After scrapping plans for the 54-storey residential and hotel tower at Manchester’s St John’s in January, the developer has confirmed it is looking to rework plans to include 350,000 sq ft of offices and rooftop leisure space.
Place North West revealed in January the 54-storey tower would not be progressed after the developer decided to scale back its residential ambitions. The original plan would have seen a 287-unit tower and 110-bedroom hotel delivered; the hotel was to be operated by Nadler.
Now, as part of a refinancing deal, Manchester Quays, the development vehicle set up between Allied and Manchester City Council for the St John’s site, has confirmed it is looking to submit a revised planning application for the tower.
This will now include 350,000 sq ft of primarily office space, with leisure uses on the upper floors; Allied London’s chief executive Michael Ingall has teased images of the design via social media, seen below, although no firm proposals have been released. The redesigned tower is understood to be in the region of 26 storeys in height.
Plans for the new tower were confirmed alongside a £8.5m refinance deal with Octopus Real Estate. Under this deal, Octopus will provide a refinance facility for two sites, one of which is the site of the St John’s Tower.
The other is the site of an 82,000 sq ft office, due to be occupied by advertising agency WPP. The company agreed a 15-year lease on the space this month as it looks to relocate all five of its agencies under one roof; this office is due to open in 2022.
Michael Ingall said: “This is good business for us, Octopus Real Estate is providing finance which enables flexibility as to how and when we secure longer term development finance on this important next phase of Enterprise City. I am confident this will form the basis for future financial partnerships going forward.”
The commercial elements of the St John’s and Enterprise City project have continued to progress with anchor tenant Booking.com signing last year for 220,000 sq ft at Manchester Goods Yard in what is billed as a £175m tech hub, with 900 jobs added to its Rentalcars business already employing 1,500 people in the city.
Globe & Simpson, a nine-storey 80,000 sq. ft commercial building, has also progressed while ABC, the redevelopment of Astley & Byrom House, has secured several deals.
Aviva has funded these developments to the tune of £300m.
The St John’s tower was one of four plots at the Quay Street gateway awarded outline consent as a cluster in December 2016 which also included Globe & Simpson.
As part of its pullback from residential within St John’s, the developer has also gone back to the drawing board on the South Village, an area that was intended to include 65 apartments, but has encountered similar problems to the tower. Manchester Quays said it has suspended the South Village development for “a number of reasons” and will focus instead on expanding its TV and film studio business into the existing complex.
Like for the St John’s tower, all purchasers who had bought apartments in the scheme have been contacted and have had their deposits fully refunded.