Ian Simpson St Johns street view

Allied submits £1bn St Johns masterplan

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Manchester City Council is to consider the £1bn regeneration masterplan for the former ITV Granada site in Quay Street this week, to form Allied London's St Johns neighbourhood.

Members of the council's executive will be asked to approve the strategy for the site at a meeting on 29 October. If the strategy is approved in principle a period of formal consultation will begin.

The plan was developed by Ian Simpson Architects for Manchester Quays Limited, a joint venture between Allied London and Manchester City Council. The joint venture purchased the 13-acre site in 2013.

According to a report to the council, the scheme has the potential to deliver 4m sq ft of new and refurbished mixed-use development, which will include:

  • 2,500 – 3,000 residential units, with townhouses, penthouse apartments, live-work units and high-rise living
  • 500 of these brought forward on the core site as a private rented community
  • Up to 600,000 sq ft of workspace, mostly aimed at creative industries
  • 80,000 sq ft of this via refurbishment of the Bonded Warehouse
  • Up to 400,000 sq ft of leisure space, incorporating some of the existing entertainment and studio buildings
  • Two hotels, including the Grande hotel
  • Up to three arts and cultural buildings
  • Public realm through the site

 Ian Simpson St Johns modelThe plan is to be delivered through phasing, with the first phase on site in 2015, and the final phase being delivered in 2022.

The report said that the proposals are based on a two-tier development concept, called The Village and The Sky. The Village level is a mix of five to seven storey buildings over a tight-knit street plan, which will see layers of creative workspace, studio space, retail and leisure, and roofscape residential uses. A cultural facility is part of the profile of development to create an anchor to a creative neighbourhood.

The Sky is a "series of elegant residential towers that 'float' over the 'Village' and provide views across the city centre". Taller buildings will be located to the west of the site towards the River Irwell.

The majority of heritage assets on the site are to be retained and incorporated into the development, which include the Victorian Bonded Warehouse, the Granada HQ building, Breeze Studio and gardens, the Manchester and Salford Junction Canal and Accumulator Tower, which is to be a site landmark.

An initial ITV plan was developed in 2012 and was put out to public consultation. Allied London has also held 'Create MCR' events over the course of 2014, and the latest proposal has incorporated a response to some of the issues raised.

Following requests for more green space, Granada Gardens, next to the Breeze Studio, will be kept for public use.

There will be no multi-storey car parking, but on-site parking will be incorporated into the development.

 Allied London Manchester GrandeIt is understood that the first phase will include the Bonded Warehouse, the Globe & Simpson building, and the Grande hotel announced by Allied London earlier this month.

Tours around the Coronation Street set on the site are now set to continue until the end of 2015, before the plot is incorporated into a later phase of development.

Michael Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said: "It's an exciting opportunity for the Manchester: for the families that want to live in the city, the exciting start-up tech and digital businesses starting to flourish, with Manchester voted top of the start-up cities index, and change the balance of the economy and the visitors, who want a unique base to enjoy and share in the city's culture and heritage."

Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "St John's has the potential to become an important new city centre neighbourhood, combining residential and work space with green space, heritage assets and leisure and entertainment facilities which should make it an attraction in its own right.

"This framework will underpin the development of an exciting new area which will complement the wider regeneration of the city centre."

John Cooper and Laura Feekins at Deloitte Real Estate are the planners on the scheme.

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