First Street expansion outlined
Manchester City Council has set out its latest extension to the First Street development framework, proposing a tower at Little Peter Street and a range of other developments at One City Road and the Premier Inn site at Medlock Road.
In a report this week to the council’s executive committee, which is due to meet next Thursday, its strategic director of growth and development Eddie Smith recommends that councillors approve an update to the First Street framework, following previous updates in 2015 and 2018.
In particular, the report proposes that the Little Peter Street site will deliver a landmark commercial development “in the same vein as other office accommodation at First Street”, such as Renaker’s Deansgate Square towers that range in height from 30 to 60 storeys, with large floorplates.
“A tower, potentially for residential or hotel use, could also be included in the site, continuing a step change in height to the Deansgate Square towers,” the report said. “Importantly, the site will create new pedestrian routes and public spaces and act as a connecting point between First Street and Great Jackson Street, and increase access to the River Medlock.”
Proposals for the other sites include a mix of commercial, residential and mixed-use development that would be built in addition to current pipeline schemes at First Street. For example, Developer Downing put in plans this month for a 2,224-bedroom co-living scheme on the edge of First Street, with blocks stepped in height down towards Mancunian Way. Another scheme planned for the First Street area is Ask Real Estate’s 400,000 sq ft office building, for which it submitted a planning application last week.
The proposed 2020 update aims to “ensure that the distinguishing characteristics of First Street North, South and Central are retained and the success to date built upon,” the report states.
Little Peter Street is the first of the three sites included in the expansion plans. The site is owned by the council and is operated by NCP as a surface car park.
One City Road is also plotted for a commercially led development comprising two buildings. The taller block would sit at the north of the site to respect adjacent buildings. The site is currently occupied by a four-storey office block with a private surface car park.
Meanwhile, the site of the current five-storey Premier Inn on Medlock Street, a key gateway plot into the city centre, the report says, is planned to become a commercially led, mixed-use development with alternative uses, such as for a residential scheme.
“The site could accommodate taller buildings either for residential or hotel use, reflecting its prominent location near the Mancunian Way and at the entrance point to the city centre. Any taller buildings on the site should be located to the south of the site and orientated to minimise overshadowing of nearby existing residential properties,” the report said.
The design principles set out in the original First Street framework include: active street frontages, the creation of a mixed-use neighbourhood, improving the public realm, exploiting existing amenity space, improving transport connections and producing high-quality buildings, and these principles should be retained in the expansion.
If the executive approves the update, the proposals would be published for public consultation before further consideration by the council.