The future's bright for the Royal Docks
After years - decades even - of re-drawn plans and false dawns, east London's Royal Docks is finally in the midst of true regeneration.
While London City Airport dominates the east of the site and Excel lies north, bringing in professionals and consumers from around the world, many surrounding parts have struggled to keep pace.
Areas such as Albert Dock and Silvertown Quays have remained derelict nearly 50 years after the Docks ceased to be a viable trade.
But plans for an Asian businesses hub and state-of-the-art retail outlets are well on their way and spell a brighter future for the Royals, assisted by better transport links, including Crossrail and, possibly, a Silvertown tunnel.
The Chinese will lead the charge with a business park (seen below), which is set to be up and running in less than three years.
Tom Keady, development director at Advanced Business Parks, which is behind the £1billion Asian Business Port, said: "The group was keen to take their knowledge and experience into Europe.
"The Royals attracted them because of the opportunities close to the Olympic Park but it's the scale that can happen in this area that excited ABP most. They want it to happen tomorrow but have got to go through the proper processes.
"1.3million sq ft is in phase one with a planning application due in spring next year to the Greater London Authority and Newham Council. All going well, it's due to be completed in 2016."
In total the scheme will be between three and 4.5million sq ft. It's a drop in the ocean to the projects of up to 160million sq ft in China and ABP is confident its Royal Docks project will be a success.
Following that, on the south side of the docks, the Silvertown Partnership's £1.5billion scheme (below), led by developer Chelsfield, is gathering pace.
Hoping to open in 2017, it will bring thousands of jobs to the region and will see the launch of a much needed leisure area.
Elliott Lipton of the Silvertown Partnership said: "Our plans are ambitious and already under way. We see 1,500 new homes and up to 3million sq ft of new commercial space.
"Hopefully targeted at young people within east London, it should provide 9,000 new jobs. The residential aspect is critical but we also have restaurants and leisure activities and a concept called Brand Showcases. The Apples and Jaguars of this world, for example, are looking at new ways to reach out to customers.
"We're not seeing the death of shops but a change that will allow people to experience brands."
Brand pavilions have been used elsewhere in the world and work in a similar way to pioneer Royals resident Siemens at The Crystal which operates as a showcase for its latest thinking.
Regeneration has been spurred on by transport. Crossrail's arrival in 2018 fits perfectly with the Royals refreshment, as does the DLR, City Airport and the Emirates Air Line.
Facilities offered by Excel are also a big draw and it's already capitalising on Tech City. The exhibition centre's management estimates half of London tech workers will visit a conference there in 2014.
Mr Keady said: "ABP wants to be part of a world city here and this represents a gateway, not just into London and the UK, but into Europe as well."
Mr Lipton added: "We believe in a transformation of east London. There's a huge line up of businesses supporting this."
What's going where in the Royal Docks?
A floating hotel and restaurant is also on its way to the Royal Docks and is set to be in place by early 2014.
Sunborn, which previously had a yacht on the docks, is behind the project which will see 138 rooms onboard.
It will be located next to the Excel.