Union External

Work has completed on Vita's Union in Manchester. Credit: via Vita Group.

GALLERY | Manchester’s largest co-living tower Union opens doors

Urban regeneration specialist Vita Group has finished the first phase of the co-living, rent-by-the-room development, which totals 870 bedrooms.

The work has been undertaken by Renaker, and a further 806 bedrooms will be available in phase two, in 2025. The largest co-living development currently in operation consists of 705 beds.

Union, which is adjacent to Aviva Studio’s Factory International, and can be seen from across the city thanks to its U+NION branding on top of the tallest tower at St John’s, was designed by Denton Corker Marshall.

The £191m required for the building of Union has been provided via a development loan from Cain International and PGIM Real Estate, which was agreed in December 2021.

  • Scroll down to see photographs from inside Union

A host of apartment types will be available from studios to four-bedroom apartments, which the developer confirms feature an ensuite bathroom, double bed, desk, and storage whilst larger apartments have their own kitchen, dining, and seated area. No one will have to share a bathroom.

The rent-by-the-room proposition includes tenants taking a long 12-month rental agreement with someone who has the same budget, taste in accommodation, and location preference.

Union says the development has a low barrier to entry and plenty of flexibility with the rent-by-the-room tenancy also including bills. There is no splitting utilities at the end of the month.

Renters could come as individuals, pairs, threes or fours, and take the relevant apartment size, or can choose to move into an apartment with others.

According to the developer, should a housemate move out, the rest of the party will not feel any impact to their rent and bills when they go, as Union will help fill the room for them should they wish.

Tenancies start from one month in studios and six months in shared apartments, and can be any length.

Russell Hayes, Vita Group’s director of residential said: “For too long, the rental industry has been crying out for innovation, new products which address the needs of today’s more transient twenty-something renters starting out in a city.

“That’s what Union is all about, creating not just functional, but aspirational places for people who’re starting out in a city to live.

“For these people, we play the pivotal role of the perfect host, helping residents to forge new friendships, enabling them to come and go with ease and aligning our needs with theirs.”

Hayes added: “We know there’s huge demand, and whilst there’s marketplaces servicing individuals, there isn’t a product designed which has been designed for them.

“It’s why we’ve created this unique rent-by-the-room model with technology which helps residents to form new social connections and find new housemates, removing many of the common stumbling points people face in their early days renting. Stumbling points which we’ve developed a really good understanding of, operating over 3,000 apartments across Manchester alone.”

Union has invested significantly in designing its SmartMatch technology, which uses algorithms to match customers based on preferences around lifestyle and living habits.

Later in the year, Union will also launch a resident’s social app, helping residents to connect with residents from across the building with shared interests. The technology has been developed by Vita Group’s in-house tech team, headed up by chief technology officer Jonathan Tizard, former head of technology at The Ladbible Group and Missguided.

Other co-living projects in the pipeline for the region include plans for a 41-storey skyscraper in Salford from Progressive Living, and Downing’s mega co-living complex at First Street in Manchester.

Click any image to launch gallery. All images via Vita Group

Your Comments

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rooms from £935 does not seem like a ‘low barrier to entry’ to me, another rip off scheme trying to sell flexibility and ‘affordability’ to undermine private living spaces

By Anonymous

Interesting… I could rent a studio in town for about £100 less than a room here. Wonder if this will crash and burn or push the general rate of a studio up?

By Anonymous

Realistically, it is quite a bit cheaper than renting a studio, because it is inclusive of bills, which I guess must be at least another £300 a month. Sure, it is more expensive than room in a shared house / lodging, but it offers more as well in terms of facilities (gym, workspace) location as well.

By Local Interest

Pretty good idea for young professionals who may still want a semi-student lifestyle.

By Phd Pete

I don’t see a massive issue with this if the process works and brings prices down elsewhere. Does it though? Let’s find out.

By Anonymous

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