A façade retention and a new-build mixed-use tower have been unveiled for Manchester’s Hotspur Press, designed by architect Hodder + Partners for developer Elmloch, following a public consultation in February.
Following an initial public consultation earlier in the year, the developer and architect have drawn up more detailed plans for the site off Gloucester Street, which has been described as a potential extension to First Street.
The fresh proposals include a retention of the 1880s warehouse’s façade with a new-build mixed-use tower behind. This tower will include one and two-bed apartments alongside four commercial units at ground floor level for retail or restaurants.
A public square is proposed to open up access from Gloucester Street through to First Street as well as providing space along the River Medlock. There are proposals for new-build brick arches facing Gloucester Street between the existing railway arch and the Press’ façade.
A planning application for the project is expected in June and the developer is aiming for a September committee date. Subject to planning consent, the scheme could start on site next summer. A main contractor is yet to be appointed.
The largest building on the site is the 56,000 sq ft Hotspur Press built in 1801, which is not listed. Options initially considered for this building were either office or residential space on the upper floors, with retail, food, and drink spaces on the ground floors.
However, these buildings were found to be in poor condition with issues including asbestos making them difficult to convert. As a result, the developers have opted to go for the new-build option with a façade retention facing Gloucester Street.
Elmloch is a joint venture between MCR Property Group and Blue Dog Property. MCR bought the site in 2015 for around £2.5m.
Nick Lake, fund manager on behalf of Elmloch, said: “After the initial consultation, we got a first-hand account of the historical and cultural significance of the Hotspur Press to the Manchester public. We listened to attendees and carefully considered their comments to re-evaluate our ambitious plans for the site.
“What we’ve designed maintains the fabric of the original buildings, helping to preserve it for generations to come, while introducing modern elements that enhance the space and providing much-needed city centre homes.”
Stephen Hodder, on behalf of Hodder + Partners, said: ‘This is a compelling development and our proposals seek to retain the most valuable elements of the building. Hotspur Press is more than simply the building: the site is an important gateway from the south along Cambridge Street and from First Street to the city.
‘It is an equally important visual moment along Whitworth Street West, so our plans also include a new urban landmark in response to the site’s significance.’
The professional team also includes Deloitte as planner and Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture. Exterior Architecture is working on the scheme’s public square.
At the time of the last consultation, the developer said a planning application would be submitted in the summer. Elmloch and Hodder are holding a public consultation on the proposals to be held on 23 May between 3pm and 8pm at Innside Manchester on First Street.