Developer and contractor Downing has put in its plans for a 2,224-bedroom co-living scheme at Manchester’s First Street, including a 45-storey tower alongside three blocks stepped in height down towards Mancunian Way.
The SimpsonHaugh-designed proposal is for Plot 11 on the edge of First Street, a site bought by Downing from Patrizia in March last year for around £18m. Deloitte and Open are also advising Downing.
The scheme totals more than 2,200 bedrooms, alongside 44,000 sq ft of amenity and surrounding public realm.
The flats would be split between 11 different accommodation types, ranging from compact studios to five-bedroom apartments.
The co-living proposals include 1,113 apartments, divided between one, two, three, four, and five-bedrooms, along with 1,091 studio apartments, split between various types.
Downing would act as developer and contractor, and at public consultation events last year signalled its intention to start on the build this year.
According to the planning application put to Manchester City Council, the scheme is targeted at young people occupying shared houses in suburbs, key workers, recent graduates, visiting academics and researchers.
Nearby, the company is using its in-house construction arm to build the 32-storey River Street tower, also designed by SimpsonHaugh; funding for this project came from a £215m deal agreed with Barclays, HSBC, and NatWest.
While the co-living trend is gathering momentum, Manchester City Council has signalled its caution regarding the model.
In a report published last December, the council outlined concerns on the rise of co-living proposals in the city.
“Given that the product is untested in Manchester, it is not considered appropriate to approve a significant level of co-living accommodation,” a report to Manchester’s executive committee by strategic growth and development director, Eddie Smith said.
“It is suggested that co-living should only be supported in a very limited number of places, in restricted amounts, within the city centre and under specific circumstances.”
Vita Group is also proposing a 32-storey co-living scheme under its Union brand, within St Johns.
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