Ask Salboy JV prep for start at £300m Viadux

Domis has started early-stage works at Viadux, the £300m residential and office scheme being brought forward in a joint venture with Ask Real Estate.

Salboy and Ask announced the JV in January, and confirmed Salboy’s construction arm Domis would be building the project.

The site is located on the former Bauer Millet unit off Albion Street, a grade two-listed arch which sits to the rear of the Manchester Central Convention Centre, itself a former train station.

The plot is owned by Ask, which gained planning permission for a 40-storey residential tower and 14-storey office building in July 2017.

A series of documents were submitted by Domis to Manchester City Council on Friday, discharging planning conditions and allowing for a partial start on site.

While construction was due to begin in May, the council allowed the contractor to go on site and begin some drainage works, in order to activate the planning consent which was due to expire in June this year.

The start of minor works was also brought forward due to the site’s proximity to Manchester Central Convention Centre, which under plans announced this weekend is to be converted into a temporary 1,000-patient coronavirus hospital. The facility, known as NHS Nightingale, is due to be operation by mid-April.

The scheme is to be built in phases, with the residential block coming forward first. The project will total 375 apartments.

As part of the documents put to Manchester City Council by Domis, an archaeological report has been submitted by Salford University, to partially discharge a planning condition which stated an archaeological investigation, including trial trenching, needed to take place before a start on site.

Based on a May start date, the scheme was due to complete in February 2024. The long construction programme is due to the complicated nature of the design; the contractor will need to punch through the listed arches to create a podium structure, then build 37 storeys above, as well as working around the Metrolink tram line.

Given the evolving nature of the Covid-19 outbreak, the new start date for main construction works is yet to be confirmed.

Viadux was designed by SimpsonHaugh.

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