Bruntwood has been named preferred developer for the site around Manchester Oxford Road Station, following an 18-month tender process in which all other competitors dropped out of the race.
Network Rail and Manchester City Council launched the search for a developer in August 2014. The site has the potential for up to 500,000 sq ft of development including offices, hotel and residential, together with leisure and retail, on the Oxford Road and Whitworth Street West frontages.
A shortlist made up of Bruntwood, Muse Developments, Capital & Centric backed by Carillion, First Step and Valad emerged by December 2014, but by May 2015 only Bruntwood and Muse remained in the competition, and Muse dropped out in September.
Since the start of the tender process Bruntwood has been tipped as the likely winner, due to its involvement in various sites along Oxford Road, including the £750m redevelopment of the former BBC site which it is delivering in partnership with Select Property.
Bruntwood will now work with Network Rail and Bruntwood to agree a development framework for the site, which according to Bruntwood will “create an exciting mixed-use district that supports the growth of Manchester’s knowledge-based economy”.
Sheppard Robson is the architect for the project.
Proposals are expected to include improvements to the grade two-listed Oxford Road Station.
A statement from the development partners said: “Bruntwood, Network Rail and the Council are aligned to ensure that the redevelopment of this scheme and the Northern Hub proposals are developed strategically to both improve access to, and increase capacity of the station.”
Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, said: “The redevelopment of Oxford Road Station offers remarkable scope to create a mixed-use development of retail, commercial and residential accommodation. The site benefits from access to skills due to its location at the gateway to Corridor Manchester and the Central Business District, its transport connectivity and exceptional footfall.
“We’re also interested in the impact that the redevelopment will have in enhancing Oxford Road’s position as a gateway into the city, connecting people to the places that we’re creating, such as Circle Square, MSP Central and Citylabs and ultimately supporting Corridor Manchester in its aim of being a top five European innovation district.”