Allied London exchanges on London Road Fire Station
The developer has confirmed that it is buying London Road Fire Station next to Piccadilly station from Britannia Hotels, and will rebrand it Manchester Firehouse.
The grade two-listed building was put on the market in April with a price tag of around £10m.
Allied London has retained Levitt Bernstein to draw up mixed-use plans for the building to include studio living, workspace and hotel rooms.
London Road Fire Station has been the subject of controversy in Manchester for a number of years due to the property falling into a state of disrepair.
Alex Langsam’s company Britannia has owned the London Road Fire Station for 27 years. Britannia was granted planning permission to convert the fire station into a 227-bed hotel in 2010. Manchester City Council has twice proposed the use of compulsory purchase powers to acquire the site after Britannia failed to bring a development forward; in 2011, which resulted in a public inquiry, and at the end of 2014. The station was then put on the market before the council could progress CPO plans further.
Manchester City Council is currently working in a joint venture with Allied London to bring forward the development of the 13-acre former ITV Granada site, as a £1.3bn mixed-use neighbourhood known as St John’s.
However, a statement from the council confirmed that no council resources are being used towards the acquisition of London Road Fire Station.
Michael Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said: “We have been grateful for the huge amount of public and media support that we have received throughout the sale process and are buoyed by the scale of interest already being shown in the property, which we are calling Manchester Firehouse. It is very rare that we would wish to go beyond our focus of Spinningfields and St. John’s, but I believe this building presents a unique opportunity to create something truly iconic, particularly at a time when there is so much focus on Manchester as it enhances its international credentials.”
Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The acquisition of London Road Fire Station is very welcome news. It’s a magnificent landmark building which had become a blight on the regeneration of the Piccadilly area during its long years of disuse.
“The Council has consistently championed efforts to bring this important building back to life, and we look forward to working with Allied London, who has a strong track record of successful delivery in Manchester, to help bring forward early development proposals.”
A spokesperson for Britannia Hotels said: “Following an open and transparent sales process, we are delighted that Allied London has purchased the London Road Fire Station and we wish them all the best with their exciting development.”
The station was marketed by Christie & Co on behalf of Britannia.