Marty Edelman, Manchester Life, c PNW

Marty Edelman spoke at MIPIM about his relationship with the city council: 'If you have an idea, you have a partner.' Credit: PNW

MIPIM | Manchester Life ponders shift away from resi

MIPIM coverage sponsored by TogetherThe completion of Manchester Life’s residential-led plans for Ancoats may be in their final phase, but the partnership between Acre Real Estate and Manchester City Council is far from finished, according to Marty Edelman.

Edelman is the executive chairman of Manchester Life and a member of the executive committee for City Football Group. His two roles are linked – Acre is owned by Manchester City Football Club majority stakeholder Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Since its formation in 2014, Manchester Life has been one of the dominant investors and residential developers in Ancoats and New Islington, delivering 1,500 homes and more than 30,000 sq ft of commercial space. Another 400+ homes are on the way, as well as a mobility hub and public realm.

The initiative is a commercial one, but one that is “motivated partially by social impact,” according to Edelman.

“Our owner defines success as winning trophies and being a successful member of the community,” he said, during a MIPIM panel session on Tuesday.

Edelman went on to add that Acre was not walking away from its relationship with the city council anytime soon – with plans to continue to support the local authority in the large-scale Holt Town regeneration programme.

“Man Life, we hope, will continue for a long time,” he told the crowd gathered.

However, what Manchester Life looks like and focusses on in the future may not necessarily be the residential projects that have defined its existence thus far. Edelman spoke to Place North West after his panel session to elaborate more on his vision for Manchester Life’s future.

“When we finish the project that we’re working on in the Poland Street Area of Ancoats, we will have reached, sort-of, our first plateau,” Edelman said.

“The second plateau may involve some housing, but really we’re more focused on thinking about job creation – and when you think about job creation, we think about skills,” he continued.

“What we need to do is create educational places where young people can learn those skills that are relevant to a world in which AI is perhaps the future and the computer, in a way, is the past. I want to focus Man Life to see if we can create those spaces, which will provide opportunity for educating young people so they have a pathway to jobs.”

Regardless of what Manchester Life gets up to in the years to come, Edelman made it clear to those in Cannes that he values the relationship he has with the city council.

He spoke during his panel session about how he has never had problems working with the city council – on the contrary, he said the term “collaborative” described the relationship best.

“They have an ambitious economic agenda, an ambitious social agenda, and they recognise that [the agendas] can only be done with private development,” Edelman said.

He added later: “The great thing about Manchester is if you have an idea, you have a partner.”

Place North West MIPIM 2024 coverage is sponsored by Together. Visit Place North’s MIPIM hub to find the latest news from Cannes.

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I suppose the reason he’s never had problems working with the council and getting those things approved is because Roney and Craig are directors of Manchester Life. Hardly “collaborative”.

By Anonymous

I’m not surprised Acre are delighted with their partnership with the council. They receive subsidised land but get away with delivering fairly cheap looking builds, they must make nice margins.

But the mess they created around Old Mill Street – that cacophony of cheap cladding panels and a high street virtually devoid of commercial units suggests that a social purpose is not top of their agenda. When you consider the incredible opportunity that that site offered, a blank canvas with huge prior investment in infrastructure, what we’ve ended up with is a bitter disappointment and a real wasted opportunity.

One hopes lessons have been learnt for the next phase of the partnership.

By Anonymous

There is no verifiable evidence that they have received “subsidised land”. The Council has a legal obligation to secure best value for their land. So put up or ……..

By Anonymous

They made the jump into the area as pioneers when the market had been stalled for a long time, and others rode in on their coat tails. Does feel that in a more competitive space they have lost momentum the last 5 years.

Delivering commercial space is today’s headache, I will be interested to see whether they can stimulate that market in Manchester

By Bob Monkhouse

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