The developer is close to selling the 32,000 sq ft office block on Manchester’s Liverpool Road to the city council, and launching a consultation on proposals to regenerate the site together with the former Campfield covered markets.
The deal, which would also see Manchester City Council surrender and dispose of the long leaseholds of Castlefield House, Lower and Upper Campfield Market to Allied London to consolidate the site’s ownership, is expected to complete “in the coming weeks”, according to the council.
Allied’s public consultation on proposals to refurbish and regenerate the buildings, providing new workspace for creative and technology businesses and an events venue, is expected to open shortly afterwards.
Few further details were available at this stage and Allied declined to comment when approached by Place North West.
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “The decision around the acquisition of Castlefield House remains pending and is expected in the coming weeks.
“The ambition, if approved, would be to consolidate the ownership of Castlefield House, Lower and Upper Campfield Market – disposed of via long leases by the council – to allow for the major repair, refurbishment and restoration of the three properties in partnership with Allied London.”
From its investment to acquire Castlefield House, the council will enable the refurbishment and reuse of all three sites, but retains the freehold and therefore an income through the lifespan of the long lease.
The grade two-listed Campfield markets – which were used as event space before the pandemic – have long been plotted for redevelopment, with Manchester City Council appointing Allied as its development partner in 2016. The market buildings occupy a site on Barton Street off Deansgate in the city centre, close to the Science and Industry Museum (Mosi). They date from the late 1800s.
Upper Campfield Market is currently vacant, while Lower Campfield Market was used as Mosi’s air and space gallery.
Allied acquired Castlefield House in 2016 from investor Property Alliance Group and set out plans later that year to redevelop the building as part of its extension of the St John’s masterplan.
At the time, Allied revealed concept designs from Levitt Bernstein Architects for a mixed-use building on Liverpool Road, with flats and a Rotterdam Market Hall-inspired project providing a link between the two Campfield market warehouses.
Lower Campfield Market was to be reworked to create a multi-use events and workspace, while Upper Campfield Market was to be redeveloped into a food & beverage concept called Union City, in partnership with the city council.
Manchester’s acquisition of Castlefield House was set out in internal decision documents and was originally expected to complete in January this year. However, the deal is not likely to be processed and agreed for several weeks, the council spokesperson said. The proposed value of the deal was not disclosed.