest hipster paradise

FISH Island in Hackney is being billed as the new Shoreditch — with pop-up galleries, film and photographic studios, micro breweries and independent cafés all part of a vision to transform the area into a dynamic creative hub.

This corner of the East End, partitioned from the Old Ford area of Bow by the Hertford Union Canal to the north and the A12 to the east, has a rich industrial history — with a coal plant and a peanut factory operating there in the early 20th century — but suffered heavy bombing during the second world war.

Eastenders: Old Smokehouse overlooks Hackney Wick area

Smokehouses played a key role in the area post-war, and Fish Island’s more recent revival can be in part attributed to the return of smoked salmon producer H Forman & Son to the district in 2007.

The firm had been based in the area since 1971, but was forced to relocate in 2000 after its premises flooded. When it returned to Fish Island a decade ago, an underground rave scene that had been operating there through the lean times was forced out, and now a number of residential developments are springing up — including Old Smokehouse, a boutique scheme by Aitch Group located on Monier Road.

Aitch CEO Henry Smith says: ‘The area has been the industrial heartland of the East End since the end of the second world war and smokehouses have been a key component. Fish Island is actually a reference to the road names in the area, many of which are named after fish, such as Monier Road. Creating developments that nod to the history of Hackney Wick and Fish Island is a key part of our project.’ The Old Smokehouse will consist of 45 residential dwellings — of which ten will be housing association — and 7,000sq ft of commercial space divided into five units of varying sizes, designed to attract creative industries. It is due to be completed in September, with prices starting at £425,000. A full price list will be released in March.

Smith is a Hackney native and predicts the development’s industrial chic interior styling — with exposed brickwork and concrete-style flooring — will appeal to ‘City types with creative, aspirational outlooks. We call them the suits to skinny jeans crowd.’

He says he’s proud to have made a contribution to the success of the London property market over the past 20 years and is in the process of launching a charity called The Wickers to combat knife crime in Hackney Wick. He certainly fits the mould of ‘East End boy done good’.

Smith adds, ‘We want to see a dynamic hub here, but we also want to recognise its history. Fish Island is where there used to be lots of smokehouses, hence the name acknowledges the district’s heritage.’

Old Smokehouse

33-35 Monier Road, E3

45 apartments, one two and three bedroom (35 private sales, ten housing association).

Prices: From £425,000. Brochure and full price list available from March.

Completion date: September 2018 oldsmokehouse.co.uk

Launch pad…

New Garden Quarter, Stratford, E15

Telford Homes launches New Garden Quarter, Stratford, this Thursday. It comprises 183 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, villas and sky villas in two acres of parkland. Due to complete in summer 2019, prices start at £435,000. newgardenquarter.co.uk

Victory Pier, Gillingham, Kent

A new phase of stylish apartments has launched at Berkeley’s award-winning Victory Pier. The Horizon features 47 Manhattan suites, and one and two-bedroom apartments. Prices start from £185,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. victorypier.co.uk

Keybridge Point, Vauxhall, SW8

There are just two remaining two-bedroom Keybridge Point apartments. Both have courtyard views and use of residents’ club lounge, pool, gym, sauna and steam room. The apartments are priced £975,000 and £1,010,000. keybridgelondon.com