More than three years after Thierry Henry netted a hat-trick against WIgan on the stadium's last day, Highbury's conversion into flats is nearly complete. It officially reopens tomorrow, but the flats have yet to be completely sold. Started in the latter days of the economic boom, Arsenal managed to flog more than 500 flats at Highbury Square off spec in the first two years of construction, but there are still 80 unsold, and the club admit they're struggling to shift them.
Adding to the Square's woes, the development could also suffer from the frequent problems that modern developments create when they try to incorporate affordable housing as an afterthought rather than a priority. The gardens that cover the former pitch will be segregated between the haves and have-nots, with some claiming that kids from the lower-priced flats will be banned from the main grounds. "A social disaster waiting to happen", was the view of Green Party councillor Katie Dawson.
Arsenal have, however, managed to re-negotiate the loan deal they took out to fund the scheme, and relieve the pressure that has snipped at them since the move to the Emirates and hampered Arsene Wenger's transfer window movements.
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