Tishman Construction Portugal Street East

Aecom JV to build £150m Portugal Street towers

Charlie Schouten

Aecom’s construction arm Tishman has been signed up as construction partner on two major residential towers worth £150m, proposed as part of the Portugal Street East masterplan at the rear of Piccadilly Station.

The JV, made up of Aecom Capital and Olympian Homes, is backing the construction of the 16 and 20 storey towers on the site.

Designed by 5plus Architects, the scheme will include around 340 units across the towers, which are linked at ground floor level.

The ground floor will also include a tenant hub, gym, and commercial space.

Tishman Construction plans to start the first phase of the project, which has a GDV of £150m, once permission is granted.

A planning application is set to be lodged later this year.

The Portugal Street masterplan includes six residential developments in a 5.9 acre site, as well as commercial and leisure space, which will be delivered on a phased basis through to 2022.

It sits adjacent to the proposed new HS2 station entrance at Piccadilly, and is bounded by the Ashton Metrolink line to the west, with the intention to link the HS2 regeneration with areas such as Etihad Campus and Holt Town.

Aecom and Olympian are fully funding the first element of the scheme through a combination of existing balance-sheet equity and third party debt.

The two residential towers form a large part of the project’s first phase. The remaining plot in phase one has been set aside for a “smaller build-to-rent scheme”, according to the masterplanning documents by consultants Deloitte.

The neighbouring Aeroworks building will be retained as part of the first phase.

Aecom and Olympian are in line to deliver the further two phases of the masterplan, and are “enthusiastic and committed to working with the landowners” throughout the development, according to masterplan documents.

The JV partners have further balance sheet equity available to fund the further phases of the project, while commitments on third party debt have been made in principle, subject to agreeing “sensible terms” with landowners.

The second stage of the development could include two residential buildings, including retail, leisure and commercial space, with plans for this phase to run between 2018 and 2021.

The sites, which front Great Ancoats Street and the Metrolink line, fall under two separate land ownerships and currently house a two-storey industrial unit.

For phase three, which is expected to run between 2018 and 2022, the masterplan includes residential buildings with commercial units at the ground level.

The development area for this phase is owned by Manchester City Council, which has a car park on the land, and an industrial unit under third party ownership.

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They look just like the Urban Splash ex council towers on Oldham Road. Only worse.

By Elvis Cridlington

Dull as dish water.

By David

What utterly disappointing design. This area is primed for a transformation not a step back in time!


How depressing! This reminds me of the 1960s tower blocks we spent ages pulling down? Surely we have moved on architecturally? Come on Manchester City Council, this is a vibrant city – we can do better than this uninspiring project in such an up-and-coming area.

By Joyce

Horrendous, lazy architecture. Manchester has some wonderful modern and contemporary buildings, is this really the best we can do??

By Andy T

Apart from the stilts they do look like Oldham road.

By Elephant


By -

What a shame Manchester City council are investing in ugly boring buildings like these. Who’d want to live in a block this big?! Too big & out of character for the area. Very disappointing

By Suzie

Man you Mancs are miserable, anywhere else would be grateful for the investment. There’s nothing wrong with these towers, unless you just hate towers.

By Rob Owen

if they can make these two towers look nice I’d be happy to see them happen, perhaps they are a bit too big for that area but it’s the banal 70s council flats look that needs improving.

By John Rodgers

Just to clarify, the majority of these nimbys that have commented don’t represent all of us. We can’t expect Gherkin-esque quality from a few tower blocks. These are absolutely fine and contrary to what one of these numpties said, they fit the area well and help densify the it (It is the second biggest urban area in the country after-all, not a village in South Wales – *Looking at you Suzie*!!!)

By The Squirrel's Nuts

Why are people forming a judgement based on a pencil sketch? These look absolutely fine. The main problems are the lack of any accommodation for owner occupiers and as usual, no balconies. That’s where MCC planners should be directing their attention.

The other issue is the status of Bennett’s HS2 master plan. How does this fit in?

By Reason

This looks nothing like the initial image released of a glass front tower!!!! ???? You have panels & glass now and that kind of architecture is ruining the area!

By Danny kelly