The CBRE Guide to Temporary Placemaking Structures

Here at CBRE we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the residential property market here in London and the wider UK, but we understand that some people need a bit more information about a number of the areas we work in. For instance, it might not be completely clear how we can work with national agents to find the perfect locations for investors and developers and we want to clear this up once and for all.

To start with we’re going to talk you through our temporary placemaking structures. As Rosie Ashton, Senior Architect, here at CBRE explains, temporary placemaking is a mixture of art and architecture, communities and developers, which is quite unique. It’s about instant placemaking, as opposed to waiting for life to be created once the development is finished and fully occupied; a catalyst effect on the development, which also benefits those who would otherwise struggle in a normal commercial environment.

Examples of highly successful temporary campaigns and developments in and around London include the innovative BoxPark retail development in Shoreditch which delivers “a community of brands specialising in fashion, arts, food and drinks” and the recent Pop-Up Park at London Dock and Pop-Up Park at Battersea Power Station.

These events in 2016 showed potential investors and developers what could be possible when new luxury apartments are built on the site and was a particularly popular temporary placemaking structure, with a number of the designs possibly being used as inspiration for and inside a number of our properties to rent in Nine Elms and Battersea in the future.  


To summarise, the five key benefits to temporary placemaking structures are:

  1. There is less risk from an investment perspective as tenancies on the buildings can be shorter and less expensive
  2. There is a great opportunity to experiment with creative ideas, concepts and companies who would not be able to commit to a long-term lease on the building. This also means that developers can get feedback from tenants and visitors far quicker that can be adapted for future projects
  3. The buildings can be used to market or promote a particular designer and/or developer who can then be hired for future projects based on the success of this temporary project
  4. These structures can be a great opportunity to collaborate with the local community and the local council, perhaps as part of the pre-planning negotiations
  5. Finally, developers and investors can get ‘in’ on a project from the very beginning enabling them to be at the heart of a project like the redevelopment of disused buildings or the complete regeneration of an area that attracts new buyers


If you’d like to find out more about temporary placemaking structures and how CBRE can help you, please contact a member of the our team today and we’ll be happy to help.