Sunday, September 23, 2007 start...

It's finally open then. Well, I say open, the actual St Stephen's shopping centre - sorry, mixed-use scheme's - open, but there's a distinct lack of, erm, shops. True, there's a few leading names up and running but there's also a lot of retail outlets still having the finishing touches added and quite a few units 'under offer' or still up for grabs. Which is all a bit anti-climatic. I can't say that retail excites me sufficiently to start frothing at the mouth just because we now have an H&M, Zara and Build-a-Bear to call our own. I don't care for a Gala Bingo taking up so much prominent floor space. I've been in enough large supermarkets to not even bat an eyelid at the sight of another Tesco.

Nice and bright and airy it may be but St Stephen's lacks anything close to the damp patch of sexual excitement-inducing WOW! factor. It has the distinct look of a building designed by an architect with a bezier curve obsession and a drink problem. Which, at £200m, is something of a shame. According to the HDM, and I'm sure they're right, 40,000 people turned up on opening day. With that kind of footfall, it would have been nice if there'd been more to be impressed by - as it is, the gun's been jumped by a couple of months. They should've opened in November. And this from one of Hull's biggest fans - I want everything here to be great, the best, better than everywhere else. As it is, st is all hype and talk and brand and not a lot of substance. Yet. Fingers crossed it will play a part in Hull's renaissance.

1 comment:

Stephen Newton said...

Thanks for linking to that HDM piece. I felt the centre manager's emotion.

'That was the really emotional part for me - all these people who haven't been to the city centre for a long time have started coming back.'

Brings a tear to the eye.

'About 12,000 people came through the doors between 11am and 1pm on Thursday. That didn't happen by accident'


Hull is coming home... they're coming home... they're coming... Hull is coming home!