A planning application has been submitted for what is being described as the UK’s “first purpose-built co-living development”, totalling 900 bedrooms for students and young professionals to rent near Manchester Piccadilly train station.
The designs for IQ Student Accommodation’s three-block scheme at Echo Street next to Vimto Gardens have evolved since they were first revealed in August. Architect Sheppard Robson’s first iteration showed a distinctive metal wrap passing over and between the concrete buildings, and this wrap has now been removed, replaced with red brick and white sandstone intended to be more in keeping with the surrounding area.
The development would replace the existing Chandos house student accommodation building with 643 bedrooms aimed at recent graduates and young professionals, alongside 242 rooms for university students.
The buildings will include fully furnished apartments, amenity spaces, work areas, lounges and a gym. There is also a nursery planned for the ground floor.
The three blocks are staggered in height at 14, 20 and 25 storeys.
IQ Student Accommodation is backed by the Wellcome Trust, Goldman Sachs and Greystar.
IQ hasn’t commented on rental prices for the project, but has said that the co-living accommodation will be offered at different price points, set at a level to make the scheme appealing to those working at average young professional salaries in Manchester.
In the application submitted to Manchester City Council, planner and heritage advisor Turley said: “Experience from major cities in North America such as in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and other European Cities such as Berlin suggests that the provision of co-living accommodation is playing a significant role in meeting the requirements of the millennial generation who often place a higher premium upon flexibility and an all inclusive experience with access to high quality shared amenity spaces in which they can develop their social and professional networks and who are happier with smaller areas of private space.
“IQ (who shall retain and operate the Proposed Development) believes that Manchester city centre, with its strong economic base and thriving creative industries sector (including digital and media) is the optimal location in which to deliver the UK’s first purpose built co-living development.”