Each month we find out a little more about the area through the people who live, work and play here. This month we caught up with Christian Kaberg, Operations Director at St Pancras Hotel Group.
1. When did you start working in the area?
I started working in this area in March 2016.
2. How has it changed since then?
It has become more vibrant. With all the new developments, especially those around Granary Square, I think King’s Cross is becoming very cool. Basically, we are taking the coolness away from Shoreditch and Holborn and that’s really great!
3. What’s your favourite place in the area?
Hmmm…Megaro Hotel and Karpo Grill obviously [he laughs]. But I also like the feeling around Granary Square with its Canopy Markets… they are a great contribution to the area.
4. What do you love about our neighbourhood
Ooooh..normally I would say no comment [he laughs]. No, I think it’s great because it is so
diverse. It’s a vibrant hub and one of the busiest places in London but it’s got pockets of really cool, relaxing spaces. Such a busy area means a lot of great things, but also some challenges, and I think it is good to see how business are working together to grow the area and make it a fantastic destination.
5. What’s your favourite story about the area?
I have far too many! But the greatest story about King’s Cross for me, surrounds its survival and spirit. After the fire at King’s Cross and the atrocities not far from here, it was humbling to see how people just worked together and dealt with what life was throwing at them. Working together and community spirit is at the heart of what makes a place great.
6. What’s the best community initiative you have seen in the local area?
There are a couple of them but I think the Wellbeing Walk is really good. Taking pedestrians away from the (toxic) main roads and providing a more scenic route is an initiative I very much welcome and hopefully, with the support of the Mayor, this can be replicated across London. Also, the work being done to remove the two blocks from King’s Cross station’s south side entrance. By opening up the south side of Euston Road will be a catalyst for more great things to follow.
7. What challenges will the area face in the future?
I think the social displacement has been a huge challenge. Having three main stations here, including an international one, brings great positives but I think one of the challenges is to make sure the experience remains positive for visitors, residence and workers alike. There is also the consistent terrorist threat which is a concern as we have millions and millions passing through those stations and we need to make sure that the police actively engage with the local business community so we can have an ongoing open dialogue where we can benefit from each other’s activities.
8. If our neighbourhood had a theme song, what would it be and why?
I think if I had to choose one it would be by the great Tom Petty – Learning to Fly. We are always on the go here, either we travel or come up with new “impossible” challenges. And our people fly in and out, on the trains, without wings.