First Street Downing p.planning docs

SimpsonHaugh designed the First Street project for Downing. Credit: planning documents

Downing secures £227m loan for Manchester cluster 

A newly-formed partnership between Precede Capital and QuadReal Property Group, supported by Japanese bank Nomura, will fund the construction of a co-living development at First Street.  

The £227m, four-year facility will pay for the first phase of Downing’s Manchester scheme, which comprises 1,780 co-living units across three blocks, including a 45-storey tower. 

In total, the scheme features 2,200 units across four buildings. Funding for the last remaining block is yet to be secured.

The developer won planning approval for the £400m project, designed by SimpsonHaugh, in September 2020. 

Completion of phase one is scheduled for August 2024, with phase two scheduled for delivery in March 2025. 

“Our First Street development will complete the long-awaited transformation of a key site at the southern gateway to one of Europe’s most exciting and progressive cities,” said George Downing, founder of the Downing group of companies. 

“First Street is part of a wider story of investment and confidence in Manchester, a future-proofed 15-minute city, where we will offer brilliant options to live, work and play on your doorstep.” 

This funding deal is the first originated and arranged by Precede Capital since it announced its partnership with QuadReal and concurrent rebrand from Précis Capital Partners earlier this month.

The partnership saw QuadReal acquire a shareholding in the firm and commit up to £1bn to deploy into its development loans. 

David Jerrard, chief credit officer at Precede Capital, said: “We are delighted to have closed this financing for a high-quality asset and to have provided the Downing Living team with the certainty and backing required to deliver an important project that will help meet the sustained demand for co-living schemes in this market.  

“We are also particularly pleased to have closed our inaugural deal in the North of England, an important milestone which is testament to our team’s extensive industry relationships and our ability to identify and transact on high-calibre opportunities across the UK.”  

Precede Capital was advised by Taylor Wessing and Eversheds.  

Arcadis provided construction due diligence for the lenders, CBRE acted on the Valuation and Longevity Partners on ESG due diligence. Downing Living was advised by Hill Dickinson (banking legal), DLA (property legal) and Brabners (construction legal).  

Nomura was advised by Linklaters. 

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‘’The 15 minute city’ lifted straight from the dreaded WEF in Davos. Always a worry. Don’t mind the development though, there are enough towers around there already for a few more to make much difference.

By Anonymous

If companies can get loans from banks for these towers, why is Andy Burnham giving Renaker money?

By Anthony

Do we really need a 45story tower in Manchester

By Anonymous

Interesting observation by Anthony. I guess it’s de-risking supply with a developer who has demonstrated they can deliver at scale, but wonder what the opportunity cost is. Quite looking forward to the view as you come up Princess Parkway alongside the Great Jackson Steet stuff, there’s almost nothing like it in the UK outside London.

By Rich X

If they want to build 15 minute cities then they need to encourage more people to work at home, NOT build new offices, such hypocricy

By Phi

🙁 not a fan of these

By Balcony warrior


No, what’s needed here is comprise. Thankfully, we have hybrid working. There’s some things which can’t be so easily done in the home eg spontaneous meets and idea delivery, human interaction and contact, some projects. It depends on context. I love working hybrid. We are sentient bipeds, which crave human interaction, not robots.

But 15 minute cities – and towns – are coming. I don’t see what it has to do with Davos, a world that looks like yesterdays, and thank goodness!


Burnham isn’t ‘giving’ money, it’s a loan, to be returned with interest. The council are investing, and in return on their investment will be interest, supported local jobs, and further developments which once completed shall bring in further revenue in the form of council tax. No brainer, especially with the likes of Renaker who consistently deliver.

By Dear Anthony

Has anyone actually seen a single realistic CGI of these? Or is it to make us relieved when they’re eventually built and don’t look as bad?

I don’t mind some of the other towers at all but the logic and process of these getting approved at such a scale seems much more reckless than normal.

By Anonymous

First St has really developed as an area. Doesn’t seem that long ago it was just a Gasometer. But it probably is.

By Anonymous

I suspect it will be every bit as good as ( or as bad as if you listen to some of the nonsense on here) the renekar towers

By Believer

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