Viadux Salboy Ask
The £300m Viadux scheme was originally named Found Space

Ask and Salboy form Viadux JV  

Sarah Townsend

Developers Ask Real Estate and Salboy have agreed a joint venture to deliver a £300m residential and office project in Manchester city centre.

The 50:50 joint venture aims to develop the Viadux scheme, which is located on the former Bauer Millet site off Albion Street near the Beetham Tower.

The site is owned by Ask and has planning permission for a 40-storey residential tower and 14-storey commercial building with 240,000 sq ft of grade A office space.

The scheme, which was originally named Found Space and is designed by SimpsonHaugh architects, will also see the neighbouring railway arches along Great Bridgewater Street converted into restaurants, bars and shops.

Work is scheduled to start this spring with Salboy’s contractor Domis overseeing the build. It is understood that Ask wishes to bring on board Salboy’s residential expertise and its construction partner Domis.

Simon Ismail, co-founder and director of Salboy said: “Viadux will benefit from our extensive construction and residential development experience. Working with a partner of Ask’s calibre will help create one of the most exciting mixed-use projects in the heart of the city centre.”

John Hughes, managing director of Ask said: “By joining forces with Salboy, we are both able to bring to fruition this significant development, which is a response to the city’s continuing economic, cultural and population expansion.”

Viadux “brings to life ‘hidden’ spaces”, Hughes added, and is expected to transform  the prime location close to Deansgate Castlefield Metrolink station, the Beetham Tower and Manchester Central Conference and Exhibition Centre.

The £300m project involves working around the existing tram line and Grade II listed arches and is expected to take approximately three years.

Salboy is backed by Betfred billionaire Fred Done and led bydirector Simon Ismail.

This week, the developer submitted a planning application for an 18-storey apartment block comprising 115 homes on Queen Street in Salford, designed by Jon Matthews Architects.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Love this. Looking forward to seeing it come to life

By Steve

Innovative creation of a site.
But this sorting of thing is turning into some kind of 21st Century version of Kowloon Walled City.
Or giant tetris.
The city needs to develop some kind of setback/bulking regulations. To give the buildings and the people who will occupy and walk below them a bit of breathing space.

By Optimist

Looks terrible – not the final plans surely?

By Chesney

Buy a flat or office in a tower block because of its fantastic view (what else?) — and then have your view blocked within two or three years by another new tower block only meters away. Somehow, swindling and selling under false pretences comes to mind, don’t you think?

By James Yates

Awful, Manchester is building far too close together

By Dan

Do some people expect to have a 100m gap between every development? This is a city centre. Take a look around the rest of the world.

By Anon

Literally no one – ….

PNW readers from one render – looks terrible

By BillyboyCauseDaveWasBanned

absolutely horrid, dull design

By Anonymous

The render really highlights the stylish flow and continuation of the historic Manchester Central building architecture into the exquisite massing of the new blocks……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..not

By North by North-West

Steve I agree with you this looks excellent is great for this location I am also looking forward to seeing this get developed.

By Monty

Dear By Anon,
What cities around the world are you referring to: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zurich, Vienna, Munich, Brussels, Oslo, Basel, Prague, Rotterdam. I have visited all of them: they do not allow so-called developers to built sky-scrapping towers back-to-back. Only a wealth extractor with absolutely no interest in what he is selling or in the idea of neighborhood or community (what that, in a U.K./U.S. city?) builds multiple Lego-blocks like that. Pity Manchester has no proper city planning officers.

By James Yates

Dear Mr Yates
Nice tour of Europe there. I’m sure the residents of Singapore, Shenzhen, Tokyo, Chicago, Shanghai, Dubai, New York City and Hong Kong would disagree with you. Dare to dream a little bigger darling!

By Egg

The world’s leading countries build skyscrapers

By Dan

Dear By Egg,
True, there are dystopian cities. But do any families live in high-rise towers by choice? Can children play outside and meet their friends after school, and so on? Dare anybody go out alone for a short walk after sunset? Lonely individuals choosing self-isolation in security guarded Mostly unmarried temp renters in towers bought by Hong-Kong/Chinese/Singapor investors/gamblers who know no better. They assume English folk will really want to live in These high-rise boxes. Council tower blocks have all been demolished. I wonder why? And who wnat to live in a house, inCheshire or East Lancs in a real village community. And don’t call me Darling; learn some manners now, if your family didn’t teach you them, you low-life sweety!

By James Yates

Dear Mr Yates

Enough with the amateur dramatics. Dystopian…really? Some of the most successful cities in the world, dystopian? You may know European cities very well but have a very skewed view of cities further afield. I have been to most (not all) of the cities I listed and other than a few rough neighbourhoods (just like any city or even parts of Manchester suburbia which you seem to suggest are somehow any different and are ALL wholesome family villages. Trust me, having grown up in Cheshire, there are plenty of rough areas….) are very friendly and culture filled places which I can happily go out after dark with my family. Nobody is forcing anyone to live in these towers. If you don’t want to live in them, don’t. More power to you. Go find a country cottage in a village filled with “English Folk”. It’s simply supply equals demand. If people didn’t want to live in them they wouldn’t build them. I do agree with you about foreign investors and general greed on the developers front but that’s a separate issue.

I apologise if my pop culture reference went over your head and found offence by it, perhaps you need to watch something other than the dystopian Blade Runner or the wholesome Last of the Summer Wine. May the force be with you.

By Egg

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but Manchester is home to all of around 3 official skyscrapers (i.e. over 150m) and has family homes a mere 5mins walk out of the city centre – so any comparisons with dystopian Blade Runner type cities is somewhat exaggerated. Everybody’s needs and desires are different – what’s the alternative leave as a surface car park ?

By @James Yates

There are towers much taller, and closer together in some of the world’s (official) most liveable cities, Vancouver, Melbourne, Tokyo, Toronto, Calgary etc.
Just saying.

By Sense&Logic

This will look pretty good perched above the Metrolink line as a continuation of Beetham and the Deansgate square towers facing. I love the way the overhead railway weaves through now. It looks very Chicagoan. Manchester is motoring and we should applaud that. It is nice to see a city reborn.Rare in Britain to see such a can do attitude and without the hand outs London gets. The speed that the Trafford Centre Metrolink line has been built is testament to how determined GM is to succeed. For all the criticisms I think Andy Burnham is doing a good job.

By Elephant

Hopefully it will block the view of the giant advertising screen on Axis Tower from St.Peters Square.

By UnaPlanner

When are they going to start the Trinity Islands development?

By Keanu Reefs

Trinity Islands is some way off yet, and it won’t be the consented scheme but one much smaller.

By Dan

“Trinity Islands is some way off yet, and it won’t be the consented scheme but one much smaller.”

Why do you suspect it will be much smaller than the consented scheme?

It would be a change in approach for a developer that’s done Deansgate Square, Elizabeth Tower, Exchange Court, + 3 other towers over 150m in planning.

By Mrqs

Mrqs, just you wait

By Dan

Dan:
Thats a major let down if you’re correct. Unless im wrong, planners have already scaled down by pulling the Nickel and Dime towers inside the St Johns neighbourhood. Hopefully Renaker will look at building tall elsewhere in the city instead.

By Keanu Reefs