CEG High Street C.FCB Studios
A 22-storey building would replace the existing 1960s office block, under FCB Studios' approved plans

CEG’s £96m High Street development site hits market

Sarah Townsend

The developer secured planning permission for 361 apartments and 12,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space at the site opposite the Manchester Arndale last October.

Commercial Estates Group has now appointed agency Avison Young to sell the site at 20-36 High Street in the city centre, close to the Northern Quarter. Architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios designed the £96m mixed-use scheme that secured consent from Manchester City Council last year following protracted negotiations, and the site is being sold with that permission in place.

The approved scheme would see a 1960s office block demolished and replaced with a 22-storey building, with the apartments on the upper floors and a central atrium and walkway running through the building. The existing Church Street Market at the site would be retained but relocated as part of the plans.

However, there remain other development options for the site, or a buyer might choose to retain and refurbish the existing 70,000 sq ft office block rather than demolish it, or incorporate a hotel, or offices at the site instead of retail and leisure, according to Avison.

Dan Crossley, principal in Avison’s capital markets team in Manchester, told Place North West: “We’re pleased to bring this investment opportunity to the market at a time when commercial property is clearly finding its feet again.

“This site is emphatically not being pigeonholed as a purely residential opportunity – it will also appeal to propcos looking to refurbish the existing building, or commercial developers looking to do something different with the site.”

CEG has been contacted for comment on the sale. The company said last year that the site had an approximate land value of £8.6m, although an asking price has not been revealed.

The prominent city centre site is located opposite the Arndale shopping centre and close to the former Debenhams building, which German investor AM Alpha plans to transform into 300,000 sq ft of offices with retail on the ground floor.

CEG last April agreed a £72.9m debt facility with fund manager Aviva Investors to refinance six regional office assets, including the two-building Brunswick Business Park in Liverpool, totalling 120,000 sq ft.

CEG High Street 2 C.FCB Studios

FCB Studios’ consented scheme features a large central atrium

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It will be a real shame if the this proposal is scrapped – it was one of my favorite planned developments for Manchester.

By Manc Man

This will really uplift the dump which is High Street and might bring some better businesses to that area.

By Elephant