The owner of Manchester’s Royal Exchange is due to start on site on a £1m refurbishment of the 19,000 sq ft retail arcade off St Ann’s Square this month.
The plans are part of the second planning application for the site which has been approved by Manchester City Council.
Work on the retail aspect of the Royal Exchange form part of a wider multi-million pound regeneration project of the building, which includes the external cleaning of the grade two-listed façade and a new design strategy for the retail units, aiming to attract local and independent retailers to the development.
Royal Exchange is made up of a national theatre, 120,000 sq ft of office space and 100,000 sq ft of retail accommodation, offering a variety of retail unit sizes from 1,000 sq ft up to 18,000 sq ft. Occupiers include Molton Brown, Starbucks, Accessorize, Scribbler and The Body Shop.
Trinistar, a joint venture between Starwood Capital and Trinity Investment Management, received planning permission for the northern offices in May, with the main fit-out contract on schedule for completion in the first quarter 2016. The scheme currently has commitments on three of the six floors of office space.
Richard O’Boyle, executive director at Trinity IM, said: “We undertook an in-depth study to ensure that the refurbishment plans matched our vision for the future of the building. The arcade and retail space are a fundamental part of the overall scheme. Our plans will help unlock its potential and create a stunning retail environment, which will attract quality independent retailers, many of which will be local, plus other retailers which may not currently have a presence in Manchester.”
The project team includes office agent Canning O’Neill, Tushingham & Moore, MMX Retail, architect Corstorphine & Wright, interior designer Space Invader and project manager 2110 Consult.