Application in for £37m New Cross apartments

A joint venture between Capital & Centric and Kamani Property Group has lodged plans to redevelop a derelict site on Manchester’s Swan Street into a nine-storey block with 120 apartments.

The £37m scheme has been designed by architect HawkinsBrown and would sit opposite the Mackie Mayor food hall in the city’s New Cross district. The block would contain a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom flats together with ground floor workspaces and a café-bar or deli.

There would also be communal and private roof terraces, intended to maximise outdoor space. The front exterior of the building would feature a 270-metre art canvas – one of the largest in the city – showcasing the work of local and international artists.

The joint venture submitted the planning application to Manchester City Council following a public consultation that concluded on 7 January.

Manchester-based developer Capital & Centric, and local landowner and investor Kamani Property, teamed up to acquire the site from Swan Street Developments at the beginning of last year.

The plot is currently occupied by a former MOT garage and a storage facility, both of which would be knocked down if the scheme wins consent. During the first lockdown, Capital & Centric opened a temporary Covid supplies depot at the site, from where £500,000 of supplies were donated to local charities.

Once restrictions are eased, the site is to house Ramona, a pop-up pizzeria and bakery, margarita bar, beer garden, coffee counter and stage operated by the team behind Manchester venues Trof, Gorilla and the Albert Hall.

Avison Young is the planning consultant for the Swan Street scheme.

Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “New Cross used to be a thriving location in the 18th and 19th centuries and is due to have its day again. The area is already attracting indie businesses and the same is going to happen with residents wanting to be part of the growing neighbourhood.

“As you’d probably expect from us, we’ve gone for a bold design with a huge art canvas on the building. We want people to stop and look and for it to become a talking point. Architecture should be interesting and draw people in – we’re not interested in building a bland boring building!”

Adam Kamani, chief executive of Kamani Property, added: “Manchester runs through our veins and we’re proud to be part of the New Cross district’s resurgence.

“The city centre has been through a tough and unprecedented year but we’re looking forward to the comeback and recovery and our business is keen to play our part in helping Manchester to thrive again.

“The submission of our plans with Capital & Centric to breathe new life into an under-loved part of the city with boundless potential is a great way to kick off 2021.”

The New Cross development zone is bound by Swan Street, Oldham Road, Rochdale Road, and Livesey Street. Manchester City Council in 2015 approved a Neighbourhood Development Framework to guide development in the area.

Tom Dobson, associate director at HawkinsBrown, said: “Swan Street is a fantastic opportunity to provide a new landmark destination with a layered architectural response, designed to offer a mixed-use scheme of high-quality homes activated at ground level by commercial premises and enhanced public realm.”

The project team expects a decision on the planning application in the spring.

Your Comments

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It’ll be great to see some more greenery in the city centre. Also looking forward to seeing what art will pop up on the mural wall…

By Seamus

Thumbs up from an architectural perspective, it’ll be cool but these won’t be cheap homes for a minimum wage worker, not with all those roof terraces and living green walls. I’d buy one if I could afford it but I’ve not got a chance. That said that artwork wall is inspired!

By Dave Austin

What a location!! Literally right in the heart of the Northern Quarter! Design concept looks fantastic and very fitting for the area. Another epic project by C&C….keep them coming

By Sarah

This will be a massive improvement to the visual amenity on the ring road. The art canvas is a really cool idea too!

By Geoffrey Wilson-Smith

Going to be some area, New Cross. Love how it mentions ‘indie’ businesses, lots around here already and hopefully more to come. I just pray the council get the pavements and public realm on point like in Ancoats and not like the Northern Quarter.

By Bob

looks great – love the green / grid! agreed on the location being really good – New Cross might end up being the new best place to live in the centre..

By manc

Nice proposal. Not sure if the green cladding will look dated after a few years though. I hope the residents look after that greenery well too

By Steve

Looks pretty good this!

By Observer

I am all for greening up the city. Planting onto facades and on rooftops is very fashionable and on-trend at the moment given the wider climate emergency. It will be interesting to see how this scheme and others that use this approach will actually translate from CGI to reality and how that reality holds up over time after a few yearly cycles of weather and lack of maintenance. Would it be more beneficial to put the money into making the building net zero carbon rather that potentially superficial planting?

By Anonymous

Cynical as I am I assume the ‘huge art canvas’ is a temporary measure that will eventually be obscured by another building?

By UnaPlanner

Whether green walls are the answer or not, planting is not superficial. There is more to sustainability than just M&E Engineering.

By Anonymous

Take the green planting away and this is very basic architecture. The art wall is clearly a way to add another building in due course, just be honest about it. At the pace C&C deliver, I probably won’t be around to see it anyway….

By archicad

echoing other comments, this looks interesting but maintaining green architecture doesn’t come cheap. I hope they pull it off.

By Nve

I understand we will see the full social housing policy requirement being delivered here. Fair play to C&C & Kamani, this will be a real change to what developers have tried to do by arguing viability as they have done on all their previous schemes. Good to see them progressing into the social impact developer.

By Well done

is that planting going to happen? I hope so, it looks fab, I love their Ducie Street Warehouse and Kampus projects, I walk past them on the way to work – will be nice to have other one to admire on the way into the office

By Rob Taylor

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