ECF confirms City Wharf takeover

English Cities Fund has acquired the City Wharf building in Salford, after the council took control of the site from McAleer & Rushe using a compulsory purchase order.

The 1970s office block on the bank of the River Irwell will be demolished to make way for the next phase of ECF's New Bailey scheme.

Compulsory purchase powers for ECF's Salford Central development were granted to Salford City Council by the Secretary of state Eric Pickles in March 2012, to allow the delivery of 850 homes, 2m sq ft of offices and ancillary leisure space in the 50-acre site.

McAleer & Rushe acquired the building in 2007 and had planned an office block and hotel on the site but had not begun construction.

City Wharf is immediately next to One New Bailey, the 125,000 sq ft office development which is currently on site and due for completion in May 2016. It is also in close proximity to the recently completed 143-bed Premier Inn and 615-space NCP car park at New Bailey, both of which are now open and trading.

ECF is now hosting a competition to secure an architect for this latest phase, which will provide further office space. The winner will be announced in March.

Whilst the design process is ongoing, the building will be demolished and the site fully resurfaced. This will house a temporary outdoor events space and portable marketing suite.

Phil Mayall, development director at ECF, said: "New Bailey is moving forward at a pace. The acquisition and subsequent demolition of City Wharf is a big part of the scheme and we are very pleased that this acquisition has taken place on time, so that we can continue to move forward with the build programme.

"The appointment of a renowned architect and supporting design team will facilitate the timely redevelopment of the site to provide high quality office space offering floorplates of around 25,000 sq ft to complement One New Bailey."

ECF is a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and the Homes & Communities Agency.

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