HS2 buys key site in Manchester
Bruntwood has sold its Square One site off Travis Street to enable HS2 to build a new high-speed station near Piccadilly Station.
HS2 purchased the 4.5-acre site, which contains offices for Network Rail, for an undisclosed amount on behalf of the Department for Transport.
The proposed Manchester HS2 station would have six surface-level platforms as well as an underground four-platform Metrolink station.
Early works to support the construction of the station will not begin until 2025 at the earliest, according to HS2. In the meantime, the company has agreed leasehold terms with the existing tenants at Square One so they can stay in situ until it needs the site.
HS2 estimates the new station would open between 2035 and 2040.
Ruth Todd, chief commercial officer at HS2, referred to the purchase of Square One as a “major milestone” for the high-speed rail project.
“HS2’s purchase of Square One is a vote of confidence for investors locally and internationally to leverage the wider regeneration potential of the surrounding area, knowing that Manchester is set to become so brilliantly connected,” she said.
Bruntwood said it would use the proceeds of the sale to invest in regional development.
The new Manchester high-speed station is part of the HS2 phase 2b hybrid bill, which was introduced in January and has been met with criticism by Manchester City Council.
The council has argued that a surface-level, turnback station would be detrimental to the city’s future compared to an underground, through station.
Adding to the city’s arguments, architectural practice Weston Williamson + Partners publicised its designs for what an underground station could look like.