An ambitious strategy to revitalise the area from House of Fraser to Albert Bridge has been drawn up by the council and major landowners. Proposals include demolishing Albert Bridge House to build a new office or hotel tower with large floorplates.
The draft framework submitted to Manchester City Council’s executive has proposed St Mary’s Parsonage, an area which includes land from Deansgate to the River Irwell, as a neighbourhood which could deliver “a unique offer” for the city.
The framework area is bounded by Blackfriars to the north and Bridge Street to the south. There are three zones in the framework area, North Parade around Parsonage Gardens, King Street West and Albert Bridge.
According to the report, a “substantial proportion” of development would be anticipated between 2021 and 2025, although this would be dictated by the landowners in the area.
Proposals in the strategic regeneration framework include:
- Albert Bridge House, developed in 1950s and now owned by Mapeley, 18-storey building on Bridge Street would make way for a “large-floorplated” office or hotel. Occupier the Manchester Centre for Health & Disability Assessments, is due to relocate by 2022 to nearby Three New Bailey as part of a public sector hub. The scheme could expand to include the neighbouring surface car park pending agreement with NCP
- Kendal Milne Building, occupied by House of Fraser, owned by South African asset manager Investec. A change of use for part of the building will be considered by the freeholder who has “recognised the need to develop a longer-term strategy for the 400,000 sq ft building” and will seek “sustainable retail use whilst also considering alternative uses on the upper floors”
- NCP multi-storey, known as Kendals car par. Conversion proposed into an office, with retail on ground floor. The council owns a long-leasehold on the car park and would enter into a joint venture partnership with NCP to redevelop
- Reedham House and No.3 St Mary’s Parsonage: The buildings which sit behind the car park are earmarked for either commercial or hotel, along with retail and leisure units at ground floor
- Public realm. Parsonage Gardens is “an under-utilised hidden gem”, considered “unwelcoming” due to the lack of “active frontages, the waste management arrangements, and the vehicular dominated routes”. In tandem with Motor Square, a public realm strategy would be developed to attract more people to use the gardens
As retail proposals emerge, the council report has asked developers to look for occupiers who could create “an area for craft, culture, and a ‘made in Manchester’ type branding.”