Plot 9 First Street
The 400,000 sq ft block is to occupy a site off Medlock Street

Latest First Street block approved

Dan Whelan

The next phase of Ask Real Estate’s Manchester commercial scheme, a 400,000 sq ft office, has become the latest project to be approved under the city council’s delegated powers.

The building, which will occupy a two-acre site off Medlock Street in the city centre once complete, was given the green light by Manchester City Council chief executive Joanne Roney and Cllrs Nasim Ali and Basil Curley. 

The block is 11 storeys tall and provides 270,000 ft of office space and 11,700 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor. 

First Street is split into four development zones: First Street North, First Street Central, First Street South and First Street Creative Ribbon. 

The latest scheme, to be built by Bam Construction, falls within the First Street Central zone, which itself is split into four distinctive plots: 9a, 9b, 10a and 10b. This project will cover plots 9a and 9b. 

The proposals have been altered over the last two years with approval first granted in 2018 for a 17-storey building with 160,000 sq ft of office space and a 200-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on the upper floors.  

First Street Plot 9 Iterations

From left: The first, second and third iterations of the scheme

The second iteration involved increasing the floorplates from 17,000 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft in response to interest from a commercial occupier believed to be BT, which has since taken space at New Bailey. The hotel was still to be included, earmarked for the upper three floors. 

In the latest plans, hotel use no longer features. Hospitality Whitbread was initially due to relocate its Premier Inn into the block, freeing up its current site nearby on Medlock Street, however it is now believed to be staying put. 

The project team comprises Jon Matthews Architects, project manager Chroma Consulting, Deloitte as planning consultant, Gardiner and Theobald as cost consultant, Ramboll as structural engineer and Planit-ie as landscape architect. 

Cundall is the M+E engineer and sound engineer, Design Fire Consultants is fire engineers while Vectos is the transport consultant, with Penny Anderson Associates as ecologists.  

First Street Plot 9 Wider Context

Plots 9a and b within their wider context

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By Dan