Branding consultancy Landor has been brought on board by the Co-operative Group to devise a name and marketing concept for the headquarters development on Miller Street in Manchester.
Lynda Shillaw, managing director of the property division at the Co-op, told the Property Week North West 2010 Conference: "The area should evoke the Co-operative's values without being a Co-operative quarter. We want people to be come to the area in the future not because of one local occupier but because of the quality of the development. We want it to be a 24-hour vibrant part of the city."
The Co-op's HQ will make up only one part of the 3.66m sq ft of new space due to be built at the 20-acre site over the next 10 to 15 years. Offices will account for around 1.8m sq ft of the total development, the Co-op's HQ making up 325,000 sq ft of that. In addition there will be hotels, leisure, retail, residential and public space.
Site clearance work is well underway and Shillaw said construction will begin in earnest by the end of April. Sub-contractors are currently being appointed.
Shillaw added that the high sustainability credentials of the scheme would usually produce an 8% premium on the cost but that architects 3D Reid and contractor BAM Construction were trying to engineer out the premium to prove sustainability did not have to be expensive.
Landor has offices 23 offices around the world, with a UK presence in London. Clients include PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, BP and Morrisons.