Ask, Argent and Muse make Mayfield longlist

A longlist of six developers have been chosen to potentially bring forward the £550m development of a 24-acre derelict site in Manchester, which will extend the city up towards Piccadilly Station.

The list is understood to be made up of Argent, Ask Real Estate with Patrizia, Goodman, Muse Developments, U+I Group, formerly known as Development Securities, and Urban & Civic.

Mayfield Partnership, made up of London & Continental Railways, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, opened the search for a development partner for the Mayfield Quarter in September 2015.

The Partnership will enter into a joint venture arrangement to take forward the comprehensive regeneration of the derelict Mayfield site which will reshape and extend the city towards Manchester Piccadilly, along the lines site out in the council’s Mayfield Strategic Regeneration Framework.

Bennetts Associates Architects advised on the framework.

Mayfield Quarter is set to create around 1,300 homes, 800,000 sq ft of offices, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a new six-acre city park along a remediated River Medlock.

The plan for the site fits alongside Network Rail’s Northern Hub scheme which is scheduled to complete in 2018, and the proposed HS2 station at Piccadilly.

In January 2015 London & Continental Railways was understood to be in talks with the Government Property Unit to pre-let 430,000 sq ft of offices in Mayfield.

The final development partner is due to be chosen in summer 2016.

JLL is advising the Mayfield Partnership on the procurement process.

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Good to see this regeneration proposal. That area has long been an attractant of anti-social behavior.

By Lilt

It’d be nice if the final scheme name pays homage to the right-light heritage of the area. Suggestions?

By syntax

Let’s hope Ask get nowhere near the final shortlist after the mess they made at First Steet North

By Observer

Looks like another scheme the city will give to Ian Simpson and we get more bland glass architecture. DULL.

Manchester has some great young architects, allowing new blood to design these areas of the city would assist the architects of the future and provide a fresh language to Manchester’s design heritage.

By A

I recall the co-op setting out to work with smalller practices at NOMA but the end result was just bog standard designs from the usual large commercial practices

By Observer

I hope this process is transparent. I prefer by reputation and engagement, Urban and Civic and Muse. Ask has made a mess of First Street and Argent have done invariably poor work in Manchester. Let’s hope the opportunity is not squandered and the process is ambitious, collaborative and involves citizens.

By A Prince

Does this mean the project is set for actual completion sometime in 2018?


Got to be Argent. They have no competing schemes in Manchester, and have gained a lot experience with the redevelopment around Kings Cross in London. Plus, they actually get on with delivering schemes.

By Adam

It all depends on who ManchesterCity Council choose to be appointed………

By Fox Mulder

Another delightful glass box horror.Imagination and Manchester go together like a Duck and an Ice rink.

By Elephant

What a ludicrous comment. Nothing has yet been proposed. No designs have been worked up. No developer has been appointed. No planning application has been submitted. And what’s wrong with glass anyway?

By Voice of reason

There are buildings on the picture, so not that ludicrous to comment on them. Awful… hope the final design shows a bit more aspiration, but not likely.

By syntax

In response to Voice of reason.What is the picture of then?Is this nothing like the actual proposals? If so,why show a picture of something which is not going to be built?

By Elephant

They are artists impressions to give an idea of the approximate size and mass of buildings proposed within the planning framework.

Such frameworks and preliminary artists’ impressions do not predict what type of cladding the eventual developer will use. What would be the point of that?

By Voice of reason

So every picture in here is an artist’s impression? Whatever we get,it will be the usual parochial rubbish with no ambition.That whole area around there is ripe for razing to the ground and starting from scratch.It is an embarrassment to Manchester. Dirty,dingy and sadly the first impression people get when they arrive at Piccadilly.London road is a mess.Those awful beige offices along it thrown up in the last ten years enhance it’s total ugliness.That whole area needs a total rethink.Let some bright young contemporary architect with imagination have the contract and for once Manchester,be bold.

By Elephant

“So every picture in here is an artist’s impression?”

No. Most images are based on actual proposals whereas there isn’t even a developer appointed here yet. An utterly pointless rant.

By Voice of reason

The image is an indicative CGI, created by Bennetts as part of its work on the Mayfield Strategic Regeneration Framework for Manchester City Council. You can see more images by Bennetts of what the development ‘could’ look like, if developed in line with the approved SRF, here:

By Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Elephant does not ‘ rant’ but makes consistent heartfelt salient points of common sense, which articulate a great deal of frustration that is experienced every day by a great deal of the population ( throughout the UK) at the charmless, witless meaningless pieces of development foisted on our towns and cities the length and breadth of the land. There is so much talent in the country and so little of it used; it is subsumed in to the bland anodyne rubbish of risk averse speculators and property ‘ developers’, whose ONLY motivation is to make money. Myself I would take some issue with Elephants’ statement, in that I feel there are good Palimpsests of cultural identity and architecture worth keeping in this area – so therefore I would not advocate razing the entire area, but to use these points as anchors to develop and re connect. A transplant, not an amputation, but otherwise I think the issues raised by the old pachyderm ore perfectly relevant – The principal gateway to Manchester since the scandalous closure of Central Station in the 60’s is a seedy mish mash. This ‘ scheme’ even in outline is merely the sum of another set of parts that speaks only to itself and the tick box pre application guideline..that’s GUIDE lines, (not tablets of stone) of a Local Planning Framework, rather than any established or integrated attempt to contribute and weave in with the wider urban fabric in to a recognisable quality landscape.

By Cassandra

I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that the standard model of financing and delivering commercial development does not always deliver great architecture.

By Voice of reason

Cassandra is right about there being some buildings of note,but in general that area is not very inspiring. The Star and Garter is worth saving and I hope that there is a way that Gateway house can be adapted,as I like the shape.I hate that silly bridge that weaves between those dreary offices.That is another missed opportunity for something special.Do we have a decent bridge in Manchester? The Hulme Arch is almost impressive, but lacks the killer punch.Very tall skyscrapers could save Mayfield and that is the way forward.Make it interesting from a distance.This is beginning to happen near the Cathedral now,as high buildings are creating a cluster,giving it a Chicagoan grittiness.

By Elephant

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