ID Manchester CGI From Steps 1078 Long Edge
The successful party is due to be announced in the coming weeks

Bidding opens for £2bn ID Manchester

Charlie Schouten

The University of Manchester has formally started the race for the £2bn innovation district on the site of its North Campus as details of the first big names bidding for the development begin to emerge.

Announced at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, ID Manchester will include 3.5m sq ft of mixed-use space including large areas of public realm. The focus will be on attracting science, research, development, cultural, and tech companies, along with some residential development.

With the issue of tender documents, the race for the coveted partnership is now formally under way, with six companies expected to be shortlisted.

However, Place North West understands a number of partners are already exploring throwing their hat into the ring, including Bruntwood, BCEGI, and Patrizia. A number of bidders’ days have already been held, drumming up strong interest in the site.

The University is searching for an investment and development partner for the site, which will be in a joint venture.

The University will contribute by providing long leasehold transfers on a plot-by-plot basis, with the partner providing cash equity, business and development management. The University said it would hold “no less than 35%” equity stake in any joint venture.

ID Manchester September 2019

Any JV will look to establish a special-purpose vehicle to bring forward development, again on a plot-by-plot basis, but the University said its preference was for the site to be “seen holistically and not be seen as a plot-by-plot investment by bidders”.

Once a partner is chosen in autumn 2020, the JV will draw up a fresh masterplan for the site, secure planning, carry out all site-wide infrastructure works, build the site out, attract tenants, and hold the site as a long-term investment asset once it completes. This process is expected to take 15 years.

The overall plan for the site will depend on the approach of the joint venture partner; retention of listed buildings, including the Sackville Building, forms part of the University’s plan, although the future of the brutalist and modernist buildings on the campus is less certain, with senior University figures giving no assurances that these would be retained.

The 650,000 sq ft Sackville Building will be repurposed as part of any proposed masterplan.

Sheppard Robson,  Arup, and Faithful+Gould have so far supported the University and its advisor CBRE to develop the vision for ID Manchester, based on the principles of the existing SRF for the site, drawn up by Bennetts Associates. This will be refreshed once a JV partner is chosen.

The first developments at the site will likely begin in 2022 once the University decants from North Campus into the £330m MECD, which is currently under construction, although timescales for ID Manchester remain fluid. Some buildings within North Campus, particularly at its south end, will remain occupied.

The University will also continue to occupy the £60m Masdar Building, home to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, with the remaining 18 acres of land around this part of the campus also made available for development.

Your Comments

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Haven’t Bruntwood already won this?

By Paul Calf

Get rid of the brutalist and modernist buildings, nobody likes them, just a few people trying to be “different” like some sort of hipster movement

By Dan

Dan, back in the 1950s and 60s people though the same about victorian architecture and now look at some of the gems that were needlessly demolished for surface car parks or crap office buildings.

By Aaron

Build this near the airport and bulldoze all that dross behind UMIST and extend the new Mayfield park right up to Vimto gardens.

By Elephant

Aron what a ridiculous comment

By Anonymous

Some of those modernist buildings should be saved and re-purposed. The Barnes Wallis and Renold Buildings are classics of their time.

By Nige

Aaron, those people were wrong, they then built awful buildings which have been despised since day one, including UMIST

By Dan

Only building worth saving is Sackville – it will be a joyous moment for the city when those brutalist and modernist buildings are brought down.

By New Wave

Dan – So those people were wrong but now you’re right? Think that over again, it’s the same short term thinking. Some of these are the best examples of post war architecture in Manchester.

By Aaron

Post war architecture is terrible, this is why it’s so unpopular, it’s not good, victorian architecture is far superior in every aspect

By Dan

Aron- I think the difference between the Victorian/Edwardian gems and modernism is that the older styles were generally good, whereas modernism feels lazy and cold in comparison, with very little care for the streetscape surrounding. Any city built between 1800 and 1900 is immeasurably better than a city built between 1950 and 2000.

By Anonymous

The modernist campus at UMIST contains some of the best examples of their type. There is a definite sci fi look to them and they’re so different to anything else in the city. Imagine how much less distinctive, less interesting, less characterful place Manchester would be without this superb collection of buildings set within all that beautiful landscaping.

By Mod fan

“Any city built between 1800 and 1900 is immeasurably better than a city built between 1950 and 2000”. Anonymous has obviously never been to Brasilia.

By Loganberry

No, but I have been to Milton Keynes, Coventry, Birmingham, Crawley…. enough said

By Anonymous

Manchester is known for its unusual buildings and architects ,that’s why we have a massive filming industry. you start knocking all them down,you are missing out on the film industry as well.

By Julie