Plans have been lodged for a £40m scheme to build a 17-storey office block on the site of Speakers House on the corner of Deansgate and St Mary’s Gate in Manchester.
The applicant, investment manager Kames Capital, bought the existing nine-storey building for £11m from Target Real Estate in March 2018. David Wise, Kames Property Income Fund manager said at the tiem: “In the medium term, the property represents an attractive redevelopment opportunity, with the city council keen to promote taller buildings in this part of the city.”
Initial plans were revealed last year and a public consultation, launched in November 2019, paved the way for a full planning application for the demolition of the existing 40,000 sq ft modernist building, constructed in 1963, and the construction of a new glass block.
If approved, the scheme would provide 135,000 sq ft of office space with 5,000 sq ft of ground floor commercial space aimed at “high-end” occupiers, according to the planning documents.
The building, whose tenants include Greggs, Spar and The Flight Centre as well as Investar Property Group, and City Living, was last refurbished in 2016. A spokesperson for CBRE, which is acting as planning consultant, said that it was “undertaking a relocation strategy” and was engaged in dialogue with all tenants, working with them as required.”
The Sheppard Robson-designed scheme is the first development within the Ramada Complex Strategic Regeneration Framework, endorsed by Manchester City Council in May 2018.
Kames Capital said in a statement it hoped the scheme would “enliven both Deansgate and St Mary’s Gate and be a striking, contemporary addition to the Manchester skyline”.
“There is strong demand for high-quality office and commercial space in Manchester city centre and we believe the plans offer excellent, flexible opportunities for occupiers in this striking development,” added Richard Peacock, co-manager of Kames Property Income Fund.
Meanwhile Bob Dyson, CBRE chairman, development advisory, said: “39 Deansgate ticks all the boxes. A sustainable landmark building, respectful of the council’s carbon neutral agenda. Sitting as it will at the gateway to the Cathedral Quarter, it will be a significant addition to the limited supply of flexible top-grade office accommodation being brought to the market.”
The project team also includes Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, Planit-IE, GIA, Renaissance, EDPI and Curtins.
Part of Aegon Asset Management, Kames Capital managed around £36bn on behalf of UK and international clients as of the first half of 2019.