The developer has unveiled Northlight, a 23-storey office concept on the corner of Manchester’s Quay Street and Water Street, a site it had previously earmarked for The Tower, a 54-storey residential scheme.
Speaking to Place North West, Allied London chief executive Mike Ingall said the proposed 215,000 sq ft office tower would be aimed at technology and media-enabled companies and that the developer was “gauging occupier demand coming out of Covid”.
A planning application for Northlight, which would also feature 25,000 sq ft of restaurant space on the top three floors, will likely not be submitted until spring 2022 when the post-pandemic outlook is clearer, Ingall added.
Allied London proposes 16,500 sq ft of media studios in the basement and at mezzanine level, and aims to complete the scheme in 2025 subject to planning approval, the chief executive said.
The scheme sits within Allied London’s Enterprise City masterplan south of Deansgate and Spinningfields in Manchester city centre.
The proposed development has been significantly scaled back in height since plans for The Tower – which mooted 287 apartments and a 110-bedroom hotel – were approved in 2016.
However, a shift away from residential use for the building has been in the pipeline since 2019, when Allied London said it was looking to rework its plans to include 350,000 sq ft of offices across 25 storeys.
The developer has also unveiled refreshed plans for No1 Grape Street, a 13-storey building that would contribute a further 85,000 sq ft of workspace to the Enterprise City masterplan.
A previous iteration of the project, proposing 57,400 sq ft of workspace, was approved alongside plans for Allied’s 300,000 sq ft Manchester Goods Yard office development in 2018.
No1 Grape Street would be built next to the Goods Yard, which is pre-let to Booking.com.
Elsewhere, the developer has also announced plan for a Media Cube, billed as “a multifunctional venue capable of adapting to multiple uses including film and TV production, live music and performance venue, live sporting events, and rehearsal space to support The Factory”.
The 10,000 sq ft building would sit between The Factory arts and culture hub being developed by Allied London and Manchester City Council, and the first of PRS operator Vita’s co-living towers, a 36-storey building with 372 apartments.