Tobacco Dock
Tobacco Dock is a grade I listed warehouse in Wapping, London Docklands. It was constructed in approximately 1811 and served as a store for imported tobacco. It is a brick building with many brick vaults and some fine ironwork. It was adjacent to the particular set of docks named London Docks, which have largely been filled in. In 1990 the building was converted into a shopping centre which had cost £47 million to develop and was intended to create the Covent Garden of the East End but the scheme was unsuccessful and it went into administration. The property is not in a major retail area and has only moderately good public transport access. Since the mid 1990s the building has been almost entirely unoccupied with the only tenant being a sandwich shop, and a plan to convert it into a factory outlet did not come to fruition. The whole building is occasionally used for large scale corporate events such as the Vodafone and ABN AMRO 2005 annual staff 'party'. In early 2004, part of the building was used as the studios of the Channel 4 reality television show Shattered . Several première after-parties for films have been held there. Scenes in Episode 6 of 2008 BBC One drama Ashes to Ashes were filmed at Tobacco Dock which was set in 1981 despite the centre only being developed for its failed use as a shopping centre in 1990. In 2003 English Heritage placed it on the Buildings At Risk register. In 2004 they arranged a meeting with the owners, a Kuwaiti investment company called Messila House to find a way forward. An English Heritage spokesman commented, "We see Tobacco Dock as a future priority because it is too large and important a site to be left standing empty. It is one of the most important buildings in London and if brought back into use it would reinvigorate the whole area." ( Regeneration magazine, 12 November 2004). In 2005 the owners announced that they were working on a mixed use scheme for Tobacco Dock which might incorporate a four-star hotel, shops and luxury apartments. The architects are Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum. It also hosted the 4th annual London Tattoo Convention 2008 from the 26th-28th of September. As of October 2010, the upper areas of the complex are still accessible to the general public whilst the majority of the lower areas are now cordoned off. The last remaining active business "Frank and Stein" has now closed. It is now what is known as a dead mall. During February 2011 between the 11th-27th, the complex was used to hold the Secret Cinema event for The Red Shoes