The Manchester-based developer has bought the 200,000 sq ft grade two-listed Crusader Works near to Piccadilly Station in an off-market deal with private landowner Shafiq Tufail.
The cluster of buildings are on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street in Manchester city centre. Some of the mills are linked, forming a central courtyard.
The mills are partially occupied by a variety of businesses, including Rogue Studios which provides space for around 100 artists, alongside clothing manufacturers. However large sections of the mills are vacant and falling into disrepair.
The vendor and his family have owned the complex of buildings since the 1970s. The biggest mill is Crusader Works, constructed in around 1830 by Joseph Chessborough Dyer, co-founder of the Manchester Guardian Newspaper and the Bank of Manchester. The mills were initially used to produce machinery for the textile industry.
The area around the mills has been earmarked for the proposed high-speed rail terminal which would extend the existing Piccadilly Station buildings and act as an anchor for the wider regeneration of the area. Manchester City Council’s masterplan prepared by Bennett Associates shows offices, apartments, hotels and retail surrounding the mills.
The mills are the only listed buildings in the area surrounding the HS2 expansion zone.
According to Capital & Centric, potential future uses for the mills are yet to be defined, but the developer is in conversation with current occupiers.
Capital & Centric and Henry Boot Developments are currently bringing forward the £200m Kampus project, also near Piccadilly Station. The scheme will redevelop the former Manchester Metropolitan University campus to include residential, hotel and leisure uses.
Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “This is a rare thing to find; beautiful old mills right next to Piccadilly Station in need of a lot of investment to bring them back to their former glory. These buildings have evolved for various different uses over the years and we’re delighted to be the current custodians of their future.
“We’re excited by the prospect of HS2 and we wanted to be involved in developing this part of the city, dubbed East Village. We like reusing and repurposing buildings, and opportunities like this don’t come around often.
“We only had four weeks to buy the building. We don’t have any bank debt which gives us the ability to move quickly, and we’ve got a great team that have been able to achieve that timescale.”