Dones submit £80m office plans

Mosley Street Ventures, a special purpose vehicle controlled by Fred and Peter Done, has submitted plans to Manchester City Council for the development of a 162,000 sq ft office building in St Peter's Square.

The building will be constructed on the site currently occupied by Century House, Sussex House, Bennett House and Clarendon House, which would be demolished.

In a statement on Monday the developer said completion could come in late 2015 or early 2016. No decision has yet been taken about whether to wait for a certain amount of prelet or to build speculatively to exploit the supply shortage in new offices in the city centre.

The 11-storey building designed by Ian Simpson Architects is forecast to have an investment value on completion in excess of £80m.

The project team includes DTZ as letting agent, Deloitte Real Estate providing planning advice, Davis Langdon on cost consultancy and Troup Bywaters & Anders on mechanical and electrical. Funding has come via Santander, arranged and managed by Nigel Carson of Property Finance International.

Fred Done, owner of bookmaker Betfred, said: "This project once completed will create one of Manchester's most sought-after office spaces. We have worked extensively with the city and English Heritage to ensure the design complements their vision for the changing face of St Peter's Square. We are extremely proud to be connected to this project and the quality of the building that will be created."

The new office block would stand next to Argent and Greater Manchester Property Fund's One St Peter's Square, currently under construction.

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: "The redevelopment of St Peter's Square is key to the growth of Manchester's economic centre. Our vision is to provide a world class setting to help reinforce the perception of Manchester as a dynamic, creative and confident city. The investment in Manchester's City Library, the extension of the Town Hall and the Metrolink Second City Crossing is going to reinvent the site, and Two St Peter's Square is an important element of that."

Ian Simpson, managing partner at Ian Simpson Architects, said: "From the beginning there was a desire to create a positive addition to the future aspirations for St Peter's Square that would be a defining component in the regeneration of the city's civic quarter. The contemporary exterior uses stone that bears a strong relationship to the locality and heritage architecture, and the decorative elevation will complement the staircase to the Town Hall Extension, creating visual cohesion within the site."

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Good to see that another architect has been to The Glenn Howell’s Architecture Academy. Also handy to get it pre-approved by the council’s Chief Executive; saves all that bother with planning. I think people calling it ‘bland’ are being very unfair ( I did say I think)

By Frank Lloyd Wright

A box. With glass, steel and concrete. And still a box. Bland is an understatement. Tepid and turgid at best.

By Kev Mac Cloud

33/1 it will never get built

By Patrick Power

I think its odds on favourite to get built, given the desperation to throw up any old building these days

By Bill Hill

So Kev what would you design?
All mouth as usual!

By Hey MaCloud get offa ma ewe!

If you wanted a bit of inspiration then take a look at the Coop new HQ. If it was me I would build it out of cow dung, reclaimed timber and very sleek shiny glass and get my mates to muck in

By Kev Mac Cloud

Something that says ‘ Wow!’ , and not in a bad way.

By Gran Designs

Kev McC – that made me LOL. It’s been a long day!

By ChesneyT