St Michaels Square Image Jun18
CGI of the square that will front the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub

Government confirms St Michael’s all-clear

The controversial Manchester city centre development is to go ahead after Secretary of State James Brokenshire notified the St Michael’s Partnership that the application will not be called in for a public inquiry.

Due to its proximity to Manchester Town Hall and the city’s civic quarter, the £200m scheme attracted fierce criticism, with the initial proposal, featuring two towers, being withdrawn before the scheme was redesigned by Hodder + Partners.

Hodder’s reworked proposal, approved by Manchester City Council in March, features a single 39-storey tower. The scheme will include a five-star 216-bedroom hotel and 189 apartments, along with 148,000 sq ft of office accommodation, 33,000 sq ft of leisure space including a rooftop terrace and a boutique hotel in the former Bootle Street police station.

The retention of the station’s frontage, along with the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub, were two of the key differences in the reimagined Jackson’s Row scheme.

St Michael’s Partnership director Gary Neville said: “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has decided to not call in our revised plans for St Michael’s and that the vision for this landmark mixed-use scheme will be realised.

“It’s been more than a decade since the idea to regenerate a strategic city centre location was first considered, and our whole team is very pleased that we can focus on delivering this project for Manchester, bringing new high-quality development that will enhance the city’s position both nationally and internationally.”

The partnership said that the project will contribute more than £80m GVA to the local economy and £147m in government tax revenues over ten years. As well as Neville and fellow ex-footballer Ryan Giggs, the scheme is backed by developer Brendan Flood, Singaporean funder Rowsley, Beijing Construction Engineering Group and Manchester City Council.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of the council, said: “Investment in Manchester is crucial to support our ongoing regeneration and St Michael’s is a case in point for the type of high-quality development that our city centre needs.

“The Jackson’s Row area has been underwhelming and underused for too long and we welcome the decision by the Secretary of State to move this important project into the next phase.”

St Michaels Dec

Despite much of the opposition to the scheme being quelled by the changes to the project, dissenting voices have remained, including prominent Manchester architect Roger Stephenson, who described the scheme as “looming” and a “trophy project” to Place North West at March’s planning committee.

Nevertheless, the way is now clear for a start to be made, although Neville told Place at MIPIM that a start on site within 2018 is “unrealistic”.

Stephen Hodder, chairman of Hodder + Partners, said: “This development will regenerate a pivotal city block adjacent to the city’s civic core, and I applaud the evident passion, ambition and vision of all those behind St Michael’s. And that’s why I’m delighted that this significant project has been given the go-ahead.”

Your Comments

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By Cynic

Cynic, it’s a perfectly lawful decision, stop being dramatic

By Anonymous

surprise surpise

By Cilla

Great news, this will be amazing.

By York Street

Exciting news and a great result for the city of Manchester. Diversity in developers across the city and a bravery to be different and listen to critics. A good development story all in all.

By Giraffe

Dreadful dog’s dinner of a scheme, truly hope it doesn’t get built.

By MancLad

Absolutely dreadful. Thought we had moved on from these types of mistakes.

By Huey

Great news!

By Stuart

Monumental! I hope someone has checked the specification of the cladding.

By Christopher J Green

Good to know that Stephen Hodder is delighted at this

By Dellroy

Brilliant decision for the city, only the dinosaurs will disagree. Time for the the out-dated, old-fashioned and rigid people of this city to move over, change is coming and there is nothing you can do about it.

By YoungQS

I don’t think you have to be old to object to a 39-storey tower being built in the city centre, with various aspects of how it meets with street level likely to result in another alley full of wee like Library Walk once was, and the stepped ‘public realm’ above likely to be stuffed with overpriced bars that the average local can’t afford to drink in anyway. For the record, I’m mid-20s…

By YoungResident

For Godsake what is this skyscraper actually spoiling? Lincoln square has been hideous for decades. There are about half a dozen towers half a mile from it either built or being built which are even taller. People need to get used to the fact that Manchester is becoming an international city and therefore it needs to have buildings to accommodate its status. I struggle to see what people do not like about our city becoming loftier. Manchester is a Victorian city and apart from a few nice civic buildings it is not blessed with much to spoil. People on here act like we live in Prague.

By Elephant

To YoungQS – the arndale tower was built promising so much, and now is an embarrassment to the city – yellow tiles would date – who knew lol. Portland Street offices now to be demolished yet again – they were a vision of Regeneration once. Piccadilly plaza – that’s big but let’s face it – hadn’t been a success. Don’t fall in love with just the CGI’s and consider your tone. Your view is no more worthy in a democracy than any other. Quantify that.

By MetroMark

‘DInosaurs move over?’ Number crunchers have no place commenting on what good development is.

By Sten

Very tasteful design and I think that the bronzed cladding will blend in well with the Victorian architecture. Certainly a massive improvement from the originally proposed twin black towers.

By Bilderburg Attendee

I think the most impressive thing about the top cgi is the beautiful shafts of sunlight, shining high in the sky to the North. That truly is an impressive feat.

By minor point

Quite possibly the most horrific scheme being permitted…… that will all be sold abroad I imagine, boutique hotel that will add nothing to Manchester. On plus side the pub finally stays.

By Dante P