Consultation for Thomas Street proposal

Agecroft Investment Company has revealed images of its plans for a hotel and restaurant at 52-58 Thomas Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, ahead of a public consultation.

Members of the public have been invited to view the plans tomorrow, 7 February, between 4pm and 7pm at the Richard Goodall Gallery, opposite the site.

Agecroft said that the proposals can add to its “collection of characterful buildings in this much-loved area of the city and will provide more space for Northern Quarter businesses to grow”.

The scheme has been designed by Manchester-based GA Studio, and looks to restore the Victorian-era frontage and roofscape on the corner of Thomas Street and John Street – this corner of the site was formerly occupied at ground level by curry café Al Faisal, which moved across the road in October 2018.

Added around this will be a series of internally linked new buildings of between four and five storeys, which will complete the block contained by Thomas Street, Kelvin Street, John Street and Back Turner Street.

In autumn last year, Manchester City Council’s building control officers took the decision that demolition should go ahead at the site, which it described as in imminent danger of collapse – a situation echoing that at the nearby Salboy Shudehill site.

Agecroft said it is in “firm discussions” with two occupiers to operate the restaurant, bar and hotel, which will include 26 rooms and a rooftop terrace.

Ian Braithwaite, estates manager at Agecroft Investment Company, said: “Agecroft has been a longstanding custodian of property in the Northern Quarter and has a proud history of continuously updating, refurbishing and improving the buildings along Edge Street and Thomas Street. This has helped us to attract and retain some of the Northern Quarter’s most popular businesses.

“We have been working on our plans to breathe new life into this site on Thomas Street for some time. It’s not been an easy project, considering the scale of refurbishment needed and the unforeseen issues at the end of last year which resulted in the emergency demolition of some of the buildings on the site.

“We are therefore very pleased to have reached this next milestone and are looking forward to discussing our plans during the upcoming consultation. We have already taken on board feedback from local groups and conservation specialists, and believe this is the best solution to bring this site back to life.”

Martin James Gibson, managing director of GA Studio, added: “As a Northern Quarter architectural practice, we’re delighted to be working on a project which is quite literally on our doorstep.

“Our design has taken inspiration from the historic layout of the site, which comprised of a series of ad-hoc buildings developed over time. Our proposal importantly retains the original building at the corner of Thomas Street and John Street, whilst creating a series of distinguishable contemporary buildings over the rest of the site, which we are confident blends the best of the old with something new and relevant, but which is still distinctively of the Northern Quarter.”

Thomas Street 2

The site as it stood following Al Faisal’s closure. Image from Google

Your Comments

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Why knock the end one down?!

By Loganberry

About time something was done with the northern quarter, it’s such a dump so close to the city centre. Thomas Street and the north side of Oldham Street are the grimmest areas of any major city in the UK.

By Dylan

I was dubious about what was going to come forward on this site but this actually seems in keeping and quite nicely designed. I hope it goes ahead.

By Bradford

I’d like to see the massive car park next door demolished.

By Jonny

I recently visited the Northern Quarter for the first time for a meal before a concert at the Arena. Our meal was nice and reasonably priced but I was much less impressed by the surrounding area. It was quite seedy and I was approached by street beggars three times in 10 minutes and asked for money in an aggressive way. I would not visit this area again I’m afraid.

By Visitor

The car park should be demolished and replaced with a vibrant market place and event space.

By Steve

I like it, very in keeping and suits the area.

By Thumbs Up

Good scheme. Let’s debate the wider issues confronting NQ elsewhere!

By Gene Walker

A crying shame they couldnt have converted the historic weavers cottages (that were very quickly demolished). Just like they did with The Abel Heywood.

By Saddleworth Ranger

Why do these consultations never have a website to provide comments?!

By Charlotte

Can’t believe they plan on keeping the old building on the corner, no expense spared hey? Small time Manchester again

By Come on

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