GALLERY | Excelsior Works nears practical completion

The first occupiers at Mulbury’s 108-apartment block on the site of the former Excelsior Mill, demolished in 2015, will be moving in at the end of this month with 50% of units sold to date.

At the same time, the developer is aiming to complete a 143-apartment scheme on Blossom Street in Ancoats itself in the coming months, after the project’s former contractor Bardsley went out of business last year.

Around 50% of the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Excelsior Works have been pre-sold by agent Reside. The units range in price from £200,000 to £460,000.

The eight-storey building, which topped out in June 2019 and will be managed by Manchester-based Urban Bubble, was designed by Tim Groom Architects and features access onto Hulme Hall Street directly from the Bridgewater Canal, something that Groom believes sets it apart from other residential schemes in Castlefield.

“We wanted it to interact with the canal, other schemes turn their back with car parking at tow path level but this gives direct access,” he told Place North West. 

The canal towpath is owned by Peel L&P, which is expected to carry out improvement works in the coming months.

GMI Construction has been on site since April 2018 and the project, according to Mulbury, has completed four weeks behind schedule.

The demolition of the former mill, which printed and bound books, came after the council deemed the property unsafe following a partial collapse.

Excelsior Mill Hulme

The initial plans involved grey brick cladding

Mulbury bought the site in 2016 before submitting a planning application the following year.

Nick Legget, senior development manager at Mulbury, admitted the project had been a challenge. “Logistically, it has been a struggle,” he said. “We spent £100,000 alone on movement monitoring a grade two-listed wall – we had to test the movement three times a day.

“We have done PRS [private rented sector] in Ancoats but this is a different location that required a different product. We wanted to create a very sophisticated place for owner-occupiers but with usable communal areas like the lounge-workspace and coffee areas that look onto the canal.

“We are really pleased with it, I don’t think there is anything else with this level of finish and space in the city.”

Deloitte acted as planner and Ramboll was structural engineer on Excelsior Works. UTH Studio is undertaking the interior fit-out.

The Mulbury and Groom partnership unveiled plans for three schemes totalling 370 apartments in New Cross this week,while the developer hopes to finish work on the stalled Blossom Street development, also designed by Tim Groom Architects, which is four months away from completion, according to Legget.

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