The developer has unveiled the final phase of its Manchester Gardens residential community, two apartment blocks of 13 and 11 storeys on the corner of Ellesmere Street in the city centre.
The project, called Phoenix Works, would comprise 237 apartments across the two blocks, the smaller of which would sit opposite Talbot Mill at 44 Ellesmere Street, which is being converted into 200 apartments by developer Capital & Centric.
The taller of the two blocks would sit at the back of the site, currently occupied by a building called Phoenix House.
DeTrafford’s scheme has been designed by Corstorphine & Wright Architects and the planning consultancy is Paul Butler Associates. It represents the final phase of the developer’s Castlefield masterplan, the most recent project of which was the 366-apartment Gallery Gardens, which won planning approval this summer and is due to start on construction next year.
The whole area, known as Manchester Gardens, is intended to become an “urban village” on the edge of Hulme and Castlefield, DeTrafford’s chief executive Gary Jackson has said.
Construction of other phases of Manchester Gardens – St George’s, City & Sky Gardens – is ongoing. Roof Gardens, built by the now-defunct contractor Pochins, completed in 2018.
Phoenix Works is to offer a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as two-bedroom duplex townhouses and two-bedroom duplex penthouses, together with 4,000 sq ft of flexible commercial space.
DeTrafford is working with Corstorphine and Wright and Paul Butler Associates to draw up a planning application for submission to Manchester City Council in November. The developer hopes to start work on site by mid-2021.
Unveiling the proposals for consultation this week, DeTrafford said that Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns have resulted in an “unprecedented shift in people’s values and lifestyles”. Phoenix Works, therefore, has been designed to be “the first of a new form of post-pandemic city centre living projects designed to embrace these societal shifts in values and lifestyles”, the company said.
In particular, the pandemic has increased the need for wellbeing and community and prompted a shift towards permanent home working for many. Phoenix Works comprises planting schemes, growing spaces, open balcony walkways and dual-aspect apartments in response to these trends.
Balconies outside front doors create natural leisure areas with built-in seating, which, combined with kitchen gardens and stable doors, “create a strong relationship between apartments and communal areas and a convivial environment that encourages neighbourliness and social interaction” according to the developer.
Meanwhile, home-working “bays” offer dedicated workspaces with views of the city, natural daylight and a physical separation between work and home life.
There will also be a public square at the heart of Manchester Gardens, bringing together all phases of the masterplan.
Matt Brook, design director at Corstorphine & Wright, said: “We are working with DeTrafford to create a scheme that completes the Castlefield masterplan and is optimised for post-pandemic city centre living.
“[It includes] a new green public space for Castlefield and homes that will enhance wellbeing, instil a strong sense of community in residents, and embrace working from home.”
Tom Flanagan, director of Paul Butler Associates, added: “This scheme will be another successful addition to the regeneration currently taking place in the area, and provide numerous benefits to the local community and future residents.”