No1 Old Trafford

Domis steps in on £68m No1 Old Trafford

Charlie Schouten

Domis is set to start on the mixed-use project near Manchester United’s stadium, replacing Forrest, which was formerly lined up as main contractor.

Designed by Jon Matthews Architects, the 354-home scheme includes a mix of 139 one-beds, 211 two-beds, and four three-beds over two towers of 18 and 15 storeys. There is also retail space on the ground floor and a communal podium garden and roof terrace.

Demolition of the existing buildings has now been completed by subcontractor PP O’Connor, clearing the way for Domis to start enabling works; Domis will be appointed main contractor during the enabling works package. Completion is set for 2021.

Forrest was previously in negotiations on the scheme for some time, although it was never formally appointed. The contractor collapsed into administration in December last year, owing its creditors £28m, after a series of problem jobs and financial difficulties.

International investment fund IP Global acquired 173 apartments and 34 car parking spaces for £32m last year. These include 52 one-beds and 121-two bed apartments in the development’s Block A, which includes 108,000 sq ft of space over 18 storeys.

The nearby Skyhook sculptures have been retained as part of the project, and there will be landscaping and public realm improvement works around the sculptures as part of the proposals.

The professional team on No1 Old Trafford also includes Paul Butler Associates as planner; Crookes Walker as M&E engineer; Exterior Architecture as landscape architect; SCP as transport planner; and Mace as project manager. LIV Group has been appointed to manage the scheme.

CBRE was enlisted by Cole Waterhouse in 2017 to find a funder for the project, the scheme was launched overseas earlier last year. Craigleith Property Group also supported the developer in the hunt for investors.

Domis, founded by former Forrest chief executive Lee McCarren in 2017, has already taken on schemes from the collapsed contractor, including SYNQ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. This was cited as one of Forrest’s problem contracts that reportedly caused a £2m loss at the company.

Other projects Domis is delivering include the 392-apartment The Crescent in Salford for developer and Betfred owner Fred Done. The £85m project includes towers of 22 and 17 storeys. Elsewhere in Salford, Domis is also on site delivering 380 apartments at the corner of Blackfriars Road and Trinity Road in Salford, also for Fred Done’s property company Salboy.

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It seems that Domis have no problem doing these ex-Forrest schemes for (presumably) the same money, so it makes you wonder why Forrest thought there was such a big cost issue? I don’t think the Management ever got to grips with how Forrest worked, they were used to paying over the odds at the Big C….

By Intheknow

No change

By Anthony viles

I think you’ll find Intheknow that they wont be doing it for the same cost.

By Oscar

If Domis are doing it for the same cost Intheknow then there is only one way they are heading, i’ll give you a clue – its the same place as Forest are now

By Anonymous

Domis are not doing these jobs for the same money. Domis are linked to Fred Done, and Fred Done was the Client on the Tibb Street scheme which Forrest were delivering that they had significant problems on. And who took the scheme over???? Domis!


I’m sure they are, it was just that Forrest had to work with subcontractors who used inflated rates due to their lack of credit rating…

PS I am now sure what your point is- I know that Salboy (FD’s investment vehicle) are linked to Domis (mutual directors) but what you said has no bearing on cost. Domis may enjoy better rates from the market due to their stable position

By intheknow