James Heather, formerly of Argent, has been hired by U+I as development director, to lead on the company’s plans for the £850m Mayfield project in Manchester.
Heather be joining U+I at the start of March, in time to represent the company as part of Manchester’s delegation to international property conference MIPIM in Cannes later in the month.
He was at Argent for 17 years, and left at the end of 2014 to set up his own company, Rotherwood Property Development.
He retained involvement in one of his key projects from his time at Argent, the 280,000 sq ft One St Peter’s Square office in Manchester which was built in a joint venture with the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund. During 2015 and 2016 Heather worked on lettings in the building and advised on the fit out of a 55,000 sq ft office for Addleshaw Goddard.
U+I was named preferred developer on the 24-acre Mayfield site in September 2016. Earlier in the year, U+I had replaced Heather’s previous employer Argent on the Mayfield shortlist, after the developer pulled out of its Manchester projects in order to focus on London residential schemes.
Mayfield is expected to provide 1,300 homes, 800,000 sq ft of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a new city park in total creating over 7,500 office, retail, leisure and construction jobs. The architect advising U+I is Studio Egret West.
U+I’s presence in Manchester is led by operations director Guy Illingworth, formerly of Northpoint Developments. Following the recruitment of Heather, Illingworth will focus on funding and acquisitions for the company.
Heather said: “This is a genuinely exciting time to be joining U+I and to be involved in the delivery of an project like Mayfield.
“There will be an authenticity and a distinctive essence to what we do here with an inclusive approach that engages residents, local businesses and visitors.
“The more you scratch away at the site’s history, the more enthralling it becomes. Our vision is to use this history to shape its future into a bustling and vibrant area which plays a major part in enhancing Manchester. It is going to be an exciting journey.”