St John's At Night
The original designs for the 54-storey tower were scrapped in January this year

Allied London reveals replacement for 54-storey tower

Charlie Schouten

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.

St Johns Tower Replacement Ingall Twitter 2

The rooftop leisure element of the tower

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.

St Johns Tower Replacement Ingall Twitter

Preliminary designs shared by Michael Ingall on social media

Your Comments

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Prefer the tower, we need to be building up.

By Sky is the Limit

Such a shame. Loved their vision for this site.

By Disappointed

The tower looks nice. The shed on top looks horrid.

By Chris

Not going to win any design awards is it? Come on architects.

By MancMan

Nice design but 26 storeys in Manchester is a bungalow. This development started off as something very ambitious and has become blander and blander.

By Elephant

Boring.com

By Steve

A sawtooth shed balanced on a glass tower. Have Allied London finally run the gamut of dull designs? Identikit offices with this weeks novelty topping.

By Bored Engineer

Looks really smart this

By York Street

A glass rectangle. Thanks guys.

By NT

It’s a better spot for office anyway. Office should make up the central core with residential in a ring around the city centre.

By Floyd

That design looks p*ss poor. The original was so much better, even if they just halved the height.

By Bojo

Bloody hell Allied, you’be binned off South Village aswell now!!

The buyers that invest in you must be so frustrated.

I like those images but I won’t get my hopes up just yet ay!

By Hmmm

We allow the older generations who are in the minority to shout the loudest about building height and this is what happens. The new generation all know the higher the better we shouldn’t allow them to dictate our future. More boxy mid-rise buildings and lack of space.

By Skyscraper

@Skyscraper – it was Allied that pulled the scheme due to commercial concerns, nothing to do with ‘older generations’

By Confused

They decided against the tower as 187 of the 190 apartmentts bought were by foreign investors. People from Manchester don’t want to live in town, they prefer the suburbs

By Tom

My next big birthday is 60 and I can assure you I am disappointed with the way this scheme has gone from something really special to just another dreary set of offices. The South Village cancellation is a lost opportunity to create a functioning community in the centre other than just Ancoats. The thing I miss most about living in London is the places Centrally which are almost separate stand alone communities within a city. Manchester for all its progress still has this mentality from some that town is for, working,shopping and drinking and Didsbury and Prestwich are for living. One of the reasons Manchester in my view does not have an affluent central community like you see in London,is because it doesn’t have a decent park.

By Elephant

Except… there is an affluent central community right next door to this area, in the St John’s Gardens estate. And I can assure you it really is a community as I live there. It is one of the most sought-after areas to live in the city centre, and has people of all ages including families. Although it is apparently quite hidden which is why nobody seems to know about it!!

By Affluent Central Communtiy

I mean the reveal reveals so little about the new proposal that it’s really just a tease, innit.

And a tease of a shed, at that.

What’s happened at Allied? They used to at least pretend to know what they were doing.

By Daveboi

The comments in here are as ridiculous as ever. Obviously none of the comments are from competent property professionals.

By ALL

@All – it’s exactly your sort of attitude that’s made me lose all interest in this industry as a ‘competent property professionals’.

By Daveboi

ALL – most of these ‘competent property professionals’ you refer to are holding this city back from its true potential.

Allied have done a complete U-turn from being a progressive developer with fantastic designs and proposals to you bog-standard run of the mill quick pay cheque developer. Only Renaker are currently doing our city proud.

By Anonymous

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