Corn Exchange set for August launch

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Aviva Investors is on track to open the first restaurants within its £30m Corn Exchange redevelopment in Manchester city centre in August, delivering 12 units facing into an internal atrium to create a ‘premium casual dining cluster’.

Aviva announced in 2014 that it would renovate the failing Triangle shopping centre in Exchange Square alongside redevelopment manager Queensberry Real Estate. The development includes 18 units, alongside a 114-apartment hotel to be operated by Roomzzz which is due to open in October 2016.

Corn Exchange exterior July 2015The project, which was designed by 5plus Architects and is being completed by contractor Interserve, has focused on the opening up of the large atrium in the core of the building, removing the former Sky Bar which occupied the centre of the space.

Speaking to Place North West, Jon Munce, development director at Queensberry Real Estate, said that the intention is to create “an internal space with an external feeling”, with temperature control to allow the space to be used all year round.

Of the 18 units in the building, 12 are two-storey restaurants which can be accessed from the street and face into the atrium. According to Aviva, only two corner units remain available and interest has been high.

“We set out to create a premium casual dining cluster,” said Munce. “We’ve brought together a mix of individual high-quality operators, some of which are the first to Manchester or outside London.”

This week, Banyan Bar & Kitchen exchanged contracts on a 10,000 sq ft corner unit. The completion of the deal follows the announcement of the signing of Liverpool Indian restaurant Mowgli, which will deliver a 200-cover restaurant.

The former occupiers of the five units facing out on Exchange Square will return, with Tampopo, Pizza Express, Zizzi, Salvi’s Deli and Eclectic Grill. They will be joined by Vapiano, and Wahaca, which are both London-based brands opening their first sites outside of the capital. Cabana Brazilian Barbecue, The Cosy Club, Pho and Byron Burger have also taken units in the building.

The restaurants are due to open in phases between August and October.

The building was damaged in 1996 by the IRA bomb, but was restored in 2000 maintaining its original external features. Future works include reconfiguration of the internal units and creation of new pedestrian routes into and through the centre to make it more accessible and welcoming.

The Corn Exchange was built in 1897 and opened in 1903.

Cushman & Wakefield and Metis are letting agents for Corn Exchange.

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