Manchester College is set to choose Realty Estates’ UX Manchester scheme at the former Boddingtons brewery for its new city centre campus, Place North West understands.
In 2016, the college started a strategic review of its estate, leading it to a £100m masterplan centred around reducing its number of sites, the redevelopment of its main Openshaw campus and developing a new city centre facility, while earmarking its Shena Simon and St John’s locations for redevelopment.
The college described the central campus project in March as the “most critical” element of its masterplan, having narrowed its longlist down from 12 to four at that point.
In July, the city centre project was moved on, when LTE, the parent body of Manchester College, issued a notice signifying its intention to appoint a contractor to deliver a facility of up to 200,000 sq ft.
Developments linked to the college plan over the gestation of the project have included Circle Square, and more recently Mayfield, but Place understands that the Boddingtons brewery, on the northern fringe of the city at the foot of Bury New Road, is the chosen location.
Since its acquisition in 2006 by Deansgate Securities, a joint venture between Ask and Yousef Tishbi’s Realty Estates, development has been piecemeal at the Boddingtons site. The JV agreed a pre-let to Travelodge for a hotel delivered by Marcus Worthington Properties and the BP Pension Fund, subsequently sold to Orchard Street Investment Management in 2014. Ask is no longer involved.
Earlier this year, Prosperity Capital Partners obtained planning permission for the £175m, 556-apartment Old Brewery Gardens residential development. Work is expected to start in the second quarter of 2019 on the scheme, where 375 of the apartments are for the PRS market.
On the part of the site retained by Realty, the UX Manchester development was launched in 2016, promising up to 200,000 sq ft of offices and 80,000 sq ft of mixed commercial units.
Cushman & Wakefield is advising Manchester College, and Avison Young acts for UX Manchester. Both have been contacted for comment.